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Re: feedback part2 the microphone checker strikes back

At 12:58 PM -0500 3/21/01, LEE, THANIEL I wrote:
>i think the sounds my fridge makes are pretty i like the low fluxuating
>humming sound it makes at night. i also like the sound of a empty office
>flouresent lights make a wonderfully strange hum. copy machines make
>dancable beats, so do old dot matrix printers, and people walking on hard
>wood floors.

At 10:29 AM -0800 3/21/01, Simran gleason wrote:
>often find myself singing along (I do throat singing drones, so it's easy 
>harmonize with a bathroom fan or cetera).

When I was in graduate school I participated in composer Robert 
Erickson's legendary Timbre Seminar. On the first day of class he 
handed out a chart of the Fletcher-Munson curves that included a 
reference to the pitches ranges of common orchestral instruments, and 
he suggested that we all carry pitch pipes with us at all times. Over 
the ensuing weeks I found myself listening with new ears, picking out 
the overtone structures of everything from leaf blowers and lawn 
mowers to air conditioners and refrigerators. I especially enjoy the 
sound of two leaf blowers of similar, but not identical, pitch as 
they beat against each other.

Another class of sounds that Erickson enjoyed was what he called 
"rustle sounds," a category including fallen leaves moving before the 
breeze, the crinkling of aluminum foil, an so on. I was at a concert 
the other day in which one solo performer played a small plastic bag 
as a brief interlude - no amplification, just gentle manipulation of 
the crumpled up bag to create a soft susurration.

Erickson's book, "Sound Structure in Music," is an outgrowth of his 
investigations of musical timbre and of his seminar in the music 
department at UCSD. Out of print, unfortunately, but probably 
available at any decent music library.

Richard Zvonar, PhD                     zvonar@zvonar.com
(818) 788-2202 voice                    zvonar@LCSaudio.com
(818) 788-2203 fax                      zvonar@well.com