Webhamster Henry's Top 10 Imaginary Sound Events of 2013
- Kick Out the Jams, Motherfracker! (Frack Language: 2013)
Frackcore funk ! All sounds derived from fracking drills and pumps.
- Atomic! (Fab Lab Language: 2013)
Nanotechnology boffins have succeeded in creating a tiny music box, with an RNA-like molecule encoding the music.
Sound is not produced because its movement is smaller than air molecules, but nevertheless,
magnetic perturbations are picked up and pitch shifted down to an audible rate.
- Night of 1000 Bell Lyres, 2013, (Event: 2013)
Organized by Raisa Orleans, this was an event where bell-lyre marchers from all across the country
met up for an astounding 3 mile march in downtown Charleston, WV last December.
It was an attempt for a little viral video attention, as a part of a mountain removal protest.
Anyone beside me see it? It did not quite get the turnout it deserved.
- Singing Secrets 2004 (Private issue)
I'm a big fan of Industrial Musicals, and so I was pleased to find this one, passed on as
part of the haul of goodies revealed by Edward Snowden. Yes, that's right, not only
Powerpoint slides, but the NSA used an internally produced musical to introduce PRISM
and other surveillance programs to its agents and hard-to-impress members of Congress.
Emphasis cuts are: "He Said, She Said", "Cast a Wide Net", and "Who Knows? We Knows!"
- Emergence: 2013, (Sick Ada: 2013)
This viral audio file purported to be the sound of a hoard of cicadas slowed down into a
beautiful choral piece, lightly augmented with synthetic strings. But enthusiasts specializing in obscure recordings
discovered that it was clearly based on a slowed down version of a recording the 1967
Willard P. Claflin High School chorus's annual Christmas concert, which had pressed a
track of them warming up with some variations on Carl Orff exercises.
- The Pep Minute pepminute.com (Lila Numbus: 2013)
Experiments on human speech perception have shown the brain can digest up to 800 words per minute if they are the right words.
The Pep Minute team take current news stories, re-write them according to those perceptional rules,
record them, and then speed them up to the limit of intelligibility. It's also underscored with a kind of a drone,
that soothes the ear during this assault. What you end up with is a dream-like impression of what you just heard,
with many, many details fresh in your mind.
I also suspect some of these stories have a hidden agenda; I'll have to capture some of these streams.
- Is it over? A collection of Not Listening Pieces (Not Listening Space: 2013)
What is music? Up until now, it's more or less been defined as organized sound.
John Cage extended this with the recognition that the act of listening itself organizes sound.
Well, the folks at Not Listening Space
have taken that a step further: not even paying attention organizes sound.
This is a collection of text instructions by Odine Polly Ferris, which you are encouraged not to read or interpret in any way.
It's my guess, not having read the book myself, that you were actually participating in a Not Listening Space piece
right up until the moment you read about it here.
- Solid Music (100 House: 2013)
At the end of the cement era in Rosendale, NY about 80 years ago, an attempt was made to
create a radically different use for the famed Rosendale Hydraulic cement: a huge, water
powered organ with cement pipes. It was built so that when the waters of the Rondout Creek
rose, it would force air through the pipes and make a kind of intense, deep moan, like the whistling
of a giant's tea kettle. After a few years, it was found to be destabilizing the Rosendale Trestle,
so it was plugged up and silenced. Until 2011, when it was uncovered by Hurricanes Irene and Lee,
which washed away a century of brush and partly unplugged the D,Eb, F, F#, and Bb. So now,
the Cement Organ can be heard again,
- The Radiator Factory Concerts (Summer 2013)
Last June, I was surprised to receive a box containing three candle snuffers, and the next day, a small package of crow quill nibs.
Over the following weeks, more items which would not have been out of place 100 years ago were sent to me by mail.
Trolley tokens. A program from the Metropolitan Opera from 1919. A sheaf of engraved stationary.
A fragment of a ripped poster was included in each package,
and when reassembled, it was an invitation to a series of events in the abandoned - and not really restored - Radiator Factory in Red Hook.
Appearing at an appropriate hour, and bearing one of the posted tokens, and supplying a small donation, granted me entrance last summer to
a series of shows featuring a strange mashup of chamber music, steampunk synthesis, beat poetry, and nihilistic experimental performance pieces from the 70s and 80s.
Among the delights:
- Three phonographs continuously playing Balinese pop music on original shellac
- An Aeolian harp on fire
- A contact microphone in a nutcracker
- Actual steam-empowered radiators hissing and thumping
- An amplified drawing table
- A choral reading of the Laws of Zoning and Planning
- A game where people holding mirrors bounced light to each other
- A recumbent piano, to be played lying on your back
- The Classical Elements (A Few Q , 2013)
Symphonic music composed for the natural music of the five classical elements,
All played in "classical Greek dress" with masks.
- Fire: pyrophone, self exciting tubes of fire
- Water: hydraulophone, a water organ
- Earth: lithophone, a marimba of tuned stones
- Air: aerophones, pan pipes and bull roarers
- and Aether (Quintessence): aetherophone, a theremin in this case