Archive for September, 2011

Famous Sounds

While scrolling down for sound ideas, I came across something titled ‘Famous Sounds’. Curious to see what sounds were hiding under this link, I clicked with vigor!

There was a list of sounds to choose from, so I chose what I thought sounded like something I normally wouldn’t pay attention to, even though it was a sound that I could easily make. I chose Korg M1 Pole, which is the sound recording of Kim Aikin tapping a metal pole.

This recording was very interesting to listen to. The sound of the metal pole was a long sound that dragged on. Each sound clip made a distinct ‘ding’ sound, although the pitch would range from very high to very low.

Upon further research, I discovered that “Korg M1 Pole”, as well as the many other links, are sounds that were used by one person, liked, and reused many times by other people, thus ending up being considered a classic sound.

This struck me as an interesting comment because it never occurred to me that people reused others’ sound ideas for their own music. I immediately began listening closely to my own music, catching little sound effects that might have been used in other songs. I now understand why people complain about a song sounding the same as another one. It probably is.
I am personally glad to have discovered this link before my other sound assignment was due. I now know that I do not have to think up every little sound bit up from scratch, but rather take one already made and tweak it a little to fit my preferences.
I cannot wait to explore different sound ideas and learn how to apply them into music!


Static Language Sampler

While doing this assignment, I came across a system in the Language Removal Services website labeled “Static Language Sampler”. Unsure what the sampler did, I decided to listen to Marilyn Monroe’s audio. This piece was kind of awkward to listen to, because it just sounded like a woman moaning and taking in deep breaths… So of course I’m going to post the link for you guys to listen to with me. Here ya go ;D

I assume that the static language sampler only detects the sound of static. Its sounds as though they took clips of interviews or audio recordings of Marilyn talking, and only documented the very beginning or ending of her speech, where the most ‘static’ would occur.

This piece intrigued me in the sense that static was not the only thing I heard. The title of this program led me to believe that I would hear nothing but static, but Marilyn Monroe’s voice did not go unheard. At first, there was indeed nothing but ‘static’, but throughout the duration of the audio, her voice did escape quite a few times.

This discovery made me think about the way we talk. Do we vocalize as we inhale? Or do we just inhale so fast that by the time we’re talking, the intake (or static noise) we’ve created goes unheard- making it sound like we’ve begun talking instantly?

This audio actually made me think about punctuation. I tend to write more with comma’s then periods, resulting is a lot of ‘inhalation’. Marilyn Monroe has subconsciously helped me shorten my sentences to help it flow better.

It’s a shame you wont see these sentence structure improvements any time soon.

The Long Count

When first listening to The Long Count, I was honestly waiting for some sort of animated vocalization to occur. I, of course, was wrong. This piece contains what seems to be the panting of men, as well as their inhalation of breath before beginning to talk. This site, in which I received the audio from, had a bit of information written about whose voices these were.

The voices were apparently of Sonny Liston, Muhammad Ali, George Foreman and Joe Frazier. These men were boxers, which lead me to wonder if the audio clips were taken of them talking, or boxing. I concluded that it was of both.

After further investigation on The Long Count, I found out that ‘The Long Count’ was actually a famous boxing rematch between world Heavyweight champion Gene Tunney and former champion Jack Dempsey, where new rules regarding knockdowns were initiated. One of these new rules included giving the fallen fighter 10 seconds to get back up on their own when knocked down.

The reason why I find this so interesting is because the audio seemed to follow this story a bit. At the beginning were the opponents, sizing each other up. Then followed the actual fighting before the knockdown occurred. Most of the audio’s panting was of the different boxers collaborated together, but at one point, there seemed only to be the panting of one person. I assumed that one person to be the one knocked down on the floor, struggling to get up.

This audio clip is actually very interesting to listen to if you know the background story.

Christian Bök

Christian Bök, in the opinion of many, including me, is an amazing Canadian poet. He published the book Eunoia in 2001, which was claimed to be “Canada’s best-selling poetry book ever.” I personally think is an appropriate title, seeing how it took him 7 years to write.

In this book, Christian uses only one vowel in each of its five chapters. In the book’s main part, each chapter used just a single vowel. In order to successfully write this book, Christian had to read the dictionary 5 times, compiling his own list of vocabulary words essential for his completion of the book.

Curious to learn more about what Mr. Bök was doing, I quickly went onto Youtube to see if he did any interviews. Low and behold, I found this.
While watching this video, Christian began talking about his new project the Xenotext Experiment. He was talking about genetic codes and poetry.

