From Branden W. Joseph's excellent "Beyond the Dream Syndicate. Tony Conrad and the Arts after Cage":
"For Walter Benjamin, who theorized an 'optical unconscious' in relation to photography and film, the camera's ability to capture spaces and events not 'informed by human consciousness,' particularly through its capacity for enlargement (as in a microscope) or slow motion, was a means of revealing previously unseen possibilities for comprehension, interpretation, and action:
Photography reveals in this material [enlarged "details of structure, cellular tissue," and the like] physiognomic aspects, image worlds, which dwell in the smallest things - meaningful yet covert enough to find a hiding place in waking dreams, but which, enlarged, make the difference between technology and magic visible as a thoroughly historical variable.John Cage understood the dronework of La Monte Young as something like Walter Benjamin's 'acoustical unconscious': "Listening to these pieces has been for me an experience that has changed my way of hearing, of hearing everything. It is like when one sees something through a microscope: afterward, one sees differently, even without a microscope. With Young's music, you can say that you hear in the interior of the sound, in the interior of the action. (..) At that moment, listening reverts to placing a particular object under a microscope so that the object becomes an entire universe, simply because it is enlarged to that extent. It ceases to be an object."
On the other hand, film furthers insight into the necessities governing our lives by its use of close-ups, by its accentuation of hidden detail in familiar objects, and by its exploration of commonplace milieux through the ingenious guidance of the camera; on the other hand, it manages to assure us of a vast and unsuspected field of action (Spielraum)."
Microscopic music: more contemporary examples are found in Electronica, especially in the 1990's microgenre 'Clicks and Cuts'. The genre zoomed in on sonic detritus, magnified aural decay, enlarged pops, hisses, whirrs, glitches, clicks, scratches, noise until they formed a 'vast and unsuspected' soundscape. The unintended, indeterminate, near-aleatory nature of the sounds used ensure that these soundscapes are 'not informed by human consciousness'. The work of Thomas Köner is a case in point: his music evokes arctic panoramas by blowing up "...stuttering mechanical sounds (imagine the sound of film that has been rewound but hasn't been shut off, the trail of film flapping against the canister)..." (here).
But in a sense, using electronica to magnify sound is facile: computer engineering expedites closing up to the sound. To magnify sound events without the aid of software like Reaktor, Ableton Live, Super Collider and MAX/MSP is much more challenging.
Nevertheless, UK Doom Metal band Moss' manages to coax hidden detail from from its hiding place in waking nightmares on their classic 2005 album Cthonic Rites, released on the excellent Aurora Borealis record label both on cd and magnificent triple vinyl.
Imagine Marduk's 1999 Black Metal album Panzer Division Marduk slowed down so much that the breakneck speed blast beat drums become immense, cyclopean structures; slowed down such much that the headlong rush of tremolo is transfigured into a large, slow-crawling glacier of noise, formed from compacted layers of distortion. For the listener, Moss makes it possible to explore the crevasses, moraines, striations, eskers, ridges, chatter marks, drumlins and cracks in the familiar sound of Black Metal.
Moss' slowing-down of Black Metal reveals a vertiginous musical underworld, where the dimensional relationships are askew, where the proportions are wrong. This should come as no surprise, as the work of HP Lovecraft is a major inspiration for Moss: disproportionality of scales is a constant theme in that horror writer's work. In his 1991 essay "H.P. Lovecraft. Contre le monde, contre la vie", Michel Houellebecq describes the work of the Providence recluse as "...a vertiginous literature; and there is no vertigo without a certain disproportionality of scales, without a certain juxtaposition of the minuscule and the unlimited, the specific and the infinite."
In Moss' Doom Metal, one can discover a warped, nightmarish and barren world.
Here and here are links to recent interviews with Moss. Here and here and here are links to older interviews.