In this surprisingly interesting video from Jerobeam Fenderson we watch (and listen) as he explains how to draw images using the visualizations of sound waves on an old analog Tektronix oscilloscope. To be clear: the images you’re seeing here are not being animated through software, instead Fenderson creates waveforms (sounds) using his computer, and those sound waves LOOK LIKE THIS when fed into an oscilloscope. Suffice to say there’s lots of math involved, and it’s all a little bit over my head, but luckily he answers some questions over on his blog about how it all works. Make sure to watch through to the end.
The Yaybahar is a new acoustic instrument designed by Istanbul-based musician Görkem Şen that emits music right out of a retro sci-fi movie, a remarkable feat considering there isn’t a bit of electricity involved. The Yaybahar can be played in a variety of different ways using mallets or with a bow, relying on a combination of two drum-like membranes, long springs, and a tall fretted neck to create music. Like any instrument, it’s capable of producing sounds that run the gamut from “beautiful music” to “noise.” Give it a listen! (via The Creators Project)
Update: Here’s a video (in Turkish) of Şen giving a TEDx talk earlier this year where he plays a similar bow and spring-type instrument. (thnx, JR!)
This is a great video of polyphonic overtone singing by Anna-Maria Hefele, where she precisely demonstrates the almost inhuman ability to create a harmony of two notes at a time using a single breath. Overtone singing is the same technique used by Tuvan (or Mongolian) throat singers of which there are several other great videos to watch on YouTube. Also check out this demo by Alex Glenfield, or this clip lifted from I’m not sure where. (via Stellar)
First: put on your headphones or turn up the volume, otherwise the beauty of this clip might be lost. Sounds of Paragliding is a new video from director Shams (previously), and sound engineer Thibaut Darscotte who took special equipment into the skies above France to record the sounds of Théo de Blic’s aerobatic paragliding. Instead of amping up the music and intensity like so many high-speed stunt/wingsuit/skydiving videos these days, Shams instead slows everything down to focus on only the sounds created by Blic’s parasail whipping through the air at incredible speed. It doesn’t really get going until after 2:00, but is completely worth it.
Australian artist Andy Thomas creates what he describes as “audio life forms,” specifically 3D animations that respond to audio input. For these latest pieces he used archival bird recordings from the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (in addition to one of his own recordings) to create these new digital sound sculptures that animate in different ways in reaction to the songs of each bird. Thomas uses more software tools than we could reasonably share here, but you can learn a bit more over on his website.
Swiss artist Zimoun (previously) just unveiled a large installation inside the windows of the Museo d’Arte di Lugano in Switzerland. Titled 36 Ventilators, 4.7m3 Packing Chips, the kinetic artwork relies on large fans that perpetually blow clouds of packaging peanuts against the museum’s broad windowframes. At night the effect is especially eye-popping as it appears the entire space is filled with a turbulent white sea. Via bitforms gallery:
Using simple and functional components, Zimoun builds architecturally-minded platforms of sound. Exploring mechanical rhythm and flow in prepared systems, his installations incorporate commonplace industrial objects. In an obsessive display of curiously collected material, these works articulate a tension between the orderly patterns of Modernism and the chaotic forces of life. Carrying an emotional depth, the acoustic hum of natural phenomena blends effortlessly with electric reverberation in Zimoun’s minimalist constructions.