From the early experimentation with specific sounds in musique concrète (Palombini 1999) to the ‘anecdotal’ music of Luc Ferrari (1996) and the ecological sound activism of Hildegard Westerkamp (2002), the collecting, composition and recomposition of sonorous objects has been central to sound practice. Some sound art has privileged a relationship with visual arts and the structuring of objects in curated spaces (Licht 2007), others with the sound worlds beyond the exhibition (Schafer 1994). By examining a specific sound art installation, Sound and Seclusion by Tim Shaw, this article reworks the idea of sonorous objects as artefacts displaying different kinds of representations, knowledges or data. This question of sonorous ‘knowledge-objects’ is particularly important as ‘collected sounds’ become incorporated into compositions away from their, often remote, spatio-temporal origin out there in the landscape. This article raises three areas for discussion. First, what can sonorous objects tell us about the pre-compositional world (Impett 2007)? Second, in what ways can we understand sonorous objects as they are reworked in compositions which re-narrate them? Third, how can we understand sonorous objects as traces and pieces of data as well as aesthetic productions? The article concludes with a case for reworking the very idea of a sonorous object in sound practices as a product of dead logics and dead worlds as it emerges in new ensembles of composition away from its origin.