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Found Sound


My boyfriend fell asleep tonight while I read an article out loud from Science News to him. It’s an interesting article about the songs of Humpback whales. Some groovy science chick spent 4 years recording whale ditties. She isolated various riffs and played back her own whale remixes to see how the buoyant cetacean dudes would react. Turns out that they jam with other males, altering their songs when others join in. Maybe next year she’ll take them to a karaoke bar.

I quit reading aloud once I realized Tex had fallen asleep. (Tex is not my boyfriend’s real name, but I find it amusing to call him that since he is originally from Long Island and only drawls when impersonating the locals.)

After finishing the article, I stared off and day-dreamed about how fun it would be to study whale songs for a living like that groovy scientist. Looking at the wave forms for the various Humpback calls made me wonder how I can figure out what that island photo in my previous blog post would sound like if it were a wave form. (Scroll down if you want that to make sense.)

This, in turn, reminded me of a cool ditty I listened to recently in which someone composed a song based upon the position of birds on telephone wires. There were 5 parallel wires, so it looked like a musical stanza. The song is lovely; check it out here. Instead of found art, it’s like found song.

Tex just rolled over and muttered something incoherent, but so earnest-sounding that I couldn’t help but ask him to repeat it. “Sometimes I can really relate to myself,” he said, tugging the comforter up to his chin. He looks ever so content. I wonder if, when I ask him to clarify this statement in the morning, he’ll have any idea what he meant.

Tui Snider
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