Constellation – Sonic Arts 2

In our second session of Sonic Arts we still where going through the history of sound art.

This week we had a brie look at 12-tone surrealist section and we looked at Claude Shannon who created the digital computer that was the start of the possibility of electronic and computer sound and music. we also Max Mathews, who was a ‘pioneer in the world of computer music’ and proved that computers could do anything.

We looked at Max Mathews version of a ‘bicycle Built For Two’ and a version of the same song but called Bicycle Built for Two Thousand, where Daniel Massey and Aaron Koblin used two thousand separate voice recordings to recreate the song.

As a group we talked about the transformation these two versions went through and how this has changed and evolved over the years. We then moved on and looked at a different kind of computer music, ‘illiac suite for string quartet’. This piece was the first piece of music that was scored by a computer and then played by a string quartet.

Towards the end of the session we revisited silence and all took part in an exercise where we sat in ‘silence’ for a period of time and had to right down everything we could here. Most people wrote down similar things like the hum of the lights and movement of pens and paper. This showed us that silence dose not really exists. This backs up a statement that John Cage said in a video we watches afterward, where he spent some time in a room where no sounds existed, but afterwards he said that he could still here two sounds, a low beat of his own body and a high pitched ring.

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