These noises sound strange, unnatural, and even mechanical because most of us have absolutely no idea what the vast majority of animals sound like. Here, for example, are some lynx that (starting about 40 seconds in) wail like drunk banshees.
Posts tagged sound
She starts with a clip that’s been digitally altered to sound like jibberish. On first listen, to my ears, it was entirely meaningless. Next, Das plays the original, unaltered clip: a woman’s voice saying, “The Constitution Center is at the next stop.” Then we hear the jibberish clip again, and woven inside what had sounded like nonsense, we hear “The Constitution Center is at the next stop.” The point is: When our brains know what to expect to hear, they do, even if, in reality, it is impossible. Not one person could decipher that clip without knowing what they were hearing, but with the prompt, it’s impossible not to hear the message in the jibberish. This is a wonderful audio illusion.
Hempton went on to make a vocation of listening. He discovered that the use of a microphone turned him into a better listener, because he learned to take his cue from that tool, which didn’t judge the relative value of the different sounds it was absorbing. Having always in the past striven to listen for the “important” sounds, Hempton stopped trying to prioritize based on his own limited perspective and discovered the majesty of the uncurated soundscape. In beginning to hear without privileging certain sounds over others, he found that every place on earth has a unique sonic character. But, intriguingly, Hempton defines his different experiences of geographically specific auditory signatures as experiences of silence, which he calls the “poetics of space.”
Between December 30, 2016, and February 9, 2017, at least three C.I.A. officers working under diplomatic cover in Cuba had reported troubling sensations that seemed to leave serious injuries. When the agency sent reinforcements to Havana, at least two of them were afflicted as well. All the victims described being bombarded by waves of pressure in their heads. Unlike Lee, though, the C.I.A. officers said that they heard loud sounds, similar to cicadas, which seemed to follow them from one room to another. But when they opened an outside door the sounds abruptly stopped. Some of the victims said that it felt as if they were standing in an invisible beam of energy.
Vainio’s influence on ambient and industrial electronic music was somewhat unspoken in his lifetime. He was not a figurehead of a scene, but pretty much all booming palettes of mechanical sound being made today nod in some way to Vainio and his work with Pan Sonic […] Vainio’s beats weren’t beats at all, they were the sound and feeling of a black hole opening up in the centre of your chest.[…] like “flares, vapour trails, LEDs, neon tubes close to death, heart murmurs, apertures opening and closing in cement walls, tiny mechanised guillotines snipping the heads from tin soldiers, sheets of led unfurling in underground car parks”.
“…a circuit bent speak and spell that’s been left in the mud for a week…”
During the noisiest time in history — when the age of the automobile butts up against the era of electronics and gets smashed into dense urban populations — hearing loss is only a portion of what’s at stake. The field of “acoustic ecology” aims to reverse the noise pollution of today’s technology-driven world, but more importantly, to consciously create living environments that actually sound beautiful. The father of acoustic ecology is a composer and pedagogue named Murray Schafer. His 1977 book, The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World, shaped a new dialogue around reducing and protecting certain sounds. He asked two big questions: What is the relationship between man and the sounds of his environment and what happens when those sounds change? And which sounds do we want to preserve, encourage, multiply?
“Nothing that’s ever said is final, assume that there are always other possibilities. Where language ends, music begins.”
Scientists have long known that Jupiter is noisy: The planet produces intense radio storms powered by interactions between the planet and its moons, not to mention the wild gases at play on the planet itself. But they didn’t realize that Juno’s entry into Jupiter’s orbit would produce such complex data. “While this transition from the solar wind into the magnetosphere was predicted to occur at some point in time,” the agency writes in the blog post, “the structure of the boundary between those two regions proved to be unexpectedly complex, with different instruments reporting unusual signatures both before and after the nominal crossing.”
Trailer for a new documentary entitled, “Sonic Sea,” produced by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and which will premiere on the Discovery Channel on May 19. Description of the documentary from NRDC:
Beneath the surface of our oceans lies a finely balanced, living world of sound, most of which we never hear topside. But to whales, dolphins, and other marine life, sound is survival, the key to how they navigate, find mates, hunt for food, communicate over vast distances, and protect themselves against predators in waters dark and deep.
Our oceans, though, have become vast junkyards of industrial noise — often louder than a rock concert — from commercial shipping, military sonar, and seismic blasts that test for oil and gas. The seas have become so loud, in places, that these great animals are drowning in noise that threatens their health, their future, and their very lives.
On May 19, the Discovery Channel will premiere an important new NRDC film that documents this shattering underwater peril. Sonic Sea calls on us to turn down the volume before it’s too late.
To the future of marine life worldwide, deafening noise is hardly the only threat. It is compounding the stress ocean life faces a growing litany of environmental ills.
Because of the nature of onomatopoeia, there are many words which show a similar pronunciation in the languages of the world.
But one observation has taken the RPC scientists somewhat by surprise. The comet seems to be emitting a ‘song’ in the form of oscillations in the magnetic field in the comet’s environment. It is being sung at 40-50 millihertz, far below human hearing, which typically picks up sound between 20 Hz and 20 kHz. To make the music audible to the human ear, the frequencies have been increased by a factor of about 10,000.
The sonic boom would be the first thing the target would hear. It would be followed by several sounds played over one another, including both reversed music (rising slightly in pitch as it fades out) and forward-playing music (which would play at half speed and an octave too low), followed by the crash of a stereo demolishing your neighbor’s shed.
“A great silence is spreading over the natural world even as the sound of man is becoming deafening,” he writes in a new book, The Great Animal Orchestra. “Little by little the vast orchestra of life, the chorus of the natural world, is in the process of being quietened. There has been a massive decrease in the density and diversity of key vocal creatures, both large and small. The sense of desolation extends beyond mere silence.
Ambient noise of the International Space Station
The Russian avant garde was far ahead of the West in the development of electronic instruments. Leon Theremin, inventor of the first mass produced electronic instrument, is the best remembered experimenter of this period. The Theremin synthesizes motion and sound the same way the ANS sythesizes images and sound. But his eponymous instrument was hardly Theremin’s only experiment. “Theremin worked on countless projects, striving to bring music, light, movement, smell and touch together in a single technology,” Smirnov and Pchelkina wrote. Scriabin would have been proud.
Of all the noises that my children will not understand, the one that is nearest to my heart is not from a song or a television show or a jingle. It’s the sound of a modem connecting with another modem across the repurposed telephone infrastructure. It was the noise of being part of the beginning of the Internet.