2014 ENGL 3536 Sound Archive
1. Jimi Hendrix's performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner," from Woodstock.
- We discussed this on the first day of class. Right now I'm adding it so you can see one of the ways you can post things to this archive. It's simply a video link to YouTube. If you want to add commentary to this--whether it's from our class discussion or new thoughts you've had about it--feel free.Note that I've added a number to it; that's simply a start toward helping you think about how to keep this archive organized as it expands.
- Here is the video I mentioned briefly in class last Thursday. I am interested to see how it compares to older informative/safety videos, especially considering our previous discussions of "forced listening." Does this video's singing and dancing encourage passengers to listen more closely than older forms, or does its fun arrangement detract from the severity of the message?--Mdamore1 20:13, 5 March 2014 (EST)
- I thought this video was a useful contribution given the assigned readings about sound in the city. This video should be particularly relevant because NYC is the nearest metropolitan area that we have all visited and experienced. Michael Buble gathers with a group of singers to entertain subway travelers with an a cappella version of a song off his latest album. How does this performance without instruments support/refute our understandings of what "music" is/isn't? I imagine his positive reception is based not only in his talent, but also his celebrity. Presumably, the situation would be different if he were a lowly street performer playing for spare change.--Mdamore1 20:13, 5 March 2014 (EST)
- While standing against a wall in the Secaucus train terminal, I saw a mural with this blurb behind me. I found it worth saving and sharing with the class for several reasons. First, the blurb shows how sound signifies industry; we know people are working—that society as a whole is functioning—when its many sounds are audible. Second, the blurb also shows that, conversely, the absence of sound is “eerie,” as an almost apocalyptic stillness had “enveloped the land.” And third, the blurb shows just how noisy the sounds of industry are, reminding us of Julian West’s need to sleep underground (notice the year of the blizzard: 1888). --Kstevens7 18:49, 14 February 2014 (EST)
- Jennifer Stoever-Ackerman’s “Splicing the Sonic Color-Line” discusses how Tony Schwartz aurally documents 1950’s New York. While reading Stoever-Ackerman’s essay I wondered, who is documenting today’s city’s sounds? Then I read this sentence: “Schwartz’s choice to fade [a West Side woman’s] voice out while she is still talking mirrors her marginalization within the system; by tuning her out, like her landlord, Schwartz suggests that she has only begun to expose the horrors of her building” (76). The description instantly reminded me of Kendrick Lamar, who uses a similar studio effect on his magnificent 2012 album, Good Kid, m.A.A.d city. Lamar’s album captures the pervasive violence of his hometown Compton, and while he does not use (I think) sounds from the actual streets of Compton, the album is such an intense experience that one can imagine the chaos of Compton’s streets—and the hopelessness they engender. I wanted to call the album’s most epic song to our attention, “Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst,” mainly because of its editing strategies: the first persona Kendrick takes on says “And if I die before your album drop, I hope” before three gun shots shoot him down, abruptly ending his verse with the ironic word “hope.” Similarly, on the second verse, Kendrick (personifying another character) repeats “I’ll never fade away” before his voice gradually, in fact, fades away. I find this song absolutely devastating because it depicts how frequently young lives pass in Compton; as a man expresses his hopes for the future, he is shot down, brutally and abruptly. Lamar’s song documents voices that disappear before they can be fully heard. Moreover, it explains the widespread feeling of futility in Compton—since the only constants there, it seems, are tragic—and, by the song’s end, shows that this systemic violence can only be cleansed by Christ. --Kstevens7 20:10, 14 February 2014 (EST)
- In one of my discussion posts, I already mentioned Sounding Out, an online, peer-reviewed publication dedicated to sound studies. But I want to call this specific series, "Sounds of the City," to everyone's attention because it so closely relates to the issues we've been discussing in class. The series considers the relationship between urban spaces and noise and asks questions like, "Are cities as noisy as we think they are? Why are cities described as 'loud'? Who makes these decisions about nomenclature and why?" The first post considers sound and space in A Raisin in the Sun, while the most recent discusses the Michael Dunn "loud music" case, where Dunn (a white man) shot Jordan Davis (a black teen) in a gas station after demanding that he turn down the volume of his "thug music" (rap). --Kstevens7 12:01, 17 February 2014 (EST)
- Just a quick post before class. Last week I stumbled upon this performance by Bruno Mars with his brother and father in PR. It is only fitting that Mars, being partly of Puerto Rican decent, play something with a bit of flava'. With the concept of the "sound color line" in mind, I began to wonder if artists like Mars (latino, but file under the pop genre), feel pressured to keep to pop music in order to be relevant here on the mainland. Another example I could think of would be JLo. She has sang plenty in Spanish, but is probably more widely known for her pop music. -CS
- I thought of the play “Krapp’s Last Tape” by Samuel Beckett earlier in the semester when our readings centered on sound reproduction, but was reminded of it again this week while reading Stoever-Ackerman’s essay “Reproducing U.S. Citizenship in Blackboard Jungle: Race, Cold War Liberalism, and the Tape Recorder” for obvious reasons. Many of you have probably read this play, but just to quickly summarize, it is a one-act play performed by only one actor who uses a tape player to listen and respond to old recordings of himself talking at different times in his past. The link above will start the video at a point in the play where Krapp is listening to a younger version of himself reflecting on an even earlier time in his life and the fact that his annual recording session is rather “gruesome.” I chose to post this play in the archive because the tape recorder is an interesting device both within the plot and in the actual performance. Krapp preserves pieces of himself through these tapes, enabling him to witness his own evolution and decline into deeper sadness. A piece of technology is capable of raising questions about humanity, like who we are as people and how we change over time. The reality of acting out this play is also fascinating to me. The actor must record parts of his performance ahead of time, then interact with himself on stage, creating multiple characters out of one person. The eerie recordings combined with the bare stage and dark lighting create a haunting atmosphere for the audience, paralleling what the character is feeling. We almost forget he is not talking to another person, but to himself, effectively portraying his loneliness. The tape recorder is a seemingly simple piece of technology, but as we see here and in this week's readings, it can have significance in many different contexts. -Laura C.
- Here's an interesting video of James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem and his idea to turn an ugly, yet quintessential NYC noise into something potentially beautiful. -CS
- Eulogy for Evolution is an album by Olafur Arnalds that puts music to the idea of evolution. The album itself starts off with songs that have very few instrumentation and contain simple melodies. The link I have added is the end of the album where Arnalds incorporates traditional orchestral instruments and adds in modern rock instruments to juxtapose the simplicity of the earlier songs. This particular piece excerpted starts to blur the sound/noise line and becomes almost difficult to listen to. Although I have only added this one song, the entire album really needs to be listened to from start to finish (in numerical order) to get the entire feeling of Arnalds' interpretation of evolution and how each moment in time would have sounded. - Holly C.
- This might be kind of out there (no space pun intended), but the role of sound in this movie has always stood out to me and seems even more significant with this class in mind. In short, the film is about aliens coming to Earth and the scene I’ve posted shows government officials/other experts communicating with the aliens through a sequence of tones that had been implanted in certain people’s minds during an earlier visit from the extraterrestrials. I think it’s relevant to our class because even though it is a fictional scenario, it deals with questions about how sound can be a method of communication and a signifier of difference – or similarities. It’s interesting how these mysterious, possibly threatening creatures from outer space communicate with humans through musical sounds; it is apparently a concept that both groups have an understanding of. I looked into it and found that the man doing hand signals is using Curwen hand signs that correspond to the solfege syllables (do-re-mi-fa-sol-la-ti). When the humans and aliens come face to face, these signals are kindly exchanged by both parties without the accompanying tone. The tones and their signals, used together or alone, serve as a common language, which I think makes sense. In reality, sound and music are often capable of overcoming linguistic, and even cultural/racial/etc., boundaries. -Laura C.
- This article describes one person's struggles suffering from a little-known phobia called misophonia, which means the hatred of sound. For thirty years "seemingly harmless sounds" like the clicking of a pen have made the writer, Vicky Rhodes, feel threatened, bringing her body into a panic: "My body reacts in the same way as it would under attack: I am flooded with adrenaline. It is as if I were in the same room as a huge, fierce dog. I am unable to focus on anything but my terror." I thought this article was appropriate to post for several reasons: it is not only news, I imagine, to many of us (myself included) but also an extreme instance of sounds as disruptive. Additionally, Rhodes mentions the next topic we will discuss, deafness, explaining that "Some sufferers wish themselves deaf, but I don't." This phobia thus ties several themes of our class together--sound, noise, disruption, deafness--while also adding a scientific/medical angle to our humanities project. --Kstevens7 23:02, 28 February 2014 (EST)
- This is a long video because it is the full episode of Bill Nye's exploration of sound, but I thought this was interesting to include because it gives background to what this class is really about. For those science majors in the class, the video might be especially interesting. Bill explains how sound travels differently through different mediums (solids, water, air) and what different frequencies mean for the type of sound it produces. Understanding the science behind all these sound topics we discuss in class can give a different perspective from the literary side. In one portion of the video, they show a radiologist using ultrasound--she explains that this machine sends out echoes, and the computer converts the sound into picture (how crazy!) So, although not super relevant, I think this video is very interesting and produces some entertainment as well as flashbacks to childhood. -Catherine B.
- Mentioned in my Anthropology class was the idea that animals sound differently in other countries. I had no idea that this was a thing, but I guess it makes sense that just as people have different languages, animals have different sounds based on their geographical location. I found this video where people from various countries try to replicate what sounds certain animals make (dog, cat, cow, etc) and it was interesting to see how differently people of other countries hear animals that we hear in the United States. Hearing the same animal differently can be linked slightly to the argument of sound vs. noise. To one person, vibrations in the air can be heard as sound while another person could hear it as noise. What we hear is very subjectively and contextually influenced, just as the animal noises are influenced by context. - Catherine B.
