Fwd: ~e; EM observations #2

From brian carroll <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Sun, 27 Feb 2005 11:54:39 -0600

thank you Louis for the links...

> not quite exactly what you asked for, but close and worth a look
> in sort of descending order of relevance

> On Feb 26, 2005, at 9:08 PM, brian carroll wrote:
>> * i have been wondering if any musician has ever tried to
>> play the electrical infrastructure as a giant instrument-
>> that is, the 'strings' of high-voltage powerlines, and
>> other possible things such as turbines, generators, etc.
>> (maybe HAARP references a playing of the ionosophere).

Alvin Lucier

	- On a carpet of leaves illuminated by the moon (2000) for koto with 
pure wave oscillator
	- What Day Is Today? (1999) eight short works on tape, based on 
natural radio waves and other date from the Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, 
Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn
	- Q (1996), for quintet and pure wave oscillators.
	- Spira Mirabilis (1994) for bass sustaining instrument and electric 
	- Wind Shadows (1994) for solo trombone with closely tuned pure wave 
	- Music for Soprano with Slow Sweep Pure Wave Oscillators (1993)
	- Music for Cello with One or More Amplified Vases (1992)
	- Amplifier and Reflector One (1991) for open umbrella, roasting pan, 
and amplified clock
	- Kettles (1987) for five timpani and two pure wave oscillators
	- Intervals (1983) for chorus and sound-sensitive lights
	- Music for Alpha Waves, Assorted Percussion, and Automated Coded 
Relays (1982)
	- Sferics (1981) sound installation and recordings of ionospheric 
disturbances, for large-loop antennas, tape recorder and playback system
	- Solar Sounder I (1979) sound installation powered and controlled by 
sunlight. In collaboration with electronic designer John Fullemann
	- Clocker (1978) for performer with galvanic skin response sensor, 
audio digital delay system, amplified clock and small loudspeakers
	- Ghosts (1978) for audio oscillator, loudspeakers, and performer with 
sound-sensitive light
	- Music on a Long Thin Wire (1977) sound installation for audio 
oscillator and electronic monochord // ** maybe this is e-wirev??
	- World Music System (1972) for bowed string instruments
	- "I am sitting in a room" (1970) for voice and electromagnetic tape
	- Whistlers (1967, withdrawn) for recordings of ionospheric 
disturbances and electronics

Austral Voices: New Music from Australia NA028 --
For telegraph wires, tuning forks, computer driven piano,
psaltery, whirly, cello, synthesizer and ruined piano.

Curated by Brian Conley

	'"Squall" is an audio CD that is included with Cabinet issue 3. All 
the tracks are related to the weather; some are raw recordings of 
weather phenomena on earth and in space; others were produced by 
letting weather phenomena randomly affect some means of producing 
sound. The artists on the track include Joe Banks, Maria Blondeel, 
Peter Cusack, M S C Harding, Allan Lamb, Shawn Korgan, Federico 
Marulanda Rey, Gordon Monahan, and Chris Watson. The full list of 
tracks is as follows...'

  1. 1. Maria Blondeel — MOS 1994 (8:19)
MOS 1994 was made by projecting slides of moss where the luminosity of 
each slide was dependent on meteorological conditions. The light from 
the projector was converted into a corresponding sound using 
photo-electric resistors that control sound generators. For example, a 
rise in luminosity produces a rise in pitch.

// ** this could be analogous to electrical pylons and
// high-voltage cables/powerlines, in how they also hum...

3. Gordon Monahan — Long Aeolian Piano (7:49, excerpt)
For this recording, Monahan stretched 50-foot-long piano wires of 
various thicknesses through an upright piano to an anchored pegboard. 
All sounds heard on this recording are produced by wind-induced 
vibrations on the strings, in this case 40-mile per hour winds. The 
sounds are not amplified and can be heard acoustically up to 700 feet 
The installation was a collaboration with Thaddeus Holownia and was 
constructed on his farm in Jolicure, New Brunswick, Canada beginning in 
1984. Recording engineer: Michael W. Huon. Post-production mastering: 
Gordon Monahan.

