Posts by: John Roach

Tony Oursler: Imponderable

Tony Oursler: Imponderable

Tony Oursler’s Imponderable (2015–16) offers an alternative depiction of modernism that reveals the intersection of technological advancements and occult phenomena…
Dear Architects: Sound Matters

Dear Architects: Sound Matters

Here is an article by Michael Kimmelman about our relationship to sound in the spaces we inhabit.http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/12/29/arts/design/sound-architecture.htmlhttp://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/12/29/arts/design/sound-architecture.html
Behaves So Strangely

Behaves So Strangely

For those of us who have trouble staying in tune when we sing, Deutsch has some exciting news. The problem might not be your ears, but your language. She tells us about tone languages, such as Mandarin and Vietnamese, which rely on pitch to convey the meaning of a word. Turns out speakers of tone languages are exponentially more inclined to have absolute (AKA ‘perfect’) pitch. And, nope, English isn’t one of them. 

Musical Illusions

Musical Illusions

Ready to hear some trippy stuff? Check out these audio illusions from Diana Deutsch (of Sometimes Behaves So Strangely fame).…

The microphone alters listening. The mere comparison between how our ears listen and how the microphone picks up sounds in the environment, brings alerted awareness to the soundscape. Not only the recordist’s listening is intensified, often also that of people witnessing the microphone’s presence. It creates an occasion and new significance of a place. Sometimes…

– Hildegard Westerkamp – Linking Soundscape Composition and Acoustic Ecology

Luc Ferrari – Presque Rien avec Filles

The conceit behind the 1989 edition of Luc Ferrrari’ “Presque Rien Avec Filles” is that a concealed composer/photographer records some girls having a picnic. If that sounds potentially passive and prurient, it ends up being neither. The opening nature sounds are soon elbowed aside by isolated words and exhalations, which are in turn blasted by bursts of a very late ’80s-sounding drum machine.

Chris Watson – El Tren Fantasma – El Divisadero

Using archive and field recordings, Chris Watson recreates a passenger ride across the country on a line that no longer exists. It’s been more than a decade since the last service operated by the Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México (FNM). Watson spent a month on board one of the trains as a sound recordist working with a film crew documenting a BBC TV series on Great Railways Journeys. The atmospheres captured with sensitive microphones in the country reveal the environment at its most open, intimate and natural setting. An additional post-production of looping train samples, turns this mere field recording into a mesmerizing trip. This is more than just a sound portrait lifted off a television show. Watson composes a cinematic narrative bringing the listener (and the observer) into a setting unattainable alone.

Tremulously I stand in the subways, absorbed into the terrible reverberations of exploding energy. Fearful, I touch the forest of steel girders loud with the thunder of oncoming trains that shoot past me like projectiles. InertI stand, riveted in my place. My limbs, paralyzed, refuse to obey the will insistent on haste to board the train while the lightning steed…

– Helen Keller – From My Later Life
So you want to talk about squid?

So you want to talk about squid?

Here's a good example of the way that language can be manipulated to tweak intelligibility and meaning. [audio m4a="https://portfolio.newschool.edu/sound/files/2016/09/allaboutsquid-yleno4.m4a"][/audio] All About…

BOOK OF SOUND – CAPITAO MUSICAL

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