- Marlee Matlin, along with Deanne Bray, is one of the leading deaf actors/actresses. In her interview with Robin Robert of ABC News, Matlin discusses the release of a complete episode of Switched at Birth (ABCFamily) in ASL with English subtitles. This is a historical moment because nothing like this has ever been attempted. Additionally, Matlin briefly mentions her experience of growing up in mainstream schools. Her advocacy efforts extend beyond the realm of television, as she mentions a school's rallying for a deaf president as well as the sign language app she helped create. She offers the inspirational quote that "deaf people can do everything but hear" - a short and sweet quote that packs a more profound social message. --Mdamore1 10:17, 7 March 2014 (EST)
- Here is a clip from the ASL episode mentioned above. Marley Matlin stars as the teacher in a signing only classroom. This clip is interesting in its own right, but also offers an exploration of "language," "hearing loss," and "community" that were mentioned in our class discussion of Keywords and the articles for the Flying Words Project. She discusses the baby's hearing test which labels a newborn as "failure." This leads into the prejudice of many hearing individuals that deaf individuals are "less than." I was especially taken by her question about who would be interested in a "grant me hearing overnight" type of pill. None of the students raise their hands to accept this supposed "cure" for deafness. I believe this illustrates the strength of the deaf community, as one student explicitly states "being deaf gives you friends anywhere you go." From her uplifting lecture, Matlin changes "hearing loss" to "deaf gain" which counters normative standards of people and language. --Mdamore1 10:17, 7 March 2014 (EST)
- I encountered this sound file in a Digital Creative Writing class last semester during our discussion of "experimental" sound files. The clip goes on for 15 minutes, although the phrase itself does not change, the sound of the words does. Lucier repeats the phrase "natural resonant frequencies of the room articulated by speech" and this is something that necessitates listeners' attention. As the sound track progresses, there are certain skips and stutters until the phrase is eventually swallowed up by reverberance, making the individual words nearly indistinguishable. I believe this exercise with digital editing (going back to the Schwartz files) teaches us to pay more attention to sound than making sense of word patterns. Sometimes, sound itself IS the message. --Mdamore1 10:17, 7 March 2014 (EST)
- I figured I would share this youtube video in light of our recent exposure to experimental poetry with the Flying Words Project. This video was taken from the USA Poetry Series by Richard O. Moore (1966). Just a little background: McClure considers himself a part of the "Beat generation" and the "San Francisco Renaissance" - whatever this may mean. He begins by speaking lines of poetry behind a potted plant with his mouth concealed. This disembodied voice complicates our sense of identity and associating a voice with a face; or watching someone's mouth move as the speak. Skip ahead to 2:10 and you will see McClure at the lions' cage. He begins by reading lines of his poetry. After this, he starts roaring at the lions, which causes them to roar and stand up and charge at the cage. I am curious to know what people think about how this sound file relates to our understanding of "performance" and "audience." Can the rich sound of this poem be translated to text successfully? --Mdamore1 10:17, 7 March 2014 (EST)
- This sound file fits more with our earlier discussion of "forced listening" and the sound trucks. Ideally, I had in mind a commercial in which the side effects are all blurred together in an indistinguishable manner, but this is the best I could find. It's interesting to note the musical buildup throughout the commercial as well as the steady, seemingly sympathetic voice of the female speaker. I am curious to the regulations in place for time spent on articulating side effects in the pharmaceutical industry. In this instance, it seems the speaker smoothly glosses over mention of "suicide" and "disease" as if to downplay their severity with her voice. --Mdamore1 10:17, 7 March 2014 (EST)
- After discussing how speaking the English language was viewed by many as integral to a national identity, I remembered the time when I saw a performance of West Side Story in 2009. The revival of the musical differs form the original performance that was discussed in the Laura Briggs article, "Reproducing Empire: Race, Sex, Science, and U.S. imperialism in Puerto Rico". One major point of contention with audience goers was the use of spanish for songs sung by members of the Puerto Rican gang. Many people who attended and reviewed the show were outraged by the use of spanish, seemingly because it alters Stephen Sondheim's lyrics, but also because the songs became unfamiliar. It is interesting that still today there is some sort of angst and anger directed towards altering the sound of something, even though the characters singing in Spanish is technically more accurate since that is their native language. -Holly C.
- I found this blog post that brings in another dimension to studying sound: real life consequences of the ability to hear being normative. The writer presents examples of deaf and hearing impaired individuals who have been brutalized or killed by the police because they were unable to hear and comply with their demands. The issue is complicated because officers cannot always take the time to establish things like whether a person is hearing or deaf, but that means that innocent, or at least nonviolent, people have died simply because it was assumed they could hear. One article linked in this post is about a man who tried to communicate to an officer during a traffic stop that he was deaf, but ended up with a broken nose. This caused the police department to hold training sessions for officers to better identify and handle deaf citizens, which seems like something that should be done in all training programs. - Laura C.
- After reading the articles in class pertaining to noise-canceling headphones and other noise canceling devices I became curious to see if there were any negative side effects and just more information in general. In this article I found, Dr. Andrew Weil, explains in his piece that he strongly recommends noise canceling devices. Unlike cellphones he explains, "oise-cancelling headphones do not emit low level radiation and do not pose any of the potential hazards that could stem from frequent use of a cell phone held next to the ear"(Dr. Andrew Weil). I found this piece interesting and thought it was worth sharing with the group.- LI
- I came across this article actually when I was looking online for recipes. Being that I love trying new food, and also love listening to music while I cook, this title caught my eye quickly. The article itself, which I won't give away completely, speaks about how different sounds will affect the way certain food tastes, based on "modulating taste". This means that if you are eating a certain food, such as the example they give chocolate, and listen to a low-pitched sound, the bitterness of the chocolate will become more apparent (Fleming). This fascinated me because I began to think about the cooking I've done myself how possibly the music I am listening to in the background could affect the outcome of my meal! This article is definitely worth a read. - LI
- Throughout this semester, my history Professor has made it a point to play different sounds from the period that we are studying from. This week's reading from Keir Keightley had me thinking about my every day interactions, and how my tuning out of the world via my headphones was something that I do quite often at school. Take for example the YouTube video above; this was a day during my history class where I had headphones in for most of the period before my Professor came to the podium to begin his lecture. I was so immersed in my own music, I did not realize that he was playing music from the 1920s era. I decided to take this video just to show that if I had been a little less aware, I would have missed the music my teacher was attempting to bring to me.
Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 EST @ 8:32 p.m.; LaurenMac7 (1)
- I stumbled upon this video browsing Reddit one day of a record player that has been modified to play the notes that tree rings would make if it were a piano record. I found the concept of using something as unnatural/technological as machinery to extract sound from where it would not naturally exist extremely interesting. The idea of taking something from nature that most resembles a record and creating an output of sound struck me as really creative and almost a little bit unsettling. It's a quick, 2 minute video--well worth the listen! -EE
- This commercial, titled "Hear What You Want," pairs nicely with Hagood's essay on noise cancelling headphones, since quarterback Colin Kaepernick tunes out, or silences, the unpleasant sounds of Seattle's fans. Notice how the Seattle fans are presented as uncivilized, even zombie-like, as they swarm and try to invade Kaepernick's bus. Once Kaepernick puts on his headphones, he creates a personal sanctuary impervious to his harsh environment (the cruel, screaming fans; the pouring rain). These aspects of the commercial support Hagood's thesis. However, unlike Hagood's average neoliberal traveler, Kaepernick is not white, while the majority of his critics in the commercial are. How does this fact counter, if at all, Hagood's assertions? --Kstevens7 23:04, 12 March 2014 (EDT)
- We learned about the difference between hearing and listening, where as listening requires special attention from the brain and hearing is just a consumption of public space through sound. Hearing can literally just invade your private space, where the attention is derived from, and thus noise is created when the notion of hearing becomes a distraction. Buzzfeed staff writer, Matt Stopera, spends an entire internet article, "65 Songs You Will Never Be Able To Listen To The Same Way Again", attaching better understanding of the origin of certain lyrics from a widespread of generations. Does a better understanding of the origins of certain lyrics and the connection with unfamiliar composers, force you as a listener to appreciate the song in a different way. In more simple words, do you as a listener hear/listen to the song differently when you understand it to a better extent? I know that in my opinion realizing that "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" as Stopera states, is in fact not about drugs but instead as a painting. This painted a different illustration of The Beatles and the time period that they were embedded in. ttaveras1 16:29, 13 March 2014 (EDT)
- Those interested in journalism may especially find Ted Gioia's scathing critique of modern mainstream music criticism worth a read. Gioia contends that music criticism has largely devolved into "lifestyle reporting," substituting thoughtful analyses of the sounds and structures of music for gimmicky and gossipy reports of celebrity culture. Asserting that "music journalism has retreated into a permanent TMZ-zone, where paparazzi and prattlers, not critics, set the tone," Gioia laments that lifestyle-driven criticism "poisons our aural culture." Gioia demands a cultural shift from gossip columns to serious music criticism, hoping that true musical talent can once again be celebrated by the masses and acknowledged by the national media. This well-written article raises many questions: first, is he right? Has music criticism degenerated? Does Gioia not credit the work of music websites like Pitchfork and Tiny Mix Tapes, among many others? Does Gioia subordinate cultural analyses to technical analyses of music? If so, is he wrong for doing so?--Kstevens7 20:25, 19 March 2014 (EDT)
- Fans of the National Football League (NFL) often complain of the league's long, convoluted rulebook and excessive penalties. What constitutes a legal tackle, block, or defensive play? It's often hard to tell, especially when the rules seem to be exercised arbitrarily. While the rules already in place are frustrating for fans, the NFL seeks to enforce a new rule that will make penalties like Unnecessary Roughness seem clear, straightforward, and uncontroversial. This rule involves not physical action but speech: a penalty for the use of the word "nigger," along with other racial slurs, though these have not been listed or emphasized. Under this rule, which has theoretically been in the rulebook under the umbrella term "Unsportsmanlike Conduct" but will be emphasized this upcoming season, teams will be penalized 15 yards if their player uses the racial epithet on the field. The Fritz Pollard Alliance (FPA), which monitors diversity in the NFL, has advocated for the eradication of the word from the NFL; as the head of FPA explains, "'We want this word to be policed from the parking lot to the equipment room to the locker room. Secretaries, PR people, whoever, we want it eliminated completely and want it policed everywhere.'" This controversial rule "policing" language raises a myriad of ethical questions: Why does the NFL emphasize one racial slur? Why should the league's predominantly white owners police the language of the league's predominantly black players? (70% of NFL players are black.) Does eliminating--or penalizing--the use of one word only heighten its power? What other words will be deemed worthy of a penalty? Despite the NFL being a physical game, we see the politics of sound nevertheless emerging in crucial ways. **One more note: James Weldon Johnson's discussion of this racial epithet could make for an interesting comparison (see p. 67) --Kstevens7 20:25, 19 March 2014 (EDT)
- “Dream House” is an ongoing exhibition in the city, described as a “collaborative Sound and Light Environment” created by composer La Monte Young and visual artist Marian Zazeela. The rooms of the exhibit, which contain some art installations, are colored by the artist’s light projections and filled with a soundscape created by Young. The soundscape causes the listener to hear different frequencies of sound depending on where they are and how they move within the space. By just reading about the sounds, it is hard to grasp what people actually hear while in the room, but one critic describes it as an experience that inspires “sincere self-reflection.” This suggests that the visitor does not hear mere “noise,” but rather some kind of sound that allows them to relax. I think it’s interesting that in a city with constant noise, people can retreat into a building to hear carefully engineered sound that has a different effect on them than the chaotic sounds outside. - Laura C.
