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What I've Been Reading This Past Week - 2

So, week has turned out to be a loose term. The new aim is to have one of these posts every Saturday, detailing some of the things I have read.


The first thing read was more of a consolidation of the previous reading of Victorian Soundscapes and then finishing the book. The ideas carried on from chapter 3 of resonating voices and of sympathetic resonance continued to spur on ideas that I am yet to work with.


Chapter 4 brought up some really incredible ideas on the voice that I had never considered to be such a recent phenomenon. Sound is in essence a temporal act. It occurs over a period of time and cannot be caught in a snapshot like an image. Arguably, real vision and visual perception is also temporal as we cannot concentrate on an entire still image like we can with a painting or photograph, but this distinction is clearer through sound. When we try to pause and freeze a sound, we do not hear the frozen sound as itself, but merely a short and repeating loop of what that part sounded like. Due to this, there was never a way to capture the voice until the invention of basic recording technology in the 19th Century. Starting with foil, moving onto wax cylinder, people were able to hear the voices of the past for the first time. After the death of famous poet Robert Browning, this took on extra significance as a recording of his was played in public performances as a sort of séance. People flocked to hear the great poet reading his own works, quite badly. The very human sound of him fumbling his words and forgetting parts of his own writing made him sound alive, and he could be heard, his soul on wax, a year after he died.


There were some other rather interesting developments that came with the invention of recorded audio that were perhaps unexpected. People who were shy of public speaking were given their first chance to orate their work, or the works of others, in a private setting and to have it later heard by others. The public sphere became intimate at once, and the intimate space became public. This was exemplified in the Voice of Science [name might be wrong] by Arthur Conan Doyle where the voice of someone making unwanted sexual advances in a private situation was made public and the ashamed character is ostracised from the community and never seen again. The recording of the voice brought up a lot of complicated personal and social changes, changes that are easy to overlook as someone who has lived primarily in the information age where everything is recorded.


The next text I've started reading is Sonic Experience - A Guide To Everyday Sounds. This is a book that I've seen referenced so many times and never actually read. From what I can see, this will be an invaluable resource as it lists and defines the various effects and perceptions of all sounds. Many of these I am already familiar with, many of these I have never heard. I am excited to learn what they all mean. I will list the effects here. Major effects are in UPPER CASE.



Elementary Effects

Colouring
Delay
Distortion
Dullness
Echo
FILTRATION
Flutter Echo
Haas
RESONANCE
REVERBERATION

Compositional Effects

Accelerando
Blurring
Coupling
Crescendo
Crossfade
CUT OUT
Decrescendo
Doppler
DRONE
Emergence
MASK
Mixing
Rallentando
Release
Reprise
Tartini
Telephone
Wave

Mnemo-Perceptive Effects

ANAMNESIS
Anticipation
Asyndeton
Cocktail
Delocalisation
Erasure
Hyperlocalisation
Immersion
METAMORPHOSIS
Phonomnesis
REMANENCE
SYNECDOCHE
UBIQUITY
Wall

Psychomotor Effects

Attraction
Deburau
Desynchronisation
Chain
Intrusion
Incursion
Lombard
NICHE
Phonotonie
Repulsion
Synchronization

Semantic Effects

Delocalisation
Dilation
Envelopment
IMITATION
Narrowing
Perdition
Quotation
REPETITION
SHARAWADJI
Suspension

Electroacoustic Effects

Chorus
Compression
Print-Through
Expansion
Fade
Feedback
Flange
Fuzz
Harmonisation
Larsen
Limitation
Noise-Gate
Phase
Rumble
Tremolo
Vibrato
Wah-wah
Wobble
Wow

What do these all mean? Let's find out!

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