My 33 1/3 book, on Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II, was the 5th bestselling book in the series in 2014. It's available at Amazon (including Kindle) and via your local bookstore. • F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #sound-art, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

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

Yosemite Doorbell

When calling proximate to nature

Throughout Yosemite National Park, as in many forests and parks, the garbage pails are locked tight. It takes opposable thumbs, and a reasonable amount of literacy, and an ability to follow instructions in order to get the darn things open, lest bears and other fierce if less mythical creatures become tempted regularly into human habitats. At the entrance to this local hotel, you might think a similar concern about undesired visits was on someone’s mind when the front entrance’s doorbell was installed. You don’t just press the large button to register your presence. You must first flick a separate switch to the “on” position, and then not only press but hold the red button to speak. You must then, as with walkie talkies, release the button in order to listen for a reply. Worth noting is that this hotel has a fairly international clientele, and yet the instructions appear solely in English. (Japanese visitors lacking English skills might feel particularly put off, assuming they recognize the Aiphone intercom device as a product of their own country, all the more so because someone decided the thing required that aftermarket switch hack.) Fortunately for those arriving befuddled in the middle of the night, knocking remains a universal language.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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