June 17th, 2011 § § permalink
‘What do you love about the ocean?’ ‘There is some kind of music that lives there’ — late-stage Alzheimer’s patient
The ocean is Nature’s artwork. It provides us with a full sensory experience in 3D, total surround sound, and a varied array of olfactory and tactile delights.
When we compare the experience of reading literature and poetry, listening to great music, visiting a museum, going to the theatre, opera, or ballet with the effect that the ocean has upon us, the similarities are striking.
The ocean awakens and keeps alive in us the sublime order and elegance of Nature. The profound experience it brings resonates with us, because we too are Nature.
View Text: The Sea Within Us
September 30th, 2008 § § permalink
Voices of Earth: A Global Symphony is a 10 -minute video sample of a sound installation first presented in 2004 at the Pozen Center in Boston. The original program was a 24-hour musical simulation of various acoustic phenomena on Earth, shop computer-controlled in real time, from sunset to sunset. A variety of acoustic phenomena that vibrate outside the normal range of human hearing, such as the continuous rotation of the Earth, high and low atmospheric pressure systems, ocean waves, tidal motions, earthquakes, storm cycles, mountain waves, heartbeat, breathing, stress waves, etc. were converted to musical tones by transposing their frequencies and amplitudes to within the range of human audibility. The quality of each sound was determined according to the medium in which the sound occurs: air, liquid solid, organic substance.
A computer was programmed to organize start and stop times for continuous tones, pulses, and cycles relative to their durations within a period of a single rotation of the earth.
In addition, there are a variety of sampled sounds that are integrated into the music. These range from environmental noises, such as rain, wind, and thunder, to human speech sounds representing more than 25 different languages. Sampled sounds also include various animals, birds, and insects that are representative of diverse regions and environments throughout the world. The computer was used to control the selection of individual sounds, and their respective start times.
Screen images of the various acoustic phenomena accompany the music, including many low-orbit satellite photographs mined from NASA’s Visible Earth collection.
Along with the video, there are notes (PDF file) that describe the various acoustic phenomena, their characteristics, methods of conversion, and the real time computer program used in the original installation.
John Holland – Music, Sound Design
Josh Caswell – Programming, Sound Design
Voices of Earth video and text:
Video: Voices of Earth on vimeo.com
Text: Voices Of Earth
September 19th, 2008 § § permalink
The Acoustic Wave Spectrum is a poster-size artist’s edition of the first comprehensive acoustic wave chart. The 30×22 full color poster combines text and graphic symbols to represent the complete catalog of acoustic waves.
Sound waves propagate in a variety of media, including gas, liquids, organic and inorganic solids, in plasmas and superconductors, and in interplanetary, interstellar, and intergalactic media. Sound waves range in frequency from billions of cycles per second to a single cycle within a period of years. Human hearing is only a small fraction of the frequency range of the full acoustic wave spectrum.
Various generic waveforms are graphically represented by the symbols in the Acoustic Wave Spectrum. These waves propagate in a variety of media at different speeds, and have different vibrational characteristics depending on their source. They include traveling waves, standing waves, internal waves, surface waves, trapped waves, thermal waves, shock waves, and plasma waves. There is a legend at the bottom of the chart that correlates the symbols with the various waves.
In addition there is an information booklet that accompanies the Acoustic Wave Spectrum. This booklet describes sound waves, sound sources, and each of the generic waves that are represented on the chart.
The poster-size artist’s edition of the Acoustic Wave Spectrum is available at a cost of $49.99 plus postage and handling, through Spectrum Music (781-862-0088).
John Holland, Acoustic Wave Spectrum
Amy Robinson, Graphic Symbols
Acoustic Wave Spectrum.pdf
September 17th, 2008 § § permalink
The Violin Player was originally created as a performance text, cheapest to be spoken aloud.
The substance of the text is concerned with the nature of performance, the history and language of music, acoustics, musicianship, the evolution of music, and sound perception.
The Violin Player was first presented in 1991 at Vanderbilt Hall, Harvard University.
View the text: The Violin Player
photo credit: Christian Gaser
May 1st, 2008 § § permalink
“By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID, AP Science Writer
WASHINGTON – The happy babbling that entertains parents as their babies try to mimic speech turns out to have a parallel in the animal world. Baby birds babble away before mastering their adult song, researchers report in Friday’s edition of the journal Science.”
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