The Rambler :: blog

Friday, July 29, 2005

In Every House a Dream House 

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Via Kyle Gann, this is the neatest thing I've seen on the web in a while: a DIY kit for producing your own La Monte Young installations at home (sans, unfortunately, a kick-ass sound system). Kyle's advice on using the system:
For the late, complex installations, the base frequency should be 7.5 cps; for the others, something more in the 100-250 range, depending. Of course, to get anything resembling the real installations, you'd then have to run this through a big sound system with superb frequency response. ... How can you tell whether you're getting it? The volume level should be basically steady, without a pronounced regular crescendo/decrescendo beat, and you should be able to refocus your ears on different pitches by moving your head slightly.
My favourite so far is The Obsidian Ocelot, set at around 180 cps - seems to work pretty well with my desktop speakers - but the late works are a lost cause, particularly as low as 7.5 cps: you need a bass bin as big as your desktop for those. Also worth playing around with, from the same page, is an algorithm for Ligeti's Poème symphonique for, in this case, 100 clicks of static.

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