Webhamster Henry's Top 10 Imaginary Recordings of 2006
  1. For Children Only: Sting Labs (Anopheles, 2006)
    The giddy realization that adults can't really hear sound above 15KHz or so makes this all digital treat literally unlistenable. Some of these have turned up as ringtones. Most of the time, if you see a bunch of kids gyrating in the street in rhythm, you can blame these guys.
  2. Hair Duet, Danny G. (reality reissues, 1969/2006)
    Left channel: Mom at the hairdresser's. Right channel: Dad at the barber shop. It's 1969.
    A kind of sociological counterpoint.
  3. The Angler, Volume 1. DVD (Anglervision 2006)
    Here is a kind of Exercices de style in audio: 99 different soundtracks to a simple 1 minute video shot.
    You'd be surprised.
  4. Meditative food preparation (GoodLife 2001)
    This is an instructional CD for use in the popular GoodLife organic restaurant chain to train the bad habits out of the kitchen staff that they may have picked up from other establishments. I think a few moments of breathing improves your chopping technique!
  5. Pro Skating , Anti Skating (Rinkydink 2006)
    Stuart Kreskin rigged his sister Karla's figure skates with a contraption that trails some old turntable cartridges behind each skate in a stiff frame. A she practices her routine, the signals from the cartridges are transmitted to 6 separate recorders and mixed down, left skate on the left, right skate on the right and her skating music (left and right, out of phase) mixed center. The sound gets progressively choppier as the smooth surface is scored by her act.
  6. VLHA test: 1962 (Clandestiny 2006)
    The Very Large Hearing Apparatus was a kind of Arecibo telescope for sound: similarly built into a mountainside for stability, a series of cones , the largest 50 meters in diameter, carefully calibrated and phased to pick up ultra low frequency sound, emanating from sources hundreds of miles away, and from deep within the ground. Because sound doesn't travel in a straight line, you could detect , say, a missile before it came over the horizon. But because it was situated in Alaska, it picked up lots of really low and long whale conversations. The device was totaled in the 1964 Good Friday earthquake. Sped up to human audio frequencies.
  7. Lev's Resonant Head Installation (Earation Gallery, June 2006)
    Not a recording, but an unique sound installation by Lev Ukhovsky. You sit in a chair with your head in a kind of a box with openings for your ears. Out of sight, two huge wheels are rotating, with the edge of each wheel near the other side of the listening holes. These edges on each wheel are carefully carved to varing depths, causing the natural resonance of the space near each ear to change dynamically. Thus it's partly perceived as sound, partly as something more limbic.
  8. CH304X Chemistry for the Blind (Tiresias Learning Systems, 1966)
    This is apparently one of a series of educational records for the blind, teaching subjects that usually rely on heavy use of diagrams or other visual aids. Basic chemistry is taught here using a remarkable sonic metaphor: each element is introduced with its own musical motif, and molecules become short exercises in counterpoint. Chemical reactions result in differing motifs exchanging base lines and harmonies. Completely fascinating, "educational," and a little insane.
    There's one on English grammar I'd like to find.
  9. My Science Project, by Anonymous (Bielecki Techy 2006)
    Send a high frequency pulsed laser into a vibrating mirror to spread the beam, aim across the street, focus reflections of all the windows on a cadmium cell, band filter at the laser's frequency and demodulate. Voila! Every window acts like a microphone, you hear an entire side of a building. Would have won the Science Fair, but actually shut down by the Secret Service.
  10. Buzz Me! (Carlton Project, 2006)
    Another apartment life project: 10 lobby intercom systems were tapped and fed into speaker arrays. This is a live recording of a particularly busy stretch of deliveries, wrong addresses, homecomings and pleas to be let in.