31. Anechoic Chamber
- We’ve talked about how rare it is for anyone to experience true, complete silence and how silence is loud in its own way. Orfield Laboratories in Minnesota contains an “anechoic chamber,” a room that has no echo and registers at -9 decibels (as compared to 33 decibels for the average quiet bedroom at night). Most people who visit the chamber cannot stay very long because “as ears adapt to silence, the sounds of your heart beat, stomach, and lungs are your only reference, and it can be a very disorienting experience.” I came across this after looking at the last article I posted about the “Dream House,” so I wanted to put them both here as a comparison between seeking out controlled sound and subjecting oneself to almost unbearably loud silence. Ironically, the silence has a negative effect on the mind while the sound-filled Dream House is reported to inspire positive feelings. - Laura C.
- The song "Let It Go" from Disney's latest movie, "Frozen", as many people know has become a hit around the world. There are various versions of it released, having professionals to little kids sing the catchy song. I, myself being a fan of the song have searched for it on YouTube before and I happened to stumble on this version. This version by Christina Bianco, known for her impressions. I found this extremely interesting to see how she was able to change her voice from impersonating the original singer, Idina Menzel to other famous singers such as Demi Lovato. - LI
- The other day I went to the movies with my dad and when I was there I couldn't get over the fact of how loud the volume was. I couldn't understand if I was the only one thinking this, because my Dad has horrible hearing so I knew that wouldn't give me an accurate answer. I decided to do some research on this and found this article. It does a great job in breaking down, how humans take in loud sounds, if movie theaters are in control of the volume, and how loud is too loud. - LI
- I became interested in this idea because I live near an airport and hear planes go by everyday. In this article, I was not surprised to find out that the noise from airplanes can directly relate to peoples health. It states, "noise levels over 65 decibels are unsuitable for residential areas" and people who live near JFK Airport are exposed to noise higher then 65 decibels. It can lead to various health issues including strokes and heart attacks. - LI
- The youtube link I've posted is Nick Pitera, singing "A Whole New World" from Aladdin, both singing the male part and the female part. I found this piece to be extremely cool because Nick was able to change his voice completely to be a womans' voice. Nick is extremely talented and I thought it was worth sharing. - LI
- While reading Gustavus Stadler’s essay on phonograph recordings and lynchings, I looked around for some recordings from the 1890s to get a sense of the sounds described in the article. This recording is particularly relevant because it is an example of a “coon song,” which Stadler discusses as being popular for satisfying white fascination with black voices and dialects. This song is from 1894 and shows the low quality of sound recording that would not have been able to capture sounds outside of a studio setting -- it is virtually impossible that anything could have been captured in a massive crowd gathered for a lynching. The recording process as described by Stadler required very close proximity to the recording equipment, and even then, this is what it came out sounding like. More information on this clip and examples of others can be found here. - Laura C.
37. "Curing Cancer"
- This article explains a very cool thing they are doing with sound waves in the medical field. They are using a practice called High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) to treat cancer. This treatment uses a machine that gives off high frequency sound waves and focuses it to a specific part of cancer. The article says that some cancer cells die when the waves hit them. Although only used for small tumors, this new use for sound is incredible. - Catherine B.
- What you are about to watch is the current racial controversy on the Internet. Nick Cannon, a well known comedian who started off at Nickelodeon, is now a widely popular celebrity with shows such as "Wild 'n' Out" on MTV. He's now making a wave of news with his new persona. While some people may be offended by Cannon's seemingly harmless "whiteface" alter ego, Connor Smallnuts, others are laughing all the way to the record shop to buy his new album "White People Party Album", due out on the most appropriate date for an awesome prank, April Fool's Day. There is an incredible controversy going on throughout the Internet. People have been labeling Cannon as a racist, and insensitive. When going over last weeks material by James Weldon Johnson, the term and use of blackface immediately came to mind. When white people are impersonating black people, it is unacceptable in society. For example, Julianne Hough dressed up in an apparent blackface for her Halloween costume this past year, depicting the black woman named "Crazy Eyes" on the show Orange is the new Black. Yet, when individuals of color, such as Cannon, do the same thing but only for comedic effect, there is still outrage. From class discussion last week, and from the media covering a topic so unimportant such as this, there needs to be a happy medium when it comes to interpreting another race or ethnicity. Hough and Cannon were not deliberately attempting to offend anyone through their outright appearance, they were doing it for entertainment. At the same time, there are many sensitive people in the world, and if you're not careful, habits of the past can now become happenings of the present. Even if it is a joke, racism isn't cool.
Monday, March 31st, 2014 EST @ 2:49 p.m.; LaurenMac7 (2)
- While visiting the New York Botanical Gardens this past weekend, I was honored to be able to attend the Orchid Show. Because I knew that this week I would be presenting, I decided to take a video of the meditation pond as a performance similar to John Cage's. I was using the sounds of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, the pond, the plants, and the people around me to create the music that I experienced. In a sense, the Orchid Show was an art exhibit that was interpretive, but at the same time, gave you a concrete reality of the beauty and complexity of one species of flower. On the other side of the coin, the more relaxed and simplistic video of the pond above shows that not only can sound be distracting, it can also lead to a great discovery of self-meditation, reflection, and acceptance like Cage.
Monday, March 31st, 2014 EST @ 3:03 p.m.; LaurenMac7 (3)
- On my way to work on Friday afternoon, I stopped by Rough Trade NYC's exhibition to write an article for a website I work for, club planet.com. The installation was mind-blowing and included every type of machine capable of making the most interesting a catchy sounds that all DJs around the world use to compose their sets. This article, in and of itself, describes the experience I forgot to document because I was having such a fun time pushing all of the buttons. If this is the direction that music is heading, where everyone can literally "play a part", then I'm pretty excited for the future of sound in our culture.
Monday, March 31st, 2014 EST @ 3:11 p.m.; LaurenMac7 (4)
- This article (with supplemental video) is extremely cool if you like science...and even if you don't. The University of Tokyo uses four large speakers placed in a square shape to make an ultrasonic focal point. In this ultrasonic focal point, the scientists place tiny beads, which defy gravity by floating in the air; floating on the sound wave. According to the article, scientists have been experimenting with sound waves for a while, but what is different about this experiment is that it moves the objects in three dimensions. The way the Tokyo scientists achieved this extra movement was by using four speaker panels rather than speakers and plates (to bounce the waves off). To top it off, the sound waves used are out of human range of hearing, so the experiment operates in silence. - Catherine B.
- This post on an aesthetics blog briefly summarizes a longer article I read by sound artist Joe Banks called “Rorschach Audio: Ghost Voices and Perceptual Creativity,” which was published in MIT’s Leonardo Music Journal in 2001. You can download his essay here. Banks - who does not believe in the existence of ghosts or their voices at all - argues that EVPs (electronic voice phenomena, thought to be recordings of ghosts) hold significance in the realm of both psychology and art, as believers interpret the non-supernatural sounds they capture as words and disembodied human voices. The concept of “Rorschach Audio” applies to EVPs in that meaning is projected onto a sound, influencing other listeners who are expecting to hear something that cannot be easily dismissed as noise. It is very difficult to find legitimate, peer-reviewed articles like this that address parapsychology, but this one utilizes different studies in the fields of art and science to situate EVPs within a valid context. I think it also raises interesting questions about the relationship between “the unknown” and technology, like how to explain the presence of strange sounds in newer, advanced digital recordings where interference is not as much of a concern as it was when people used tape recorders to try to capture evidence of the supernatural. - Laura C.
- This is a recounting of the events that occurred in Waco, Texas 1993. The Branch Davidians, which were an off-shoot of the 7th Day Adventist Church, were under the guidance of a man named David Koresh, who considered himself the religion's "final prophet." The events that led up to the Waco Texas incident is complicated and doesn't have much to do with our class. However, Koresh and the "cult" lived in a compound called the New Mount Carmel Center. The compound was sort of like a farm, with hundreds of acres and several buildings. Apart from the eerie nature of Koresh and the Branch Davidians, there was suspicion of abuse of the people that lived there, and illegal firearm possession. Upon investigation, the situation escalated into a shoot out with the FBI. The siege would last 51 days. With an entire community inside the compound, a violent assault was impossible. Instead, the FBI utilized psychological distress to wear down the people within the compounds. Specifically, they set up loud speakers, and constantly played invasive noise; such as "rabbits being slaughtered, and Tibetan prayer chants." Paired with bright lights, the noise made sleep practically impossible, and severe psychological stress rattled the community. PBS reports that "mood disturbances, transient hallucinations and paranoid ideation" were possible reactions. They also state, "if the constant noise exceeds 105 decibels, it can produce nerve deafness in children as well as in adults." These use of psychological tactics are now famously a terrible failure. The entire compound committed mass suicide, and by the end of the tragic event, nearly 100 people were dead. This is one of the darkest abuses of sound that I can recall. Sounds can be unpleasant, but using them as a weapon is an astounding violation of the human senses. - Brendan W
- The Third Coast Percussion performs John Cage's Credo in US, which was mentioned in John Katz's article, "John Cage's Queer Silence or How to Avoid Making Matters Worse." Again, Cage disrupts classical perceptions of music and the instruments used to produce it. The tin pots/strainers and buzzer create the repeated sound that pervades the piece. The percussion often overpowers the piano, especially since the pianist holds one hand over the strings to mute the vibrations and lessen sound quality. The control board also becomes an instrument as the performer using it releases sound recordings of classical symphony and voice to augment the work. I figured this piece is an interesting contrast to Cage's 4'33 because he leaves no room for silence in such a busy composition. However, the audience's perception in both of Cage's works is key and should be considered further. - Maria D'Amore
- This video went viral today and was featured on MSN news. While waiting for the plane to take off, the cast members decided to burst into song and entertain fellow travelers with "The Circle of Life." Their performance is something like a Flash Mob, as they surprise the other passengers. I thought this unique performance in such a small, confined space should be interpreted in light of our conversation of Bose and noise canceling headphones. From what I saw, it seems the other passengers did not block out the performance, and a few even took out iPads and other recording devices to capture the experience and later share it online. - Maria D'Amore
46. Re: Sound Bottle
- This device, created in a lab at MIT, will record individual noises and remix them, affirming John Cage's idea that all sounds are music. -CS
- This is an audition by dancer Jarrell Robinson for the show So You Think You Can Dance. Jarrell is deaf, but wasn't born that way. The beginning of the video shows an interview where he discusses the struggles of being deaf in the dance community and it is followed by his beautiful dance audition. While the video itself is enlightening and inspirational, I find the comments to be almost more interesting. Many people question if he is actually deaf since he dances so well and others comment on how the judges treat him, not necessarily as a dancer, but as a deaf man trying to do "normal" things. - Holly C.
- This is an article from the New York Times discussing noise on Bourbon Street. The debate sets up two sides: those who are opposed to the seemingly excessiveness of the noise on Bourbon street, especially during festival times versus those who view it as a longstanding tradition. The article addresses the legality of noise and attempts to use ordinances to control and suppress sound. The sound of Bourbon street is not only an issue of noise, but an issue of history and how to preserve history, mixing it with the new, and keeping everyone happy in the process. - Holly C.
