New Disquietude podcast episode: music by Lesley Flanigan, Dave Seidel, KMRU, Celia Hollander, and John Hooper; interview with Flanigan; commentary; short essay on reading waveforms. • Disquiet.com F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #field-recording, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

Listening to art. Playing with audio. Sounding out technology. Composing in code. Rewinding the soundscape.

Lucier-in-a-Shower MP3s

Here’s an aquatic take on Alvin Lucier’s classic “I Am Sitting in a Room Listening.” Over on the freesound.iua.upf.edu website — a community where users share field recordings –  an audio document of a shower has expanded into a collaborative series of recordings, each displaying how the original shower sounds when a recording of it is played in other bathrooms.

The effort may seem mundane or peculiar, or both, but it’s very much in the tradition of Lucier’s explorations of how enclosed spaces have their own intrinsic sonic properties, and of how sound degrades with successive reproductions.

One of the many great things about the Freesound site is that every sound object is complemented by a slew of data, including a visualization of the sound. Those images are reproduced below, with links to a compressed MP3 version of each iteration of the experiment. For a higher-resolution recording, click through to the given entry’s page. Each track is about 47 seconds long. Any descriptive text within quotation marks was supplied by the given file’s poster.

  1. The original recording sounds as much like rain shower as it does a shower stall — it’s a gentle if insistent precipitation (MP3, page): “Mono recording of a shower running in a bathroom. Oktava MC-012 cardioid capsule straight to hardisk.” It was uploaded by Freesound contributor Hell’s Sound Guy.

    All the subsequent mixes are by different Freesound regulars. I’m not sure that when Hell’s Sound Guy turned on his tape recorder he realized how many people were going to jump into his shower.

  2. The second version has a much higher treble end, like water against a plastic sheet (MP3, page): “Second recording of the shower sound. This time played and recorded in an old stone house’s bathroom in Girona, Spain. Played through a couple of studio monitors and recorded with a minidisc and a stereo microphone on october 16th 2006.” It was posted by Freesounder LG.

  3. The third is noisier still, more noise than water (MP3, page): “Second recording of the shower sound. This time played and recorded in an old stone house’s bathroom in Girona, Spain. Played through a couple of studio monitors and recorded with a minidisc and a stereo microphone on october 16th 2006.” Posted by bebops. (Bebops and LG may be the same person using different accounts.)

  4. The fourth has a lulling quality (MP3, page): “Another recording in the shower-in-shower experiment. The bathroom this time is a very small 2 meters by 2 meters bathroom with a half-size bath tub. The recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a shower.” It was posted by Bram — that’s Bram de Jong, founder of the Freesound website.

  5. The above renditions of the shower are all part of the Freesound community’s “Remix! tree” (freesound.iua.upf.edu). There’s also a rendition, by morendaman, that doesn’t appear in the remix tree (MP3, page): “Part of the ‘shower in the shower’ experiment. The 3rd re-recording. Recorded with an rode nt4.” The morendaman file’s title, which includes the phrase “broken speaker,” may explain the resulting music’s rusty, minimal-techno feel.

By Marc Weidenbaum

Tags: , / Leave a comment ]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*
*

Subscribe without commenting

  • about

  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media

  • Field Notes

    News, essays, surveillance

  • Interviews

    Conversations with musicians/artists/coders

  • Studio Journal

    Video, audio, patch notes

  • Projects

    Select collaborations and commissions

  • Subscribe



  • Current Activities

  • Upcoming
    December 13, 2021: This day marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of Disquiet.com.
    December 28, 2021: This day marks the 10th anniversary of the Instagr/am/bient compilation.
    January 6, 2021: This day marks the 10th anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.

  • Recent
    July 28, 2021: This day marked the 500th consecutive weekly project in the Disquiet Junto music community.
    There are entries on the Disquiet Junto in the book The Music Production Cookbook: Ready-made Recipes for the Classroom (Oxford University Press), edited by Adam Patrick Bell. Ethan Hein wrote one, and I did, too.
    A chapter on the Disquiet Junto ("The Disquiet Junto as an Online Community of Practice," by Ethan Hein) appears in the book The Oxford Handbook of Social Media and Music Learning (Oxford University Press), edited by Stephanie Horsley, Janice Waldron, and Kari Veblen. (Details at oup.com.)

  • Ongoing
    The Disquiet Junto series of weekly communal music projects explore constraints as a springboard for creativity and productivity. There is a new project each Thursday afternoon (California time), and it is due the following Monday at 11:59pm: disquiet.com/junto.

  • My book on Aphex Twin's landmark 1994 album, Selected Ambient Works Vol. II, was published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury. It has been translated into Japanese (2019) and Spanish (2018).

  • disquiet junto

  • Background
    Since January 2012, the Disquiet Junto has been an ongoing weekly collaborative music-making community that employs creative constraints as a springboard for creativity. Subscribe to the announcement list (each Thursday), listen to tracks by participants from around the world, read the FAQ, and join in.

    Recent Projects

  • 0511 / Freeze Tag / The Assignment: Consider freezing (and thawing) as a metaphor for music production.
    0510 / Cold Turkey / The Assignment: Record one last track with a piece of music equipment before passing it on.
    0509 / The Long Detail / The Assignment: Create a piece of music with moments from a preexisting track.
    0508 / Germane Shepard / The Assignment: Use the Shepard tone to create a piece of music.
    0507 / In DD's Key of C / The Assignment: Make music with 10 acoustic instrument samples all in a shared key.

    Full Index
    And there is a complete list of past projects, 511 consecutive weeks to date.

  • Archives

    By month and by topic

  • [email protected]

    [email protected]

  • Downstream

    Recommended listening each weekday

  • Recent Posts