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Tuesday
Jan262010

"Silence, Please"

Some sounds border on silence. They are unnoticed, ignored, but gently surround us every day. There is no complete silence in our world, even in our quietest moments. That is what "Silence, Please" illustrates.

Chris Kubick created a catalog of these sounds. He codified these sounds in the form of text (wrote them out on transparencies), thus creating a silent 'sound installation'. This catalog "attempts to represent peace, tranquility, emptiness".

If this installation just makes visitors more aware of the sounds around them, it already serves its purpose, in my opinion.

Thursday
Jan212010

The sound of frozen water

Berlin Based composer and sound artist Andreas Bick made underwater recordings of a frozen lake near Berlin. It is a wonderfully clear recording, made with underwater microphones placed directly under the ice sheet.

It reveals some haunting sounds we will never be able to hear live. If you would not know the source you would probably not guess these sounds are made by frozen water. Visit Andreas' blog Silent Listening and listen to his recordings!

Via Simon Wald-Lasowski

Tuesday
Jan192010

Trimpin: the sound of invention

I have not seen the documentary yet, but watching this trailer makes me absolutely want to! In Trimpin: the sound of invention, San Fransisco filmmaker Peter Esmonde follows the artist Trimpin on his inspiring journey into the world of sound.

Trimpin is a wizard when it comes to sound installations, music making machines and building new musical instruments. In this documentary we can see him collaborate with the Kronos Quartet, designing a perpetual motion sculpture, building a tower of self-tuning, automatic electric guitars, among others.

Via Joachim Baan

Friday
Jan152010

Crosley Revolution turntable

While we are on the topic of the different formats our music can come in, this is a great example of the revival of an old one. The Crosley portable Revolution turntable seems to be designed for people who still have some vinyl record but do not have the space for a full size turntable.

I found this nice and compact battery powered machine via Retro Thing, and as they conclude, its form factor is almost identical to the Audio Technica AT-727 'Sound Burger'. It looks great, but the record is unprotected and it will not replace your iPod as it is hard to fit one (including record) in you pocket.

Tuesday
Jan122010

The sound quality and emotional value of CDs

The way we listen to music has changed a lot over the last decade. The iPod was only introduced in 2001, hard to believe in this world full of MP3 players. Many people even listen to music on their mobile phone. But do we still recognize quality?

I have a nice set of speakers and a good amplifier. It is great to be able to listen to music without being distracted by too many technical shortcomings of the system. But then I play back an MP3 I just bought on eMusic or an AAC I bought on iTunes, and somehow it doesn’t feel right. It sounds fine, but I know I’m missing out the details and dynamics of the original recording.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jan082010

condemned_bulbes

condemned_bulbes is a sound and light installation created by digital creation studio artificiel. The installation was first exposed in 2003 but is still shown at festivals around the globe.

The installation is made of 1000W incandescent light bulbs, controlled by a custom made light dimmer that can bring the bulbs in "a state of excitation that is clearly audible and controllable". I especially like the crackling sound in between the noisy parts.

Tuesday
Jan052010

Extended Play

What we hear and what we see are equally important, that is my opinion. Even while watching a movie, the right sound and the right music at the right moment can make us cry or make us laugh.

Sound artist Janek Schaefer creates sound installations that not only sound great but also look wonderful. Even the color and intensity of the light is carefully chosen.

Extended play is a very personal conceptual sound installation in which the unsynchronized sound of nine vintage turn tables is combined. The concept is best described by the artist himself. To hear the story behind Extended Play, watch the video on his website.

You can visit a retrospective of Schaefer's sound based work at the Bluecoat gallery, Liverpool, until January 17th, 2010.

Saturday
Jan022010

The sound of a new decade

First of all: a wonderful 2010 to all readers of Everyday Listening! May this new year be an inspiring one! Next to entering a new year we are also at the beginning of a new decade. The 00’s are over, and the world is in a vibrant state.

The soundscape of the world around us is changing all the time. The world is like an instrument, and if we change the material the instrument is made of, we change its size or we tighten its strings, its sound will change accordingly.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec242009

Three Piece

Three Piece is a three piece ‘band’ - two guitars and a bass guitar. The sound is generated by moving them around, so the air gently plays the strings of the instruments. The speaker is located on the other end of the installation. 

Visitors are encouraged to walk between the instruments (but don’t come too close to the moving arms!). The sound of this installation created by Stephen Cornford can best be described as a haunting soundscape.

(via Noise for Airports)

Tuesday
Dec152009

Cymatics: Visualizing sound 

It is inspiring to see what sound can do with the things around us. In this TED talk Evan Grant tells us about cymatics and how sound waves can be visualized. These visualizations can provide us with information about the sounds we analyze, and they can form beautiful designs as well.