Webhamster Henry's Top 10 Imaginary Sound Events of 2020
This is a Special All COVID-19 home project edition of the Imaginary Sound Events.
In den finsteren Zeiten In the dark times -
Wird da auch gesungen werden? Will there also be singing?
Da wird auch gesungen werden. There will also be singing:
Von den finsteren Zeiten. About the dark times.
-- B. Brecht
- The Shut-in Bull Ironing Bored (YouTube 2020)
Stuck at home with so much laundry, Alison Ferris got tired of the same old same old vinyl she had in the house, and so decide to sacrifice a copy of Whipped Cream and Other Delights by ironing out the grooves. As a result, the needle had the propensity to skittle from track to track, and of the surviving tracks, the Lonely Bull mutated into the most listenable groove. It helps that in this video you can imagine that she is dressed only in whipped cream, even though you only see her arm.
- Shout Out at 7 Leah Nought (YouTube 2020)
A kind of tradition popped up during the quarantine: Noisemaking at 7PM, supposedly to honor people who were putting their lives on the line in health care and support services. Some hooligans took it on themselves to shout out their own agendas, and this collection, culled from YouTube, shows the depths of narcissism and ignorance revealed under stress.
- Covered-19 Covered-19 group (YouTube 2020)
Having shared musical experiences became challenging this year, and maintaining distance as an audience, even more so. The Covered-19 group put together a series of performances where the nineteen members of the audience, carefully prepped, are buried in shallow graves (appropriately distanced, faces masked, with short tubes for air) at the beach, and when all are resting in peace, low frequency drones, difference tones, and occasional spikes are broadcast to them though similarly buried speakers. It's a kind of sound, but not transmitted through the air. I'm happy to report that there were no casualties.
- Stairway pBalloon (Bandcamp 2020)
Not only can't bands get together to play, cover bands can't get together to play. pBaloon - a Led Zeppelin / Super Mario World cover band, managed to Zoom together the band to play the overplayed guitar classic Stairway To Heaven on balloons. Some filled with air, some with helium, some with ... well, you have to see the video to believe it.
- Does Anybody Know What Time It Is? Quarantime (Soundcrowd 2020)
Being locked indoors for days at a time has definitely fiddled with peoples' internal clocks. The dates and times provided in synch with the rest of the world seem to make less and less sense. Quarantime was a project for people to call in and, after a short quiz, they'd be told what time it is by a "Tempista". So what's the "Sound Event" angle here? There was a security leak of the phone transactions "recorded for quality purposes", which normally wouldn't be a big deal, except they got picked up and repurposed in an ad campaign for Earline, a service that waits in virtual line for you when you are on hold.
- Shabbat Around the Clock Bet haOlam (online event May 15 2020)
Every Friday at sundown, it's the start of Shabbat. But sundown progresses around the earth, so this event traces the Friday sundown from the International dateline for a full 24 hours, as it crosses into Zoom-ified services around the world.
- You're on Mute Supercut Hear Me Out (YouTube 2020)
Bored office worker Hear Me Out was in charge of archiving all the office meetings, and in their idle time, put together this superb supercut. It's 25 minutes long.
- Off the Grid, off the Staff The Posted Modern Music project
Locked in, zoomed out musicians craving collaboration just want to unplug. Taking a cue form James Tenney's postcard pieces, and hoping to help support the embattled U. S. Postal system, a group of musicians started a series chain-letters requesting revisions and additions to a series of graphic scores. All summer long, the hand-copied music made its way around the country in an ever evolving off-grid musical literacy experiment. The only rule is that the turn around time had to be two postal days or less.
- So Quiet I Could Just Utubica, NY
Many people were surprised to learn that when the noisy busy-ness of commuting was shut off, a city has actual natural sounds of its own. With windows open to increase air circulation, the buildings themselves acted like Helmholtz resonators, emitting infrasonic moans. The quieter sounds of the natural world, squirrels, pigeons, mourning doves, as well as the wind whistling around manufactured grates, lampposts, and flagpole wires opened up a new and subtle soundscape, almost like a city of ASMR.
But not in Utica. The short tempered residents couldn't stand the quiet, and the days and nights were punctuated with screaming, dog barking, pan whacking, and turned up amplifiers. Since they couldn't go anywhere, there was no easy resolution to the cacophony. This being 2020, much of it showed up live-streamed on YouTube under the account Utubica.
- 2020: The Musical The Cast Pod's Podcast, on going
2020 was live tweeted and retweeted, TikTocked and 8channed with an ever-growing brushfire of unquestioned questionable content, hyperbole, cancelling, and self-satire, and buried under it all was actual ground truth of body jenga in hospital parking lots, wedding parties decimated as if by our own drones, the loss of an entire infrastructure of lowly paid workers forced into unreasonably risky labor, side effects from the lack of ICU beds, and so much more.
So is anyone dealing with this? Yes indeed! 2020: The Musical is a podcast that adds a little bit of song whenever possible from the safely podded "Pod" and her cast, consisting of a husband "PaPod", and preteen "Podling". Making do with whatever musical resources they come up with at home, the Cast gathered quite a large deserved following as they performed musical expressions culled from the day's news with home styled flair. The "Let's Put On A Show" is strong with these ones!