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Mickey Mousing (MP3)

Some people play music boxes better than other people do.

The short piece of music “Muffled Mouse” is like a sonic Christo rendering of a Walt Disney icon. It is not a statue of Mickey Mouse covered with a lavender swath of fabric. It is a recording of a music box playing the Mickey Mouse Club theme song that is, true to its title, muffled. We know that the music box, like the piano, is a percussion instrument hiding in plain sight, but oddly enough it is the act of hiding the instrument — muffling it — that brings its percussive undergirding to the fore.

The track was posted by Jesse Cox of Searcy, Arkansas, at his soundcloud.com/the-ordinary page. He’s also posted, for comparison’s sake, the “original” (unmuffled) recording. As he points out in the track posting, “you just hear the clicks of the tines and other inner workings.” The muffling does the opposite of what is expected: it exposes. You hear through the original song, and what you hear is the mechanism itself.

By Marc Weidenbaum

Tags: , / Comments: 2 ]

2 Comments

  1. Jesse Cox
    [ Posted April 3, 2012, at 10:39 pm ]

    Thanks for this write-up. I was wondering why I had 503 plays on this track!

    • Marc Weidenbaum
      [ Posted April 3, 2012, at 11:37 pm ]

      Man, that is great. Glad for whatever part the write-up played.

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  • 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

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