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RE: Helmholtz, Eno, Partch, and frequency (Was:Re: Discuss Amongst Yourselves....)

> Interesting you mention Hemholtz.  I'm reading a 1936 book "Science and
> Music" which uses Hemholtz's "Harmonic Resonance Chambers" as examples 
> basis for discussing the differences between a tone (tuning fork) and a
> musical note (many harmonic properties.) The resonance chambers were 
> tubes filled with a differing amouts of liquid, with a pipette at the end
> you could stick in your ear to listen to.  These tubes would
> resonate with whatever sound was being produced near them and thus you
> find the harmonic components of any sound by creating the sound and
> listening to which resonators were active.

Great, a Helmholtz fan! BTW, Edgar Varese was inspired
by Helmholtz's experiments with sirens. The resonant
chambers experiments inspired Harry Partch and other to
build similar devices.

> This relates to looping of course because if you can take any sound and
> deconstruct it to it's component harmonics, you have the building blocks
> the next loop staring you in the face - it's just a matter of which
> harmonics you want to reinforce, or for that matter - which harmonics you
> want to stifle by using it's phase-opposite harmonic...

Yes, it relates to looping a lot. It explains the many 'happy accidents'
some loopers strive for in their works. For instance, Eno's work with tape
loops and today's digital equivalent of setting loops of differing lengths
against each other to see what happens.

> With this in mind - I wonder if the "clipping" of certain frequencies 
> are out of our normal range of hearing (like on a tape or CD or any
> recording for that matter) truly destroys the overal ambiance of the
> Even if you can't hear a 56,000 wavelength, won't that wave still
> / modify / beat with the harmonics of other notes being played, and that
> interaction/interference beat would vertainly be in a pulse range
> with human hearing.  So - wouldn't the removal of these super-high
> alter forever the true nature of the original sound?  Just a thought as I
> think about the layers of sound, harmonic upon harmonic, interacting with
> each other to make other "inferred" sounds.

Actually, Eno built an EQ device equipped with a bank of 30(?) small
speakers that allowed him to notch out specific frequencies to see how
it altered the sound of whatever he ran through it - guitar, synth,
vocals. This is equivalent to "timbral synthesis" using a bunch of
frequency-specific VCF's (filters). Youch!

> For some reason I used to discard music theory.   <snip>

Sadly, I did the same when I was a teenager. Now I'm a wise old
man ;-)

- Larry Tremblay

> Ken
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Larry Tremblay <ltct@concentric.net>
> To: Loopers-Delight@annihilist.com <Loopers-Delight@annihilist.com>
> Date: Wednesday, March 08, 2000 12:19 PM
> Subject: Re: Discuss Amongst Yourselves....
> >Although I disagree with the specious New Age-y
> >comments here about the link between Quantum Physics
> >and neo-Mysticism , "Godel, Escher, Bach" is essential
> >reading, especially for loopists. Fortunately, it
> >predates the mushy New Agers who've co-opted bits of
> >it to support their myopic post-hippie delusions.
> >
> >On the subject of music and the vibratory energies set
> >into motion, Dane Rudyar's book "The Magic of Tone and
> >the Art of Music" came highly recommended by Glen Branca,
> >Philip Glass and Terry Riley.
> >
> >Ironically, I found Rudyar's book a good read despite
> >my own distaste for the mushy hybrid of Hindu irrationalism
> >and Astrology he's famous for. One quote that got my notice,
> >was
> >
> >  "A tone is a living cell... It has the power of
> >  reproduction, of making exchanges, of growing.
> >  It is a microcosom reflecting faithfully the macrocosm,
> >  its laws, its center. A tone is a solar system."
> >
> >This reminded me of Herman Helmholz's book "On the
> >Sensations of Tone" which was the first scientisfic
> >inquiry into the properties of sound - Helmoltz was
> >the first to *discover* the harmonic series and upper
> >partial structure of tone. Highly recommended.
> >
> >- Larry
> >
> >----- Original Message -----
> >From: <johnmcc@aldiscon.ie>
> >To: <Loopers-Delight@annihilist.com>
> >Sent: Wednesday, March 08, 2000 6:58 AM
> >Subject: Re: Discuss Amongst Yourselves....
> >
> >
> >>
> >> The New Scientist Article Ken mentions (
> >> http://www.newscientist.com/features/features.jsp?id=ns22273 ) is
> >> excellent. Worth checking out, especially if you've read "Godel,
> >> Bach". Putting your brain through some strenuous mental excercise! I
> think
> >> it was Neils Bohr who said "anyone who fails to be completely shocked
> >> quantum physics hasn't understood it".
> >>
> >> I have noticed that playing loops manually (just playing a phrase over
> and
> >> over again) can be quite an experience, and certainly a different one
> >> using a looping device. Sometimes, your fingers just take over, and 
> >can
> >> hear the "loop" interacting with the rest of the music.
> >>
> >> I happen to have a Sheila Chandra CD with me today, so on this 
> >> quote from the liner notes:
> >>
> >> "Sacred Stones: Somewhere all of us intuitively understand the links
> >> between ancient musics, that is, that drones and chanting are at the
> >> of all musics.
> >>
> >> The act of chanting is like throwing a stone into a lake - however
> >> the stone is, the ripples (vibration) it creates affect the whole 
> >> believe that making sound can make you 'sound' (whole).
> >>
> >> Om Namaha Shiva: An ancient chant, a new melody. Shiva is the 
> of
> >> ignorance. I find the 'clever' part of me wants the chant to 'go
> >somewhere'
> >> - instead I listen to the harmonics the chant creates, or just to its
> >frail
> >> simplicity ... One for all of you to join in with at home!"
> >>
> >>     [from the CD "Weaving my Ancestors' Voices" (RealWord CDRW 24 -
> >> 86722 2 7) ]
> >>
> >> John
> >>
> >>
> >