April 13, 2011
I was sneaking another look at this magical cell phone ad from Japan (via BLDGBLOG), which features a xylophone marble track running through a forest playing Bach’s “Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring.”
When the video ended, it seemed like the song continued, transposed into some kind of twelve-tone mode, maybe.
The dripping aquarium filter in the tank on my kitchen table was plinking along in nearly the same timbre and register as the forest xylophone. One is an instrument built to play a single tune, the other is not an instrument at all — and yet here they were striking up an antiphonal.
It was a striking moment of acoustic apophenia, a musical version of the way our minds makes patterns and personalities out of random sense perceptions — the way sounds find to link and share with one another in the grey-matter interwebs.
What do you think?
These kinds of spontaneous multivariant sonic mashups are very resonant, once we tune in to them; this one also reminds me of how the author of “Listening in LA” came up with his app: https://www.hilobrow.com/2011/03/08/listening-in-la/
Hugh Grant’s piece (http://www.newstatesman.com/newspapers/2011/04/phone-yeah-cameron-murdoch) about secretly recording the tabloid photographer who blew the whistle on Britain’s phone-hacking scandal makes me want a version of this app that streams the randomized cell-phone calls of celebrities and politicians over a Muzak soundtrack. A kind of absurd/sublime sonic tabloidism.
Love it. I think the field (of Found-Sound Overlay Investigations) is wide open.
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