Yale University, Departmet of Music
MW 1:00-2:15 Stoeckel 107
Prof. Brian Kane
Music for Loudspeakers,
or what has come to be affectionately known as "Le basse-cour électronique."
The project: to understand how noise can be shaped for compositional purposes by working with the simplest electronic musical circuit known to man.
Each student was supplied with 1 loudspeaker, 1 9V battery and 3 testing leads.
|fter a long semester of
studying noise, it was time for
a project. We had read numerous texts--Russolo's Art of Noises, R. Murray Schafer's The Soundscape, John Cage's Silence, Jacques Attali's Noise: the political economy of music,
Noise Water Meat,
and essays by Aldous Huxley, Abraham Moles, Frances Dyson, Daniel
Herwitz, Noel Carroll, Edgard Varèse, Henry Cowell, Michael
Nyman, Marjorie Perloff. We met with Peter Ablinger to fathom the
difference between Weiss and Weisslich, went on sound walks,
wrote about the Yale soundscape and perused the pages of the Russolo's
writings at the Beinecke (and learned something about typographical
noise in the process). We thought about noise in the contexts of
information theory, political economy, capitalism, systems of
the avoidance thereof), architectural acoustics, philosophy, music,
sound and silence.
It was time for the laying on of hands.
Each student was given a small configuration, including a loudspeaker, a battery and some testing leads. (We soon discovered an important commandment: thou shalt not purchase testing leads en masse from Jameco, unless thou seeketh great disappointment.) The goal was simple, to produce the most interesting sounds possible given the apparatus. What can be added to the circuit to leverage the affordances of the system? Can the vibrating diaphragm of the speaker also be used as a feedback loop for opening and closing the circuit?
Each student's recording is posted below. (Warning: these are loud!) Then the recordings were assembled into a web-based installation.
|The original recordings:
of paper clips wired into the circuit. When the clips are attached to
the cap of the loudspeaker, an
autonomous system is created. Look ma no hands!
to the wire leading to
the leads, a coloratura is born.
and activating with a safety pin.
||By attaching an Altoids tin to the speaker with a rubber band the pitch is can be continuously modulated. A pocket sized member of the intonarumori?|
modulating pitch. Cindy's voice adds
||A retractable metal shot glass and the cage from a champagne bottle produce a pleasant rumbling.|
aluminum foil, producing a kazoo-like timbre. The whole apparatus is
seated on two bottle caps, to produce extra resonance.
wedged between the cap and
diaphragm, makes a percussive musical saw.
with some tasty experiments with
group improvisation followed.
|All together now:
dont forget to visit the installation!