- This video is a commercial created by Coca-Cola where "America the Beautiful" is sung by Americans, meaning multiple languages are used. This ad received both admiration and anger upon its release, just as most things do when it is suggesting that America consists of people other than white, english speakers. The ad is beautifully created and the languages are seemlessly blended into one another. Once again, the comments section on the video provides on interesting look into how citizens feel today regarding immigration and the "melting pot" idea. - Holly C.
- Originally I set out to find a video of bombs dropped as a point of comparison to the Jimmy Hendrix video we watched on the first day of class. This video, however, struck me because it isn't comparable, yet more complimentary to the Hendrix video. The silence of the clip leaves the noise, the crashes, the booms, the screams, the sounds of destruction up to the viewers mind to create. As an experiment I played both the Hendrix performance and this video at the same time and it created an interesting experience. In a way, it made more sense to watch the video of bombs dropped with the music played compared to watching Hendrix himself perform. Whether played with Hendrix or not, the silence of the video itself leaves room for personal impression and extrapolation.- Holly C.
- This video is a clip from CBS News where Mo Rocca discusses what noise is and what significance it holds in American Society. He relates noise to productivity, which alternately relates silence to complacency. Mo Rocca also brings in the issues of using quiet technology for the visually impaired and elderly who rely on noise for guidance and alerts.- Holly C.
- This is a video from "The Office" where Dwight gives a speech at a Paper Conference. In his speech he combines the use of sound and various speech patterns to command attention from the audience. This clip is not of the speech, however. It is the sound part of the speech added onto a typographical depiction of what is being said. The typography is simple, but it moves and changes formation throughout the speech, which is an interesting way to view a speech because vision in a way trumps sound. - Holly C.
- This is a video of the controversial commercial that Cadillac produced detailing their version of the American dream and what it really means to be an American. I think this video relates well to our discussion of Puerto Rican immigration into New York City in the 1950's. The commercial lays out a distinct vision of what an American looks like, acts like, and thinks like, creating an "otherness" in the process. - Holly C.
- This article is from the New York Times. It details the steps New York has taken since 1905 to curb and control noise. Despite these ongoing efforts, New York City is still one of the noisiest places in the world. - Holly Coppens
- This video shows clips of strange sound phenomena that are created by extreme weather and also how weather affects what we hear. For example, the video states that when it is a sunny day, sound waves travel in a straight line, but can sometimes be blocked by high buildings or hills. Then at night, when the air near the ground is cold, the waves curve toward the earth, allowing us to hear distant sounds more clearly. According to the video, the weather affects the tones that we here as well as the clarity of the sounds. Atmospheric scientist, Grant Allen says that different frequencies travel differently depending on the atmospheric conditions. - Catherine B.
- This short article from NPR discusses the strange phenomenon known as "numbers stations," which are thought to be radio stations that have been broadcasting spy intel since the end of World War II. They consist of voices speaking in codes, such as letters and numbers, that no one has ever been able to crack. I think the existence of these stations is especially interesting because they operate on shortwave radio stations, which is a very outdated form of broadcasting. This makes them extremely difficult to track, whereas advanced communication technologies are virtually impossible to completely keep off the grid. It's fascinating that the stations can be heard by anyone who happens to find the right frequency, but since the codes are always changing, they are a mystery to everyone -- except perhaps the person who is meant to be receiving the message. Numbers stations have also been recorded, compiled, and sold like regular audio CDs by the Conet Project, which can be found on websites like Sound Cloud and makes for a unique listening experience. - Laura C.
- With all the recent news about college students coming suicide due to depression, I found this article extremely interesting. This article speaks about the Mozart Effect and how it helps with those suffering from depression. A study was conducted by a research team at the University of Oaxaca in Mexico showed that after having a group of people attend 30 minute counseling sessions, while the other group listened to classical music for 50 minutes and after 8 weeks it showed a greater improvement in those who listened to the music. Although this theory can be classified as completely accurate, it still has shown positive results. - LI
- I found this article in online for the NY Post. I found it interesting to see the rankings what areas of the city are the noisiest. Coming in first was the F, V, B, D platform, Bryant Park which was 93 decibels and last was Bryant Park, in the middle of the park at 72 decibels. It was interesting to see how many of these locations I go to on a weekly basis. - LI
- I had heard of this quiet room in Minnesota before and decided to research it. I found this article and one quote that stuck out to me was "The quieter the room, the more things you hear. You'll hear your heart beating, sometimes you can hear your lungs, hear your stomach gurgling loudly. ‘In the anechoic chamber, you become the sound." This quote reminded me a lot of what we talked about with John Cage. - LI
- Many of the critics we've read have historicized Americans' intense reactions to sound, from their aversion to noise--Nick Yablon's "Echoes of the City," Jennifer Stoever-Ackerman's "Splicing the Sonic Color-Line," Mack Hagood's "Quiet Comfort," and Ronda L. Sewald's "Forced Listening"--to their passion for and sometimes morbid interest in certain sonic elements--Keir Keightley's "'Turn It Down!' She Shrieked" and Gustavus Stadler's "Never Heard Such a Thing." Less explored is the psychology of listening, which looks not so much at specific sonic contexts but rather at the qualities of sound that most please or attract people (though the article speaks only about Americans). This NPR segment investigates a study by music psychologist Elizabeth Margulis, who claims that Americans desire aural repetition: "'Musical repetitiveness isn't really an idiosyncratic feature of music that's arisen over the past few hundred years in the West . . . It seems to be a cultural universal.'" One partial explanation for this love of repetition is the "mere exposure effect": we are naturally distrustful of anything new, but once we are exposed to it repeatedly, our feelings become more positive. This finding has consequences outside of music: any marketer, for instance, can use repetition strategically to generate interest in his/her product. Do we like or desire things because they make us happy, or is it because they merely sound good? How does this article converse with Sewald's discussion of repeated political ads, which drew so much ire from Americans? --Kstevens7 12:11, 8 April 2014 (EDT)
- With all that is going on with the missing Malaysia Airlines plane I came across this article, which speaks about the use of sound locating equipment and how they are using this equipment to find the missing plane. A few days earlier they had picked up a faint sounds that could possible be from the planes black boxes. They are using this equipment to see if they can pick up the sounds again. It states, "The towed pinger locator detected late Saturday and early Sunday two distinct, long-lasting sounds underwater that are consistent with the pings from an aircraft's "black boxes" — the flight data and cockpit voice recorders." This search is now being driven by these sound machines. - LI
62. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xYqXZU4CLs "Silent Disco"
Silent Disco is a disco where people dance to music listen to a set number of stations played by a on wireless headphones. I think it started in countries likes the Czech Republic and Prague but has expanded to the new york streets now where people listen to their own ipods with their own headphones. I thought this related to the idea of how technology and sound have come together to co-exist as one and the concept of silent disco is still growing. There is still a sense of togetherness but by individuals having their own headphones, it establishes a sense of individuality by still being able to control what you listen to even in the presence of others.
63. Rave Culture
To my surprise, this simple Elitedaily article states that the EDM music scene of today is equivalent to the the rave culture of the 80's. Every other article states that the rave scene has changed drastically... for the worst. Today, rave culture is more about the partying and drugs associated and the experience... you know the "YOLO" idea. In the past, it was about the essence of the music itself the "secret community" built amongst rave goers. Being in this sound class, it got me wondering what caused this noticeable shift in the way the rave culture is perceived an experience? It could simply that 'generation x' has a newfound carefree attitude interlocked with the growth in recreational drug use. But I think there's also something to be said about the MUSIC played at Woodstock verses Ultra. How are the sounds heard in New York back then different, or related, to the sounds heard now in Miami?
This is a song from Fleet Foxes' 2011 album Helplessness Blues. If you skip ahead to about 6:23 or so into this relatively long song (by today's standards, at least), you'll get to somewhat of another "movement" that includes a lot of instrumental sounds that push boundaries of what we're used to calling "music." The sounds are wind instruments (sounds like clarinet, but I'm not sure) being played seemingly at random in what I can best describe as cacophonic. They're eerie and unsettling in a way that is completely unique to discordant sounds. Sound seems to reach the audience in a more direct way than lyrics might--you don't need to be necessarily "listening" to get a certain feeling from sounds, often just "hearing" is enough. -EE
The radio is a very interesting piece of communication, over time it has developed into something more simpler but the messages that it sends out are powerful and life changing. The radio development began as "wireless telegraphy", and the contributions and sounds to history are life changing, in this case the radio is a way to send quick communication for help. Over the year it has been used to send messages back and forth, and it is also for pleasure. People listen to radios for the pleasure of sound, and some listen for the cries of help and to give aid. -Narvizu
66. "The Hum"
- This article explores a worldwide phenomenon known as "The Hum." The Hum is a low-frequency, droning sound that not all people can hear, yet has been reported at persistent and invasive. This website allows people who have heard "The Hum" to record their experience and add to a data collection following the occurrence of this phenomenon. - Catherine B.
- Tinnitus is a condition in which a person hears constant ringing in their ears. There are a plethora of causes for this disorder, including neurological damage, ear infections, or listening to music at loud volumes. This video is a preventative campaign to protective your ears from loud noises, but I think the background sound they provide to understand what those who suffer from tinnitus hear is especially interesting. - Catherine B.
- This is a very long document, but I think it is beneficial to notice the different sound ordinances for the city of New York. The document starts out with stating the different decibel levels for various sounds from Whisper to Nearby Jet Takeoff. There are specific rules and regulations for every type of machine or animal that could produce noise within NYC. A lot of interesting laws are shown in here that I never knew about or even thought about before. Such as: The Noise Code prohibits the playing of jingles while any type of food vending vehicle is stationary. Vehicles may only play jingles while they are in motion." - Catherine B.
This clip demonstrates a new addition to the Domino’s delivery bikes in the Netherlands. To improve the safety of other bike riders on the road, Domino’s added a sound engine to the back of the bike that makes rather annoying human sounds. The clip shows the bike carrying the sound engine riding down crowded but quiet streets. Some bike riders seem amused while others seem annoyed at the noise. This sound engine resembles the iconic Mr. Softee ice cream truck jingle that permeates through quiet streets all over America. It would be interesting to study how unwanted sounds used for commercial purposes are perceived around the world. -Katherine Guevarra
Shakira is a Columbian-American artist who produces music in both the English and Spanish languages. I chose the song “Can’t Remember to Forget You” because it features Rihanna. Both artists have distinct accents that give them away as not being “American born;” the English language was not the first language learned for either artist. This brings me back to the discussion we had regarding the Tony Schwartz sound files about what constitutes an American sound, do Shakira’s and Rihanna’s accents make them any less American despite their music infiltrating our pop culture? -Katherine Guevarra
- The Voice’s blind auditions are meant for the judges to hear the artist’s voice before actually seeing what he or she looks like. The initial auditions are set up this way to show how people’s perceptions can be altered by vision despite the fact that someone’s voice can say so much more about them. In this clip, Adam Levine notes how he did not realize that an artist’s engagement, passion, and comfort level are reflected more in the visual than in the aural. -Katherine Guevarra
- This song is originally from The ThreePenny Opera by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht. The song is about a maid who runs away with a ship full of pirates, but Nina Simone's performance of it adds some meaning. Nina Simone, a civil rights advocate, adds a very ominous undertone of a race revolution on the horizon.- Holly C.
