Tuesday, 18 May 2010


<object width="400" height="225"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="movie" value="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=11337042&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=&amp;fullscreen=1" /><embed src="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=11337042&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=&amp;fullscreen=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="400" height="225"></embed></object><p><a href="http://vimeo.com/11337042">Chris Watson - Whispering in the Leaves</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/witl">Whispering in the Leaves</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

Sunday, 31 January 2010

"Everything is sound, even the heartbeat"

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Intriguing video featuring David Icke, reserve your skepticism, whatever you may think about him is unimportant, the video illustrates an interesting theory that all physical matter actually is manifested and maintained through sound, or rather there is an inherent relationship between matter and sound.

Being always interested in the more esoteric sides of sound discourse, this video appeals to me, as it demonstrates the very physical effect that sound can have, and therefore strengthens the ecological nature of sound and its relationship towards physical bodies.

It also poses an interesting question, knowing that we only register a small part of the frequency spectrum, is it reasonable to think about a thought giving off a resonance, and therefore what is the effect of that sound once it enters the environment?

Thursday, 17 December 2009

SOS Sound Map

Audio Map of the World

Another global soundscape mapping project, this time by the BBC. This is served to accompany the SOS project, detailed earlier in the blog. It's actually quite impressive, how many contributions and how globally extended the recordings are.

Listen To Africa

Listen to the sound recordings

"The Listen to Africa expedition is a two year journey by bicycle to record some of the sounds of Africa – from oral histories and music to soundscapes and wildlife; recording and publishing sound seems an appropriate way to communicate from a continent that has so much to say and is so rarely heard outside of its own borders."

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Ohio Is a Piano

Cartogrammar.com | Blog » The music of geography: Ohio is a piano
The music of geography: Ohio is a piano

By Andy Woodruff on 30 July 2009
Ohio piano map
Ohio is a piano

"Last month, as I was driving through Ohio to collect my final three counties in the state, it dawned on me: There are 88 counties in this state. There are 88 keys on a piano. I don’t know anything about music, but holy crap, I have to make a map based on this coincidence.

And so I did, bit by bit, gradually descending into madness in the process. It has no purpose, really, apart from being an experiment in some sort of weird artistic musical cartography. Ohio is a piano. Check it out. (It’s in Flash.)

Ohio piano map

The premise is simply that each of the 88 piano keys is assigned to a single Ohio county. How the keys are mapped to the counties depends on a specified data attribute: the notes and counties are ordered by that attribute and then linked to one another. For example, if the chosen attribute is population, the county with the lowest population is assigned the lowest-frequency piano key, the county with the highest population is assigned the highest-frequency piano key, and so on. The data I have here are a little out of date, but that doesn’t matter for demonstrating the idea.

There are many directions one could go from here. I have chosen a few ways to see the geography of music (songs) and hear the music of geography (data, metro areas, or sequences based on Google Maps routing).

In my experience, most of it sounds like crap, apart from the provided simplified bits of actual songs of course, although even those might sound wrong (but hey, blame the sheet music I found). But I would be very interested to hear if anyone discovers any patterns that sound decent.

What’s missing, of course, is the ability to compose your own geographic music, that is, bringing in your own songs, sequencing counties into songs, seeing the data and grouping it in different ways, making your own chords and routes, and so on. That and controlling the music from the piano as well as the map. Compositionally, for now you’re stuck with just moving the mouse over the map, but perhaps you can imagine how this concept could be turned into a full-fledged crazy musical cartography application.

A couple final caveats: 1) the piano sounds are exported from GarageBand and on the high end don’t seem to sound great, and 2) this little application is not at all idiot-proofed, so my apologies if you are an idiot. This is just a demonstration of a ridiculous concept; it’s hardly worth the effort to make it a well-designed, smoothly functioning application. For now, no stop buttons, nothing to keep you from playing a cacophony of all the options at once… go nuts, it’s kind of more fun anyway."

Save Our Sounds on BBC World

Save Our Sounds Documentaries

Join the Discovery team on their journey to explore soundscapes. Why are sounds that we take for granted slowly disappearing?

The two documentaries are presented by acoustic engineer Professor Trevor Cox. Each programme features a range of experts including architects, urban planners, environmental scientists and social scientists - all concerned with acoustic ecology in the urban soundscape.

Trevor Cox

Trevor Cox

In the first programme, Trevor Cox joins a soundwalk in central London and explores the world of acoustic ecology.

Trevor meets artists and city planners to discuss how sound influences our lives and affects our well being.

Wet Market, Hong Kong