foreign voices

well, foreign voices are the swallowing of unaccustomed throats,
taking advantage of vocal apparatus designed around the halo
of a species, everything is built from phonemes and bandwidths,
onsets and denouements, and every language is a language, well,
every sound a language meandering, from the depths of the world,
a tree falls and no one is around, ah well, the tree speaks to
others of its kind, or the tree speaks and speaks, and listens,
there's that failure, of its falling and its failure of hearing,
another language disappearing, another skein, interrogatives and
interjections, nightly murmurs, bamboo, this isn't foreign,


old man mad about painting

i have no idea after the fact, what to make of this.
it's everywhere rough. it tries to bring everything in fast.
it's zen. there's no doubt. it's oud after shakuhachi.
oud chases shakuhachi down. it's ugly. it's empty.
id disappears. it is emptiness of gravitational horizons.
and it is the extension of bandwidths of virtual particles.
it gathers speed and collapses for no reason at all.
it challenges reason and causality and origin.
it is the refuse of a universe paradoxically emptied of time.
we note this from our position before we disappear.
like disappearance we take this sound with us.
this sound is already disappeared before generation tantra.

People: Alan Sondheim
Research: Sound
Tags: madness, sound


Full bandwidth version of crystal radiodetuning and resonance
in the Eyebeam window gallery installation going down tomorrow -
always fascinated by the sounds; in this case, you're hearing
pretty much what the piece sounded like from the storage room
behind the window. recorded with Zoom H2.


1980s Egyptian oud

- just received this, shallow bowl, nice rounded sound, lots
of cracks. think this was originally inexpensive (poorly made
sound hole filigree for example), but the spruce top has aged
beautifully, so the sound is good and the action isn't
terrible. when i listened to the recording, i could hear my
nails, my breathing (upper and lower chest, wheezing, tense
from allergic reactions), moving the instrument around, etc.
- and thought - this is the sound of the flesh - using hiss
reduction - keeping only the hiss - i sought to bring this
out - this labor - fully - finding the sound fantastically
transformed, something else of the wonder of the world


(edited from Adam Tobin at Unnameable Books)
Meanwhile, a ragtag gang of roving musicians has stumbled into our
basement, creating a space we never knew was there before, and making
sounds we'd like to hear again. This Sunday evening, for one, our very own
ALAN SONDHEIM plays the oud and pipa with EspDisk's CHRIS DIASPARRA on
baritone sax and JUDY of Caspar the Holy Ghost. WHAT? Improvised music.
They are amazing, and I'm not just saying that because I love them. They
start making music at 7pm on Sunday, and may they never stop.  That's
Sunday the 4th, at 8 pm.
Much love,
yours at Unnameable Books
600 Vanderbilt Ave
Brooklyn NY 11238
(718) 789-1534

People: Alan Sondheim
Tags: music, sound

Coupled and Resonating Crystal Radio Circuitry with Analog Recording

"install3, a remarkable soundwork in which voices flot through the
(metaphoric) ether, representing the universal radiations of the virtual"

In the installation, two crystal radios (one loose coupler with double
diodes replacing the crystal, and one with honeycomb coil and single air
condenser plus single diode) are coupled together, along with a variometer
and early aerial air condenser. The coupling is designed to detune the
broadcast band, so that the maximum number of stations are piled on each
other. The resulting output is fed to high impedance earphones in parallel

Projects: Alan Sondheim
Research: Urban Research
Tags: sound, urban research, virtual
Thumbnail visualizes the first Prelude from Bach’s Cello Suites. Using the mathematics behind string length and pitch, it came from a simple idea: what if all the notes were drawn as strings? Instead of a stream of classical notation on a page, this interactive project highlights the music’s underlying structure and subtle shifts.

Project Created: 
October 2011
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