- We saw Americans’ indignant responses to disruptive sounds in Yablon’s article and Bellamy’s novel, but was this reaction a purely American phenomenon or a larger product of nineteenth-century urbanization? In his article "The Soundproof Study: Victorian Professionals, Work Space, and Urban Noise,” John Picker (whom we read our first week) answers that street noise also plagued England and similarly tormented its citizens. Picker looks specifically at itinerant street musicians, who populated the streets of major English cities. As described by Charles Dickens, these street musicians were ""brazen performers on brazen instruments, beaters of drums, grinders of organs, hangers of banjos, clashers of cymbals, worriers of fiddles, and bellowers of ballads" (qtd. in Picker 427). Dickens was not alone in his contempt; the pervasive hostility to street music crescendoed at the mid-century, raising anxieties about England's "foreign infiltration" from Irish, Scottish, German, French, Italian, and Indian itinerant musicians (Picker 431). These musicians also provoked questions about people's rights to, and need for, quiet to work, revealing fears that external noises were invading the tranquil home (which, for many intellectuals, was also the workplace). Picker’s study exemplifies the politics of noise: its racial and class implications, distinctions from music (who makes the decision between what's noise and what's music?), and disruptive qualities. --Kstevens7 14:22, 13 April 2014 (EDT)
- Just as Eric Lott explored “Jim Crow sound” through Howlin’ Wolf’s “Back Door Man,” so I wish to investigate a 9/11 sound through Explosions in the Sky’s album Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever (698). The mythology of the album, released on September 4, 2011, invites a reading of its connections to 9/11: the band’s name, Explosions in the Sky, conjures both the images and sounds of the attacks; Those Who Tell’s cover features billowing clouds of smoke, a menacing plane that spotlights an ascending angel, and a line of soldiers ominously awaiting their deployment; and its liner notes include a harrowing image of a plane flying over silhouettes of soldiers, with a caption that reads, “this plane will crash tomorrow.” Since albums in America are released once a week on every Tuesday, and since Those Who Tell was released on September 4, its “tomorrow”—the next possible day the album could have been released—would have been the day its disturbing prophecy came to fruition. In addition to these eerie coincidences, the almost exclusively wordless music of Those Who Tell hauntingly evokes the aural experience of September 11, with its industrial, clanging guitars clashing against violent drums—with each of its six songs building to a blistering crescendo only to collapse into an eerie silence. For my final paper, I wish to explore some of the questions this album raises: Why link an almost purely instrumental album to 9/11? Can—and should—an album predating an event actually memorialize it? What is the historical and musicological value of Those Who Tell? Does it have any use value; i.e., can it be therapeutic, for this and future generations? --Kstevens7 16:04, 13 April 2014 (EDT)
- There's a long history of screams/yells/not-so-melodic human-produced sounds being included in music, but the sound like this that strikes me most has always been the "rock-and-roll scream". Bands from the 70's like Led Zeppelin used screaming regularly at climactic points in a song. Often, these sounds seem to build up to a point where the singer (in this case, Robert Plant) can't hold it in any longer. It's an expression of passion that has a longstanding history in classic rock and roll. In "Whole Lotta Love", this screaming happens throughout the song, but pay special attention to beyond the 4 minute mark as this is where it is most apparent. On a side note: this song also features the lyrics "shake for me girl/I wanna be your back door man", inspired by the theme of the back door man like in the Howlin' Wolf song we just read about. -EE
- This is a clip from the comedy show Flight of the Conchords about a New Zealand band that's trying (and failing) to make a name for themselves in the music industry. The show featured goofy music videos throughout each episode. This song in from the perspective of the band manager and his unrequited love affair for a woman that he worked with. At around 2:35, other employees begin using common office supplies to add to the song. Even though this is satirical, it reminded me a little bit of the John Cage "anything can be music" concept--I thought the use of rolls of tape and scissors was a clever addition to the song. -EE
- To those who are thinking of researching rave culture and the Electronic Dance Music scene: EDM has grown so much in popularity that there's even a DJ school for babies down in Brooklyn. Is this overkill and absolutely nuts, or brilliant? Vice reporting on the topic via YouTube. -CS
- Musician Imogen Heap has been developing technology in the form of gloves which communicate with computer software to help make music in a more "human" way, in the flow of life. -CS
- A blip posted online by the SF Globe discusses a competition calling for submissions of modern dance routines to classical music in order to spark some new appreciation for the genre. In the YouTube video posted, Korean female dance group Waveya twerks to Symphony No. 9 Allegro con Fuoco (1893) by Antonín Dvořák. -CS
- Dr. Nóirín Ní Riain has focused on the idea that prayer and religion are aurally practiced. She has created music that encompass the "sounds of God," which is called theosony. Although a very religious article, it is interesting to notice that there are specific sounds associated with God and the significance sound plays in religion/spirituality. In addition, there are links to the music Dr. Riain classifies as theosony. - Catherine B.
- Binaural recording is often referred to as “3D sound” because, through the use of two microphones placed in a fake human head, what the listener hears through headphones sounds more real than typical, “flat” sound recording. With headphones, listening to a song like the one linked above or sound effects like rain is a more immersive experience than listening to sounds not recorded using binaural technique. It reminds me of topics we have covered like hi-fi stereos that developed alongside an increased interest in wanting to reproduce sound as realistically as possible. Is this kind of recording the next step in this trend? Any why hasn’t it caught on to the point where all songs are “3D” if the quality is so much greater? Maybe it is too difficult to adjust to, or maybe we’ll be hearing this technique used more frequently as the devices we use to listen to music become more advanced as well. - Laura C
- I came across this article and it kind of mind blowing. It discusses the sound in space and that, contrary to what has been popularly assumed, space is full of sound coming from all directions. Space is often thought of as a vacuum but it is actually filled with ionized gas, known as plasma. Various disturbances from planets and stars cause there to be wave oscillations within the plasma that are very similar to sound waves on earth. Human ears are unable to pick up these oscillations but the satellites Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 have been recording these oscillations for decades. These recordings inspired Lefse Records producer Matt Halverson and this article discusses how Halverson uses these recordings as samples in electronic songs because they sound very similar to synthesized music. But this article really intrigued me because if sound is so present in space, is sound something that can ever be escaped? Its pretty obvious that sound is inescapable on earth, but the idea that sound is inescapable throughout the entire universe gives the concept of sound itself a sense of omnipresence---Joey Gonzalez
- While doing my final project for Sound class this week, I came across one song by Johnny Cash that ultimately brings forth his "acoustic sound of his community" of music that he has brought about, in addition to his own sort of colloquailism to his music. Johnny Cash meant to speak to all when he performed, including this video, where he is performing in prison. "San Quentin" is a song that challenges politics, questions the worth of man, and also poses the theory that maybe, if we just listen to each other and care a little more, our lives would be a little more easy.
Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 EST @ 12:40 p.m.; LaurenMac7 (5)
- This Washington Post article talks about the different dialects of the United States. Although we live in the same country, the way we speak and use sound varies depending on the region. The article includes a map showing which dialect you speaking according to where you live and then it gives a brief explanation of each dialect. We discussed this topic in my Anthropology class and even watched a movie showcasing different dialects. It was funny to listen to some people speak because even though they were speaking English, we could not understand them. - Catherine B.
- I am currently working for Sotheby's NYC Headquarters in the Client Services Department for the Fall 2014 part-time, where I hope to secure a full-time position after I graduate next Spring (most likely! :D). However, when heading to my first round interview in the beginning of March, I found an exhibition that almost slipped my mind when relating to this class. Harry Bertoia's A Celebration of Sound and Motion listed on exhibition from 11 February 2014 - 09 March 2014, showcased a "focus on the ability of light and space to mimic three-dimensional effects, to marry aesthetic ideals and intellectual concepts to create abstract forms inspired by those found in nature, including sounds". To be more specific, this exhibit reminded me of the class where we discussed the importance of megaphones on top of certain political trucks. Not only is Bertoia making a political statement by fusing elemental, modern art with the abstract composition of light, space, and sound, he is doing it at the expense of the consumer of his art-to actually be involved with the experience, The exhibition was flooring, to say the least, and Bertoia's organic standpoint to the creation of sound and art is mind-blowingly simple and refreshing to further research.
Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 EST @ 12:50 p.m.; LaurenMac7 (6)
- For a quick and interesting read into the MoMA's history, last April, they conducted a breathtaking Sound Art exhibition that we sadly missed as a class. Sound, in this exhibition, has been recognized as a "frontier", and this article gives insight into how soundscape artwork is literally changing the way we sense the world around us.
Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 EST @ 12:52 p.m.; LaurenMac7 (7)
- The author of this Thought Catalog article and I have always had this in common: we cannot stand the way certain sounds are projected into the universe...like "moist" (cringe). Here is a some-what biased, but fun outlook on why and how we derive the different sounds of words as either "pleasant" or not.
Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 EST @ 12:55 p.m.; LaurenMac7 (8)
- The Daily Beast is my favorite online-newsy blog. Overall, their articles are crisp and sometimes the harsh reality of our world. However, this article takes up the idea of the new "Dream APP", or specifically, "Dream:ON" available to any said individual that has a smartphone, tablet, or computer that has imminent access to application services. The article will explain in further, yet in summation, the APP is meant to craft a better sleeping experience through the deployment of certain sounds as you sleep. The vibrations from the certain sounds are meant to elicit certain emotions/behaviors in said dream, kind of like lucid dreaming but without all of the work. Crazy, huh?
Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 EST @ 12:57 p.m.; LaurenMac7 (9)
- My favorite EDM artist of all-time is GRiZ. The last live show I saw him at was in NYC, but this is a clip from a different show where in the middle of his DJ set, he breaks out his epic saxophone skills. I thought as a final archived sound, I'd go out with a bang. With this solo, I'm positive I did just that, and so did GRiZ. (;
Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 EST @ 1:05 p.m.; LaurenMac7 (10) ~
90. [http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/01/30/268432705/researchers-watch-as-our-brains-turn-sounds-into-words Researchers Watch as Our Brains Turn Sounds into Words
- This is a radio piece from NPR about a study that was recently published in the journal Science. The study was conducted by Dr. Edward Chang from the University of California at San Francisco and it is titled "Phonetic Feature Encoding in Human Superior Temporal Gyrus". The study analyzed six patients being studied for their epileptic conditions and they each agreed to have surgeons place a special recording device on the surface of their brains. The device monitored the activity of groups of brain cells in what's called Brodmann area 22, an area known to help people understand words. David Poeppel, professor of psychology at Columbia University, commented "Imagine how many different things have to happen for you just to understand the sentence, 'I need a cup of coffee,'. First of all you have to identify all the different sounds in the background that you don't want. You have to break [the stream of sound] into units. You have to look up the words. You have to combine the words and generate the correct meaning. And each of those parts has its own subroutines". This study reveals that that process of language, from sound into comprehensible messages and then into actions/responses, is vastly complex. What is implied by this study is that its insights into the brain's inter workings could allow for the development of technology that mimics this process--like artificial intelligence like siri on the iphone. But what could this mean for deaf people, like those we studied that were against assimilating to an audibly speaking world? What if this technology could be developed so that they may not be deaf at all, would they still refuse to embrace it?--- Joey Gonzalez (2)
- This piece is about the demise of Winamp, a popular media player. Tom Pepper, one of the founders of Winamp, left a comment on a reddit post about its demise: "Hey, all. Tom Pepper here, one of the two founders (Justin being the greater of the two of us.) Just wanted to thank everyone for all the support over the years. While we haven't been involved w/ Nullsoft since the early 2000s it was incredible what you all did both for us, and for music. Our only goal was ever to make the tool we wanted to use, and it seemed to resonate with you all very clearly! I'm happy to still be working in the business, and here's to the next great ideas yet to come!" I used Winamp before and it served me well. With the rise of iTunes and other media players, Winamp became irrelevant. -- MikA (1)
- The sounds of the piano are both delicate and very emotional. The piano is a powerful instrument to express pain and sorrow. It is used to express emotions that the person playing is trying to express. It tells a story and the person playing it is a master of sound and melody. -Narvizu (2)
- Ships have different sounds, some more alarming than others. When a ships horn goes off it is trying to deliver a message, either out of distress or a warning to make the ship known. The emergency alarms go off it is because of dire emergencies. It is the cry the ship gives for some intervention. It is the cry that something is wrong and something is in need of desperate intervention. -Narvizu (3)
- A man yelling at a couple for taking his parking spot. His voice angry he felt like he was wronged. Though in this situation is was about the parking spot which is something public. So it is interesting when the concept of public and private property comes in and how certain people feel entitled to a public spot.-Narvizu (4)
- A hammer is a tool of destruction or a tool that is used in construction. It also tells a story depending on the type of sound it makes it could tell the type of material being hit. Depending on the violence on the sound on can understand the use of the hammer, is it used for creating or destroying. - Narvizu (5)
- The sound of a crowd cheering is something to be happy about. It delivers a message of content and happiness. I means the person receiving the attention did something that was pleasing and amusing. It is a positive message and depending on the volume of the cheer, the more people there are or the more pleased they are. - Narvizu (6)
- The ringing of a telephone provides a lot of information. Rings have evolved throughout the ages. It tells of story of the telephone, the type, the brand...etc.. It is also the warning that a message or some important information is trying to get through on the receiving end. - Narvizu (7)
- The ocean is a big vast mass of liquid. It obeys the law of gravity, time, and nature. Some see it as a sound of relaxation and others think of it as the sounds of war. The war of life that lives within the ocean and the struggles those living beings have within it. - Narvizu (8)
- These are the sounds of chatting that are used for relaxation and meditation. Usually it is the key that people use to go from the physical to the metaphysical. It is a form for people to disengage from the reality and enter a stage of oneness. - Narvizu (9)
- A new born puppy was the runt of the litter and was not able to feed from its mother. With the help of a sponge the puppy is able to feed.. The noises made from the puppy and the human helping puts together the difference between “animal” and human. Instead it is an effort to save a life. - Narvizu (10)
- As a big How I Met Your Mother fan, I've always wondered how the writers/producers would conclude the series. If you're not familiar with How I Met Your Mother, the show is about a guy named Ted (Josh Radnor) who took 9 years to tell his kids Penny (Lyndsy Fonseca) and Luke (David Henrie) the story of how he met their mother. The lyrics of the song captured the attention of everyone because it somewhat encapsulated the whole story: “Our children will always hear / Romantic tales of distant years / Stick with me / Oh you're my best friend / All of my life / You've always been / Remember, remember / All we fight for.”. -- MikA (2)
- The article above is about how the Beatles changed and impacted the American Culture. I'm planning to focus on The Beatles for my final paper. They are historic and made a huge impact on everyone. -- MikA (3)
- I was sitting in my ethics class and stumbled upon this link that allows you to hear varying sounds coming from different directions with the aid of your headphones to make for a better experience. The headphones make a difference because it makes the experience singular, and by maximizing the volume to do the same to your experience changes. For example, since I was in a classroom with other students I continually took off my headphones merely because I thought they could hear the sounds as well. Really interesting sound board and I'd definitely recommend visiting this. ttaveras1 14:43, 25 April 2014 (EDT)
- This video really eradicates how powerful a comical approach to an otherwise depressing yet controversial topic such as searching for a cure/raising awareness for Alzheimer's. Though Rogen's points are well researched and his emotional appeal considering his mother in law's experience with the disease does work as a way to educate Congress and global viewers, it is clear to see that his intent as a comedian was to make his audience feel comfortably entertained while also making his point come across in a serious manner. It is interesting to see how laughter and varying ways to express a perspective can help influence an audience's appreciation and understanding. ttaveras1 (3)
- Experience one of the world's leading orchestras by interacting with multiple HD camera angles and view up to four streams of sound at once. I have personally never gone to see an orchestra perform, but it's interesting to see the instruments divided in specific sections as well as how they become associated. It's also a bonus to be able to see the dedication on the faces of the many musicians as they perform altogether according to the maestro's command. ttaveras1 (4)
Erik van Rheenen of "Mental Floss Magazine" states, "Guitarist Peter Buck spent a classy evening drinking wine, watching the Nature Channel on mute, and learning how to play the mandolin when he “played ‘Losing My Religion all the way through, and then played really bad stuff for a while.” Buck woke up with the song’s chords all but forgotten, relearning to play it by listening back to the tape. The impromptu late night recording captured the song’s main riff and chorus—not bad for an unseasoned mandolin player who was lucky to think to tape his laid-back practice session."  ttaveras1 (5)
- It's entertaining to think of how we detach ourselves from the racism, sexism, and prejudices that normally lie on the songs that we blast on the radio because of how distracted we are by how appealing the underlying beat may be. Un the hip hop-rap culture there is definitely evidence of how rhyming schemes and a good producer can force into nodding to the beat of a song which contradicts what we profess to believe on a daily basis. ttaveras1 (6)
- This article demonstrates the significance of a movie soundtrack as it works as a way to create an atmosphere and setting whether it be suspense or another emotion triggered by a sound which projects that specific mood. ttaveras1 (7)
- I have previously posted on how your appreciation of a song can change if you were to understand the origin and meaning of the song. This article links to many videos of varying cultures taking on other songs that not only come from a different style/genre but the artists have changed the context of the song entirely. From a Mariachi band taking on the bluegrass/country-rock stylings of The Charlie Daniels Band to a pianist covering System of a Down's experimental/progressive rock song "Toxicity". It's interesting to see how sound changes a song's intent entirely, not only the lyrics. ttaveras1 (8)
- This is a link to a song named Goodnight Saigon, a video dedicated to the American Soldiers who gave their lives as sacrifice in the Vietnam War. There are many different recorded sounds that are utilized to trigger the memory and allow the audience to understand the context. The chorus is often sang in what sounds like a pub-setting, rather than a recording studio, and Joel does a very interesting thing by changing his pitch during the song in order to project pain, sadness, regret, as well as the many other emotions that are felt both before and after a war ends. ttaveras1 (9)
- Christopher Jobson wrote an internet article on his blog "COLOSSAL" and brings attention to a Youtube user which demonstrates his own resonance experiment with sound. Jobson states, "Youtube user Brusspup (previously here and here) who often explores the intersection between art and science just released this new video featuring the Chladni plate experiment. First a black metal plate is attached to a tone generator and then sand is poured on the plate. As the speaker is cycled through various frequencies the sand naturally gravitates to the area where the least amount of vibration occurs causing fascinating geometric patterns to emerge. There’s actually a mathematical law that determines how each shape will form, the higher the frequency the more complex the pattern."  ttaveras1 (10)
- Our discussion last week about the "Sounds of Indian" reminded me of this song by a Native American rapper called "AbOriginal." It addresses many of the themes that came up in class, including a specific reference to the use of the Native American as a mascot, which Waln considers to be one of the many ways his culture is exploited. The song incorporates what I think would fall under those "Indian sounds," but Waln provides authenticity that is not present when parts of his culture are appropriated. He stays true to his identity while trying to break into the music scene despite, as he says, feeling oppressed and being told he should limit himself to the confines of the reservation. The title of the song is interesting as it emphasizes "original" and embraces what is usually a negative term.- Laura C.
