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Sound:space


"Technology does not serve so much as modify; it simultaneously promises and threatens change."
(Steve McCaffery)

I've been reading scattershot about sound and music and space.

I am especially intrigued by the idea of low frequency sounds in Gothic churches. Low frequency sounds (bass) immerses the participant more than high frequency sounds due to a lack of origin. In the gothic church the acoustics emphasized low frequency sounds without a direct point of origin (circum nowhere centre everywhere etc.) A much more communal experience.

This contrasts with the concert performance. We have an orchestra (or whatever) separated from the spectators and with a point of origin.

This concept of low frequency versus high frequency also resonates with today's home stereo:

"Home stereo privileges low frequency (bass effects) which have longer wavelengths and less influenced by diffraction. These sounds are spatially directionality and difficult to localize as a specific sound source. They are of the nature of floating signifiers producing their own acoustic environment instantly and placing a listener within it." (Steve McCaffery writing about Marshall McLuhran)

Does the ipod connect back to the concert performance on an even smaller scale? A personal space rather than a communal experience? The marketing, for various reasons, certainly emphasizes extreme individuality. While I enjoy my ipod, I do wonder if it robs us of some aspects of a communal experience?

The internet is another consideration in terms of sound/space.

The fusion of pun and music (of which Joyce is the master) is "a chordal resonance of a contradiction" and a "polyphony of indecision."

Since the pun connects to music and time connects to space how does the pun connect to space? In other words, what are the spatial dynamics of a pun?

With constant sound around us, the ipod (and the car stereo if the windows are up?) creates a limited kind of freedom of choice. A way to block out the beeping truck and listen to the hot new music of Interpol etc.

I use the ipod as a private listening space mostly in bed before I fall asleep (I like to dream with words rather than images) and the blue hour (2:30PM-4:00PM). At other times I want either silence (which has become a commodity in itself) or a house filled with sound without a localized point of origin (music from various speakers filling the house, the sound of the voice inside my head as a I read, the sound of my vocalized voice as I read, the sound of people walking the hallway next door, the sounds of my cats as they snore, scratch, and speak etc.)

I am also interested in the moving pictorial frame. Like the concert hall as a mostly static interchange with a point of origin, the gallery with framed pictures offers a kind of limited experience. As many have suggested, this differs from the early paintings on cave walls which were closer to movies than the static pictorial form. The light from the fire in the cave made the pictures move, change (much like the light from a projector).

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