audio journal + studio notes from composer + pink noises author tara rodgers aka analog tara

@ ~200 words
x 30-sec mp3
x 640x480 jpg

30th December 2010


for the birds

still editing audio files, i found this excerpt of the ARP 2600 (also recorded at mills) sounding quite like a bird. in recent weeks, national geographic published news on the sound design of 1100-year-old mayan architecture, suggesting that mayan pyramids were designed to respond to a handclap with the sound of the sacred quetzal bird. (national geographic is also known for trotting out that old canard [sorry] that animals should be credited for composing aesthetically-pleasing music - though you can count on comparisons to mozart and not rap.) the mayan report adds another episode to a long history of efforts to emulate birdsong with musical instruments & composition: from sound-producing automata, to messiaen and his spectrograms and transcriptions of birdcalls, to ARP itself and its instructions for synthesizing a “terned-on seagull.” perhaps my favorite example in this lineage is david dunn’s composition mimus polyglottos, discussed in this interview, a duet between an oscillator and mockingbird in which the bird seems curious to emulate the electronic sounds… terning the tables, so to speak.

Tagged: animal soundsarpautomatabiomusicologybirdsdavid dunnmayan architecturemessiaennational geographicsynthesizermills