The peak, or peak out, used to be the sound that signaled that a signal had gone a little out of control. That the peak has moved from signifying emergency to being a grace note has been a fascinating transition. Once upon a time, when something peaked out, it had risen above a comfortable threshold and yielded an unintended effect. In time, those unintended effects became purposeful affect, a subset of a broad realm of feedback techniques employed with artistic intent. Today a peaked-out sound can be the aural equivalent of a lens flare: a sonic skeuomorph. In the hands of Nobuto Suda, as heard on “Improvisation on the organ for Quiet wonder #1,” the sound that flares up is experienced like a reflection in a blissfully still pool:
Track originally posted for free download at soundcloud.com/nobutosuda1101. More from Suda at nobutosuda.org. Thanks to the excellent listener who goes by Roamin (roamin.ca) for having drawn my attention to this track by reposting it on Soundcloud.