- In our discussion on Friday one of the things that we talked about is what it means to sound Native American. I believe the question we were asking is what did the first Native American sounds/music sound like that constituted what it then sounded like to sound truly American? These questions made me curious and I looked into the first known creation of music. This National Geographic article discusses a flute made out of a vulture bone recently discovered that dates back 40,000 years which several archaeologists are acknowledging as the first known existence of music. The idea that music existed in early humans 40,000 years ago seems pretty mind blowing----Joey Gonzalez (3)
- This is an interesting article that made me think differently about a topic that a has consumed a lot of our studies this semester--that sound is opposed to everything visual because it cannot be seen. However, this short article accompanied by some video displays shows how sound can be seen. What if sound could eventually be seen through glasses, maybe for deaf people? Joey Gonzalez (4)
- In light of Howlin' Wolf, who seems to have not only been inspired in name by animals but also in sound, here is a fun quiz from NPR that shows different samples of animal noises used in different music pieces and asks you to see if you can tell which animals are being heard. Joey Gonzalez (5)
- Unfortunately, Youtube only had access to the promo for "Uprising." I was able to find the entire episode on iTunes, so I suggest anyone who is interested look there. The promo gives viewers a sense of the disconcerting quality of a "silent" episode, although the abundance of ASL proves the episode is full of conversation and interaction. The Carlton School for the Deaf's imminent closing - and the subsequent student protest - reflect larger cultural and historical trends in the intersection of hearing and deaf culture (namely the Gallaudet "Deaf President Now" student protest). - Mdamore
- This episode aired two years ago and was the first time a deaf person was given a lead role in a prime time episode. Interestingly, the director campaigned for the actor after watching him perform elsewhere. The director was so impressed by the actors ability to convey actions with such intensity and passion that he re-wrote the character in this episode to be played by a deaf actor. - Katherine Guevarra
- Marc Anthony recorded the song "Preciosa" in 1999. This song has a strong resemblance to "America the Beautiful." Both songs are patriotic andrejoice in the beauty of the land and what it has to offer while using instruments that are commonly heard on the land. Anthony's song uses instruments such as the castanet where as "America the Beautiful" traditionally features the melodic playing of trumpets. - Katherine Guevarra
- This clip features a man who was accused of being a fake sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela's funeral. Several clips later surfaced of real sign language interpreters signing the speeches correctly. The deaf community was outraged at this blatant disrespect. The lack of screening in hiring this interpreter also points to the importance placed on members of the comment who cannot hear. - Katherine Guevarra
- The answers to this question made me realize how significant the smallest sounds can be. Though usually thought to be insignificant, I can agree that the clinking of wine glasses, rustling/crunchy fall leaves and ocean waves are calming and enjoyable sounds. It's interesting to see how certain sounds soothe us or evoke happiness and how that feeling can apply to a multitude of people. Jenny Lim
- I thought this was a very interesting article as nowadays, everyone at the gym is plugged into their music while exercising. It completely makes sense that "We associate certain songs with memories, often relating to the context in which we originally heard them." The energetic electronic songs that I listen to remind me of one of my favorite concerts where I heard the songs. When I'm reminded of the good times I had, it usually makes me more energetic and hyper thus making me work harder during my workout. Jenny Lim
122. Fresh Guacamole
- This video does a fantastic job in denoting the importance of sound. Though the "guacamole" and all the visuals are made out of clay, the addition of sound brings back the reality and makes it seem like real guacamole. Every sizzle and slice imitates what it would sound like in real life making it easier to relate the clay to real objects. Jenny Lim
- This website is intriguing. When most people were and still are trying to uncover every bit of sound from the day of the tragic September 11 plane attacks, this website was created to preserve the sounds of the World Trade Center while they were still standing requesting public support to expand the archive. - Katherine Guevarra
- Although a few years old, this sample studied the top 10 most addictive sounds in the world dividing the list into branded and non-branded sounds. I wonder how this list would change were the study to be conducted today. - Katherine Guevarra
- Long before Marlee Matlin took her recurring role on Switched at Birth she danced her way in to the heart of Americans by being the first and only deaf dancer on Dancing with the Stars. Matlin shocked audiences and judges with her precision and spirit, proving that there are no limitations when determined to achieve a goal. - Katherine Guevarra
- Prof. T.M. Luhrmann of Stanford University comments on the potential effects of listening to stories, rather than reading them. Luhrmann says that we have intellectualized physically reading things, and consider having stories told to us as childish. However, that sort of social stigma may began to fade with the rise of Audiobooks. Does listening to words rather than reading them alter the way we interpret concepts, ideas, images, or thoughts? Some audiobooks have a sort of soundtrack that goes with them, what could this mean for audio inspired story telling? - Brendan W
127. Our Language Lineage
- As far as we know, in most of human cultures we have created an elaborate system of sounds and symbols to create language. Dr. David Armstrong, Anthropologist, thinks that in early human history humans may have used sign language to initially communicate with one another. However, this wouldn’t have been effective during the night, or when people are far apart. As a sort of bridge to the way we now communicate, Ani Patel of The Neurosciences Institute in San Diego, says that we may have sung to each other before we spoke. Think of the way birds, whales, or even wolves in some cases, communicate with each other. How could singing link us to our prehistoric selves? Perhaps our interpretations of what we call music, could be an ancient means of basic communication. How would this change your perception of music, and its cultural legacy for mankind? - Brendan W
- Molly Beauchemin of Pitchfork discusses the impact of aggressively loud speakers at concerts. According David Lefcort, an audio engineer in NYC, the speakers and other sound equipment only has to abide by loosely defined limits set by city officials. However, Lefcort brings up the idea that a space can drastically change the power and effect of sound. For example, a small bar made of wood and metal, would have a drastically different sound than a cathedral made of marble. From the perspective of an artist, how does the power of sound effect your performance? What are the effects of pounding the eardrums of a concert audience, and where could a “soft” sound performance be problematic? How does a physical space contribute to the way we experience sound? As a responseConcert goers are beginning to use earplugs as a response, how could/would this effect the perception of the music? - Brendan W
- The culture of “busking,” also called street performing in public places, has become a contentious topic in NYC, and in London England. In this discussion, professional busker, Johnny Walker, talks about the role of street performing, and their place within a cityscape. Late last year, there was a discussion in London concerning the loudness of buskers. How much freedom should street performers be allowed? In what ways do they shape our perceptions of cities, travel, and our environment? Because it’s music, is it free speech, or is it just “noise”?- Brendan W
130. "Too Loud To Work?"
- According to this NYT article by John Tierney, people are beginning to become more self conscious about what they say in offices, and who hears them. In response, companies are working on making sound proof cubicles. At Finland’s Institute of Occupational Health, researchers have argued that the invasive nature of noise in an open office, could be bad for work habits and production. As lovely as the campus is, in what ways does lawn care disrupt the process of learning at Fordham (Sort of kidding)? What’s significant about “speech privacy,” in an office space, learning environment, or our homes?- Brendan W
- This article is somewhat dated, but the dilemma is still relevant and controversial. Especially with the latest NBA scandal, in which a private conversation was potentially recorded without the speakers knowledge. The law differs from state to state, but in most cases, recording someone without their knowledge is illegal. The article I’ve shared, and the Donald Sterling controversy raise complicated questions about speech privacy. How does the lack of speech privacy affect the way we communicate? What about could potential dangers to freedom of speech? In some cases, a breach in speech privacy has been helpful. At what cost should we sacrifice our rights? -Brendan W
133. *Warning* - Some expletives- Repeated “F-Word.” "You Can't Hear Jimi"
- In the film, White Men Can’t Jump, starring Woody Harrelson, Wesley Snipes, and Rosie Perez, there’s a scene in which Snipes and Harrelson have an exchange about “listening” and “hearing” Jimi Hendrix. Wesley Snipes, argues that as a white person, Harrelson only “listens” to Hendrix. In response to this, Rosie Perez retorts that the drummer to the Jimi Hendrix Experience was a white person. How does a cultural or racial affinity affect the way we experience/interpret art? Does having a representation of multiple races change the discussion? What could Snipes mean by only “listening” rather than hearing? Think back to our discussion about the difference between the two, do they correlate, or defy one another? - Brendan W
134. The McGurk Effect
- The McGurk effect is a phenomena in which two of our senses conflict with each other. In this video by the BBC, they showcase the McGurk effect, and the fragile legitimacy of our perceptions. How much trust can we differ to our senses? In court cases, testimonies based on eyewitness accounts have been under fire for a long time now. Does this challenge your trust in your own perceptions? What does this say about our knowledge being based on memory? - Brendan W
- Duncan Geere of Wired.com reports the different colors assigned to different frequencies of noise. The connection between colors and sound frequencies continues on- The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is leading a study about the possibility of blind people “hearing colors and shapes.” It’s done by “using sensory substitution devices (SSDs) [which] can now be conveyed to the brain noninvasively through other senses.” The flexibility of the human brain appears to connect senses in ways we never realized. A large number of people connect colors to letters in the alphabet, numbers, or words, which is a phenomena called Grapheme-Color Synesthesia. Although the condition is present “in only 1% of the population,” it reveals some interesting connections between our visual senses, and understanding symbols and language. - Brendan W
- This is Ted talk by Julian Treasure who is the chair of the Sound Agency, a firm that advises worldwide businesses -- offices, retailers, hotels -- on how to use sound. This talk that he gives about the 4 ways that sound affects and how it has affected humans differently over time. He says that because sound has become pervasive in pretty much every aspect of life, much of the sound that we interpret is unconscious. When sound did not saturate human life as much our interpretation of sound was much more practical. The purpose of his speech is make us aware that sound affects us unknowingly and that we should be conscious of the sound that we take in and how it affects our health--Joey Gonzalez (6)
- This is another Ted talk by Julian Treasure. He makes interesting points about sound and time, stating that sound is man's gauge of time. He also point out that our attentiveness to any one particular sound has dulled our focus and our ability to pay attention--this is because for any sound that remains the same for a few moments we begin to ignore it. For example, if you are in a big city you tend to ignore the city soundscape that is happening around you. However, this lack of attentiveness, while it may be beneficial in certain sound environments, can be detrimental in other sound environments. He ends the talk by imploring his audience to fight for sound and listening to be taught in schools because he believes it is an incredibly important aspect of education and consciousness--Joey Gonzalez (7)
- I thought this was very interesting not so much because of the question but because of the answer provided by Everett Katigbak who was basically responsible for most of the audio on Facebook today. The logic and science behind choosing a few particular notes and chords to create sounds for one of the most widely used social platforms is amazing. I didn't realize that audio on Facebook is so important because that tiny sound can evoke emotion such as nostalgia as Katigbak explains. Learning about the audio suite at Facebook is eye opening as not many get to see the insides and happenings of a major industry leading company. Jenny Lim
- As some of you may have noticed, Snapchat newly implemented video chat and instant messaging into the app. The inclusion of more audio and visual aspects in apps seems to be a growing trend as it can attract more users. Though I agree with the article that it adds "tremendously important functionality," to the app, I'm not sure that I believe it's necessary. Possibly with the growth of Snapchat, the startup looked to grow their depth within digital communication but with all of the existing and up-and-coming apps, it seems that it is branching into the functioning purpose of other apps. For example, instant messaging is already available in so many other options like WhatsApp, Viber, iMessage, etc. so I don't fully understand the need for it in yet another outlet. However, I haven't seen extremely successful video chat options besides FaceTime so that will be interesting to see. Jenny Lim
- The answer provided by Chris Everett provides an in depth explanation to the process of recording audio for a movie which I have always been curious about. The type of audio called Foley used in movie making is similar to the question I posted earlier about what the best sound in the world is. Everett explains that these sounds are miniscule and usually gone unnoticed but their absence would be noticed. It was fascinating to learn about how countless audio tracks must be recorded including film scoring where orchestras watch the visual as to sync their music with the action. Jenny Lim
- As Soundcloud grows from its original small following, it has now boomed and become one of the leading audio sites on the web. It is safe to say that Soundcloud is increasingly becoming the "leading audio platform of the web" and essentially, "the Youtube of audio." As the CEO focuses on user growth and engagement, one can see that the company has continuing success in these aspects. Though it does have a mass following, Soundcloud still has much development to go through in its future. For example, its statistics compared to Youtube are much less impressive and most of the Soundcloud users are consumers of music and not content creators. As Soundcloud makes changes and creates deals with music labels, I'm interested to see how much the website is able to grow and reposition themselves to be favorable to artists whether they're beginners or experts. Jenny Lim
- Technology keeps improving and with Google's new acquisition of Slicklogin, a new era of password logins may be born. The idea of using a unique audio expert is a new and intriguing idea as its sound is then picked up by an app on your iPhone to verify you as the online user of the Slicklogin-enabled website. There seemed to be some cracks in the overall safety and security of this system as someone else with your iPhone could verify themselves into the website or even record your sound but the startup has found ways to get around these issues. Jenny Lim
- This is an ingenious idea made by a Japanese company to incorporate fun and enjoyable sounds to everyday life and activities. The bangle seems like such a cute and harmless way for kids to enjoy more out of life and add special charm to whatever they do. I can't wait to see if and how well this product prospers as it still seeks funding for creation and production. Though it was created to be used by people of all ages, Moff focuses on its children-focused network as the product is most realistic for use within that age group. The company also has a great plan for growth as they try to bring branded cartoon content into their app. It's crazy to see how such small useless sounds can bring such joy to people's lives. Jenny Lim
144. Autism Simulations
- This was an eye-opening post about the realities of sensory overload for people with autism. I never understood the level to which images and sounds can be distorted for this disorder. The videos of everyday activities changed to show life through the lens of an autistic person really gave a better visual and understanding to how different sensory perception can be. The amplified sound, lighting and pixelated vision all represent typical aspects of autism that seem normal to anyone else. It is incredible how different certain individuals' senses can affect them due to slight alterations of reality. Jenny Lim