4. Shawn Korgan — Rocky Mountain National Park (15:58)
This is a recording made on 16 February 1999, through the use of a 
special receiver, of natural radio emissions that occur in the 
very-low-frequency (VLF) radio spectrum of approximately 100 to 10,000 
cycles-per second (0.1�10 kHz). There are three types of sounds: 
crackling, chorus, and whistlers, all of which are disturbances in the 
magnetic field surrounding the earth, i.e. the magnetosphere... 
...Korgan made the recording between 7—8am. MDT at an elevation of 
12,100 feet during a major geomagnetic storm.'

  8. Federico Marulanda Rey - Signals (4:35)
Three sound sources, all of them extra-atmospheric, are used in 
"Signals": data received by the radio telescope in Arecibo, Puerto 
Rico; a radio signal from Pulsar B0329+54; and a recording of the 
magnetosphere of Ganymede, Jupiter's largest moon.

  9. Joe Banks — Theophany (3:07)
Recordings of the intense thunderstorms that swept southern England 
during the autumn of 1995. As Banks states "This was a simple analogue 
recording of longwave radio signals radiated by lightning strikes 
during a very close electrical storm. These clustered surges were, from 
the point of view of the recording equipment, infinitely loud and 
arbitrarily short. All that was required from the engineers was to 
suppress their instinct to protect the receiver from these brutal 
signals. The sound of this track, seemed not so much a record of a 
natural phenomenon. as a record of the equipment's inability to capture 
it accurately. These sounds could not be less human, less similar to 
Greek Orthodox composer John Tavener's composition of the same name, 
where a basso-profundo voice expresses Tavener's concept of divinity."

// *** here we go... 'wire music'

10. Alan Lamb — Primal Image (15:00, excerpt)

This recording was made by using abandoned telegraph wires in the 
Australian outback. Lamb placed contact microphones on the wires that 
pick up not only the vibration of the wind, but also birds landing on 
the wire and various bits of detritus blowing in the wind. Lamb gives 
the following account of the resulting acoustic phenomena: "The natural 
frequencies of the wire are determined by the integer harmonics of the 
fundamental in very long wires such as telephone wires, which are also 
very thick (three millimeters), the fundamental is well below one Hertz 
(1 Hz). Thus only the higher harmonic frequencies fall into the 
auditory range. The very high harmonics (for example 250Hz and above) 
become so crowded they cease to have discrete frequencies but rather 
tend to beat together, creating second-order frequencies of lower 
pitch. In effect the relationships to the fundamental are lost and it 
becomes more useful to consider the length of the wire as a family of 
interacting segments, each with its own fundamental within the auditory 
range. This leads to an understanding of the choir-like quality of wire 
music in which the sound is made up of numerous 'voices,' each 
competing for harmonic dominance. Dominant harmonic patterns become 
established by the combination of segments into coherent' 
�eigenvalue' frequencies (that is, possible frequencies under a given 
set of conditions of wind and wire) which give rise to great crescendos 
up to 120 decibels or more in dynamic range. Conversely, as coherence 
is lost following wind shifts and tension changes (as mentioned below), 
decrescendos are heard while new coherent patterns start to emerge. The 
same principles are in operation to produce high-order low-frequency 
beats which generate an equivalent complexity of rhythm and pulsation. 
It is of great interest to me as a biological scientist that these 
principles have much in common conceptually with those underlying the 
generation of coherent patterns in biological systems (for example, in 
the development of the body plan of the embryo and in the function of 
the brain). This, one assumes, is why wire music sounds organic, and 
perhaps why it resonates so deeply with one's emotional being. Similar 
principles are to be found in many other natural systems, and it is 
probably not too far fetched to suggest that wire music is an aural 
embodiment of some of the most fundamental dynamic laws of the 
© 2001 Dorobo


'Described by Time Magazine as "a cross between Carl Sagan and 
Madonna", astrophysicist, author and recording artist Dr. Fiorella 
Terenzi received her doctorate in physics from the University of Milan, 
has studied opera and composition at Conservatory G. Verdi, Corsi 
Serali, and taught mathematics and physics at Liceo Scientifico, Milan. 
In research at the Computer Audio Research Laboratory, University of 
California, San Diego, she developed techniques to convert radio waves 
from galaxies into sound - released by Island Records on her acclaimed 
CD "Music from the Galaxies".'


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