‘Ho- . . . what? ‘ (was my initial reaction to this news)

Once again, driven by curiosity, I quickly googled his experiment, and came up with this link. Apparently, Mr. Bök plans to create a poem in the form of a genetic sequence and insert it into a strain of bacteria. This bacterium will not only carry that sequence around with it, but give us the opportunity to reclaim that sequence and decipher its meaning. Bök also intends to have this encoded poem be a set of instructions that will allow the organism to build a protein, where yet another original poem can be found. Christian Bök basically gives a bacterium a poem and receives one back in response. Cool right?

I’ve got to say, this Canadian poet is very different from the others. Yes, he is clever and witty and comes up with amazing poems, just like many other poets, but there is something relatively different from his work, if we were to compare. Christian seems to take on huge challenges that others would quickly disregard or label ‘too hard’.

His friends and fellow poets were probably a huge influence on him and his drive to do what he does. Micah Lexier, a Canadian artist collaborated with Bök to produce this piece of art, that was displayed on a window of a store in Toronto.

I’ve said this at the beginning of this investigation, and I’ll say it again. Christian Bök is an amazing Canadian poet.

Angela Rawlings

Angela Rawlings graduated from the University of York to become a well-known Canadian poet, editor and multidisciplinary artist. She successfully published her first book Wide slumber for lepidopterists, which proceeded to win the Alcuin Award for Design and was nominated for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. She worked with Derek Beaulieu and Jason Christie to co-edit the book Shift & Switch: New Canadian Poetry, and has also co-produced On the Money for Toronto’s Fringe Festival.

Being an avid researcher in sound, text and movement, you can clearly tell Angela is performing all three components in this video with her partner Maja Jantar. She and Maja have done much collaboration together, performing for audiences at Ryerson University and many other schools.

Wanting to know what Angela Rawlings was up to now, I spotted this quick interview with her and Kate Greenstreet, where Angela announced that she was with a group of brilliant performing artists. She states to have begun the process of ‘translating the text’s content, structure, and white space into choreography, sound score, and light plots’. She and her partners are set for Toronto events at Nuit Blanche and Harbourfront Centre’s Hatch: Emerging Performance Projects.

After reading all of the collaborations and partnerships Angela had in her past, I believe it is fair to say that her inspiration greatly comes from these people. Her friends and fellow partners have had a great impact on her life and studies. Maja Jantar, like her, has studied sound and text. Derek Beaulieu and Jason Christie have played with poetry for quite some time, and have obviously inspired Angela even more. Rawlings was great performing on her own, but exceptional with others.

Like many other sound artists, a. rawlings has a way with words. (Oh God that was terrible).
Her voice is clear, and crisp yet she adds something more to her compositions. When performing, you see movement. Not just the movement of her lips, but her whole body. She does not only make you hear the words, but see them as well.

John Cage

When being assigned to research John Cage, I knew it was going to be a learning experience. This linked proved just that.
While reading, I was intrigued by the audience’s reaction to listening to 4’33”. Cage himself said “People began whispering to one another, and some people began to walk out. They didn’t laugh — they were just irritated when they realized nothing was going to happen, and they haven’t forgotten it 30 years later: they’re still angry.”

4’33”s performance was considered ‘going too far’ for some people. But surely watching a man sit still in front of a piano for nearly 5 minutes isn’t that traumatic. Right?

Curious to see how the audience responded to this piece, I went onto Youtube to watch a live performance. I was expecting to see the audience’s facial reactions, but unfortunately this video only showed the ‘performer’ of the piece, so I proceeded to read the comments below.

I was baffled by all the hatred directed at this piece, but I read on, looking for any comment that would stick out to me. Besides the hate comments, I also read a lot of funny comments, such as “The best moment was at 2:08.” These comments lead me to believe that the audience just didn’t understand the reasoning behind this piece, which, in turn lead me to wonder why?

Why was the piece not explained to the audience before it occurred? There would still be sound music right? Why not just tell them and avoid all this frustrated confusion?

But then again, how would you explain this piece anyways? What would you say? John Cage studied sound. He visited an anechoic chamber at Harvard University in order to hear silence- but never did not accomplish that objective. He heard two sounds, his nervous system and his blood circulating.”Try as we may to make a silence, we cannot,” he wrote. And that’s what he wanted to show while playing 4’33”.

From talking to an Indian girl about the purpose of music, to studying Buddhism for eighteen months, John Cage constantly found questions and answers regarding sounds and silence. He was not the ‘creator’ of 4’33”, but merely a contender.

Enter Title Here… haha no just kidding

This is my Tumblr link. You can follow me if you’d like… but you probably wont… I tend to reblog utter nonsense. But then again, that’s what Tumblr is for anyways, isn’t it?

I’d write more to explain this link, but I’m drawing a blank. Just bear with me while I get this blog under control, okay? XD