Sunday, May 10, 2009

Patrick Henry in the Studio and Listening to Soundscapes

The Patrick Henry Vegetable band has been busy listening, playing and being weirded out by veggie sounds. Over the last couple of meetings we have:
Recorded solos, duets and group performances on:
• rubber floor tiles
• cantaloupe melon drum
• cabbage
• leeks (these greens were unfamiliar to many)
• bok choy
• popcorn rattle
• a rubber band whizzer device and
• a collection of wooden organ pipes.

We listened to a variety of ecosystem sounds (on
• Loons on Echo Pond
• Costa Rican Rainforest
• Amazon Jungle
and graphed the sonogram of the sounds and the acoustic niche that each animal inhabits.

We looked at landscape paintings for detail and global images:
Chinese Scroll painting

We learned about top-down organization (hierarchical) of groups (by having a leader determine when someone should play a sound), and bottom-up (dynamic, when everyone can play whenever they want so long as they listen carefully and communicate).

We listened to a series of recordings that group social-musical interactions into three groups:

whistling in the street
dog barking
Humpback whale
Bobby McFerrin: Blackbird

Whale + Nightingale (!) duet
Thavil Indian Drum duet
Tallis: 40 Part Motet: Spem in Alium

Samoan cicadas and slit log drums
Freshwater pond insects
Arcade sounds

We took the birdsong challenge at to identify the thrush songs. Amazing to hear the detail when slowed down, and to watch the sonogram. They are not just chirping up in those spring trees.

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