Webhamster Henry's Top 10 Imaginary Sound Events of 2015
- Fridge Concerto (Land of the Frost 2015)
On the tarp-strewn stage of the Elkhorn Center for the Arts, 15 freezers, laden with ice were simultaneously defrosted with the aid of boiling water, turkey basters, ice picks, palette knives and other tools, following a graphic score by Land of the Frosts' Ciro Celsius.
- Dirty Pots and Pans (Ω mani pad me Ω 2015)
Quentin Reed built an electronic instrument with dirty potentiometers (pots) and sliders (pans) to make a kind of dirty pot drum machine. Pairs of levers and a gear train allow him to beat out a rhythm with ordinary drumsticks. A saltshaker is included to add crunchiness.
- Acoustic Modular Synthesis (device 2015)
Makers hoping to out-primitive the analog synth reboot crowd have come up with this: a purely acoustic, non electronic synthesizer! It runs completely on pneumatics, either from an upcycled pump organ bellows or a water tank, and rotational energy from a water mill, gramophone motor, or hamster treadmill. It creates oscillators (with blown reeds, pipes, auto-plucked strings, tines, and bowed sticks), envelopes (with complicated leather linkages), filters (with bladders, custom formed pipes, and baffles), reverbs (with springs and membranes). Sirens create other waveforms that are pumped to new modules via plastic hoses. The final sound is often pretty quiet and must be experienced through a stethoscope.
Umm, I'm actually doing this one.
- Elements of Music (Ancient Chemistry, Inc. devices, 2015)
These eurorack compatible modules pass audio through earth (modulating an hourglass-like device), water (passing it through bubbles), fire (modulating a gas flame), air (passing through a rough tube).
- Marriage is a Drag Soundtrack (Barabee McCann, film soundtrack 2015)
It was a great year for marriage in the US, with a whole, previously excluded subculture let into the game. This short film boasts an innovative supercut of cans, shoes and other objects being dragged behind vehicles as a marriage tradition. The soundtrack mixes together these celebratory drags.
- Get It Down On Paper (Papyrus Got A Brand New Bag, 2015)
Bringing new meaning to "shredding", Papyrus brings on the funk with all paper instruments: beating, ripping, flipping, crunching, burning!
- Nice Twerk, If You Can Get It! (iTeePee, 2015)
Apprentice boffins at NYU's ITP have repurposed a Kinect to track twerking. Add drum machine, sequencer. You've probably seen the YouTube video.
- Old Zip Tunes (YKK Sales 1971)
I love Industrial Musicals, and this one from zipper manufacturer YKK is a doozy! With credit to Raymond Scott, who figured out how to put a separate voltage on each zipper tooth, turning each zipper into a miniature sequencer, controlling one of his classic bleepy-bloop synthesizer modules.
- Reveille DJ Trumpy-Trump 1992/2015
The Trumpet Summons Us Again - but this time, it's Donald Trump, blowing "Reveille" his own trumpet in a much-circulated outtake from a Republican fundraiser in the early 1990s, remixed by DJ Trumpy-Trump, autotuned with lyrics from The Donald's most provocative pronouncements.
- Jingle Generator Service (jingle-o-matic.com)
Now that ads can be generated to match your perceived browsing habits, the ads presented must vie for your attention with the content you actually want to see. jingle-o-matic is a cloud-based API that will create a precisely timed and cued jingle for both your ad content and the recipient. The Internet mashing of a singing telegram, a snoopy neighbor, and golden age of advertising earworms. Sung in the synthesized voice of Jake Holmes!