145. You had me at Hello!
- This article talks about how a stranger's voice can form impression about their personality. According to the study: When someone utters the word Hello, people tend to make a snap judgement about someone's personality and decide whether or not to talk to them or approach them more. -- MikA (4)
146. Look up!
- The article talks about a poem by Gary Turk which talks about people's disconnect to society. With the rise of smartphones, people tend to just look at their phones and they tend to miss the beauty that's around them. -- MikA (5)
- I posted an NPR article earlier in the archive that discussed a study on the brain and the neurological processes that occur in order for us to interpret sound into coherent language. This is a link to actual study. Some of the language is very complex and scientific but it is incredibly interestingly how far this study shows we have come in our understanding of sound/language processing. Joey Gonzalez (8)
- This article reverses the way we have conceived of sound throughout the course of the semester, as existing only on dry land. However, as this article demonstrates, there is a large debate surrounding the drilling for oil deep in the ocean because in order to do so there must me seismic sound testing done in deep waters to see where it is best to drill. These underwater sound tests are argued by some to be very dangerous to a wide range of ocean wild life. Joey Gonzalez (9)
149. [http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2012/10/22/noc-white-whale-beluga-human-speech-sounds/ Noc, The White Beluga Whale That Might Be Able to Talk
- I posted above this article about the debate that surrounds seismic sound testing in waters and how it could be very detrimental to deep ocean wild life. The animals that many view it has the most potential to harm are those that communicate through sonic signals in the water because the seismic testing would prevent them from communicating. Interestingly, the Beluga whale this article discusses, Noc, may have the potential to actually mimic human speech. Beluga Whales from other parts of the world have been said to have this ability but it has never been recorded. They are considered to be the most vocal among large sea mammals and in this article is a recording that some believe to be Noc mimicking human speech. Joey Gonzalez (10)
- Kevin Olusola is quickly becoming a youtube sensation, especially since becoming part of the famous a cappella group The Pentatonix. This video is especially interesting because of the way Kevin mixes two sounds together that are rarely (if ever) combined--classical cello and vocal percussion. I would go so far as to say that he is breaking boundaries of traditional music, much like Cage did with his compositions. He's creating a unique, never-before heard sound. -D. Mullen
- I stumbled upon this video, and immediately felt that it belonged in this archive. For the first few minutes, this video isn't anything particularly special. The band is jamming, the singer is great. But skip ahead to about six minutes in, and the truly incredible singing begins. The singer is able to access multiple parts of her vocal chords at the same time, creating an EXTREMELY rare form of singing. You can see the band's amazement in the following few seconds. -D. Mullen
- As silly as it may seem, this song opens up an interesting discussion on what is "American" music and what is not. Jessie J is an artist from the UK, and is a huge hit there as well as all over the world. She has had many singles released here in the United States, and some of them have done very well on the charts. I truly believe that this song could be a hit in the United States. To most, it might seem like normal, cookie-cutter pop, but that's what most people in America like to hear, especially in the summer. Jessie J's producers will NOT allow her to release this song, or anything from her new album, in the United States. They feel like it won't "sell on their territory", which is a shame since Jessie J is one of the few pop artists with raw talent. They are making her record new songs, and will release her album later in the year. Meanwhile, the album and this single reached the top of the charts in the UK, Australia, and other countries of the world. -D. Mullen
- I was able to locate the Whisper Room at Grand Central Station a few days ago, and the results blew my mind. When someone told me about this, I was skeptical. There is a room in Grand Central in which a person can speak into one corner, and another person can clearly hear him in the opposite corner of the room. The terminal is often extremely loud, but the two people can have a conversation and hear every word as if the person is whispering into your ear. It is truly remarkable. -D. Mullen
154. Exploring IDEA
- In my education classes, we talk a lot about IDEA--the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The law essentially states that all students have the legal obligation to access a free and appropriate education, and that students with disabilities can and should be observed, and any sort of changes can be made to their daily life in schools in order to receive that appropriate education. All sorts of disabilities fall under this act, but we recently did a case study on a deaf student. This student was almost completely deaf in one ear, and as a result, the teacher wore a microphone in this public school. There was also a smaller microphone that was passed around the class to other students whenever they spoke, and the microphones were wirelessly transmitted to a hearing device in the deaf student's ear. We have talked about how some students opt out of this technology, and choose to embrace their disability fully. -D. Mullen
155. La Monte Young
- La Monte Young is a composer who was greatly influenced by John Cage. His work was also discussed in the exhibit that we went to. This clip is short, but interesting. The sheet music for this piece has two notes played at once--a perfect fifth. The directions say "to be held for a long time", which is determined by the performer. -D. Mullen
156. In The Heights
- This documentary was released on PBS about the broadway musical "In The Heights". The musical was written by Lin Manuel Miranda, who lives in New York City. The show beautifully captures the spirit of a New York City community in Washington Heights, and often utilizes sounds of the city to aide in the performances, from cars honking to people whistling, etc. It is great to see how these city sounds can be incorporated, both culturally and musically. Definitely check out the whole documentary if you can! -D. Mullen
157. Mister Softee
- This clip should open up an interesting discussion about sound trucks in New York City. Living in the Bronx, I hear this song approximately 25 hours a day. -D. Mullen
- This clip is similar to the Michael Buble performance in the subway. However, Jessie J is less-recognizable in the United States, and she has a boombox instead of a group of singers. It is cool to see how people react, particularly how some stay to form a crowd and others walk away hardly noticing. This opens up a discussion about level of talent in street performers as well as legal issues. -D. Mullen
- We talked quite a bit about psychology in relation to sound in the class discussions, and this article puts sound into a biological and psychological perspective. Definitely an interesting read about how soft voices can elicit a soothing response in people. -D. Mullen
- This is a Spotify playlist of Now That's What I Call Music from the 90's. It just recently released its 50th edition of the series and a Spotify playlist was created to induce a trip down the memory lane. Now That's What I Call Music started as a TV ad wherein people can buy the cd or cassette using checks and money orders. -- MikA (6)
161. Dark 90's Songs
- This link from Mashable talks about popular songs from the 90s that has a dark meaning. Growing up in the 90's, I used to listen to these songs without thinking about the meaning of the lyrics. But Mashable compiled a list and described the true meaning of the songs. -- MikA (7)
- With the rise of wi-fi and DSL, gone were the days wherein we have to connect to the internet using dial-up. If someone picks up the phone, I'm pretty sure the person trying to connect will scream because the connection will be cut off. This sound induces nostalgia. -- MikA (8)
- Song covers are becoming more and more popular these days. This is a legit ragtime version of Talk Dirty, a dance-y rnb song by Jason DeRulo. It was performed by a group led by Jimmy Fallon and Kevin Spacey. -- MikA (9)
- The video above is about the song Baby One More Time by Britney Spears and how it sparked the whole r/jailbait saga that almost single-handedly brought Reddit.com to its extinction. Violentacrez, a known moderator of Reddit became enamored with the song: "I created it, in honour of Britney Spear's Hit Me Baby One More Time video. I don't think you can find a more popular "sexualizing a minor" video than that, and I've yet to hear anyone call for it to be banned." That thing piqued his interest with the whole jailbait thing and it hounded Reddit with child porn pictures that almost shut down the website. After an exposé by Anderson Cooper, Adrian Chen (a former Gawker columnist) unmasked Violentacrez. Michael Brutsch aka Violentacrez lost his job and his credibility in the end. -- MikA (10)
- We started this Sound Archive with Jimi's rendition of Star Spangled Banner and I would end it with another version of the Star Spangled Banner. The guy, Chase Holfelder, delivered a breathtaking and bone chilling performance of the Star Spangled Banner in Minor Key. It sounded so cool and more dramatic. -- MikA (11)
- Lana Del Rey has been complemented as one of the best vocalists of our time, but received a ton of backlash for her January 2012 SNL performance, labeled as a total flub. Has auto-tune shaped our expectations that performers should sound as good live as they do on recorded tracks? - CS
- We know auto-tune is what causes that crazy, robot-like effect in vocals in many popular songs. Instantly, we tend to associate the sound with T-Pain, arguably the master of auto-tune. But believe it or not, the first ever use of auto-tune to get that desired effect in a pop song can be found in Cher's 1998 hit "Believe." Bet ya didn't know auto-tune has been around for that long! - CS
- Recently featured in a Buzzfeed article listing things everyone in the Class of 2018 will never understand, the dial-up noise represents the painful times in which we gladly no longer live. Kids these days will never know the unfathomable struggle of waiting up to a half hour just to connect to the internet. At least it taught us the art of patience. -CS
- Sometimes subtitles describing sounds can be hilarious. Here are 27 examples of when tv and film absolutely nailed background noise and other descriptions. -CS
- Do the use of iPods and mp3 players isolate us from simple daily interactions and conversations? The article talks about the rise of iPods and how they create anti-social environment even in public communities. -GPerri
- This would be interesting if anyone was into sound and physics. When hit with a rock, this industrial pipe sounds like a laser. -CS
- Having in headphones all the time in public areas takes away from hearing surrounding sounds. It creates less of an awareness for someone and may not hear or see anything important that is going on.-GPerri
- The Inter Milan soccer team fans were making racist chants to a black soccer player on the opposing team. This shows that racist chants happen all over the world in different types of sports. Racism in European soccer has greatly increased over the past decade. Recently teams that have fans screaming racist chants are being fined money. Still more must be done in order to reduce it even further.- GPerri