I am sitting in a room different from the one you are in now. I am recording the sound of my speaking voice and I am going to play it back into the room again and again until the resonant frequencies of the room reinforce themselves so that any semblance of my speech, with perhaps the exception of rhythm, is destroyed. What you will hear, then, are the natural resonant frequencies of the room articulated by speech. I regard this activity not so much as a demonstration of a physical fact, but, more as a way to smooth out any irregularities my speech might have.This performance piece, by Alvin Lucier, was regularly played on KBVR, Oregon State's student radio station, when I was an undergraduate. The text above was read, then replayed and recorded, then that recording replayed and recorded, and so on, over and over, ultimately becoming a series of squeals and hoots. You can hear an mp3 of the original recording here, though I don't think that was the one I was accustomed to. Here's a YouTube clip that sounds more like the version I recall, but I do remember the original as being something like 15-20 minutes; this one is 8:21.
It's odd, and you may not want to sit through the whole thing. It's not intended to be aesthetically pleasing, but I did, and do, find it fascinating and thought-provoking.
So what? If an admittedly unpleasing demonstration of resonant frequencies isn't your cup of tea, so what? Well, as with so many things in this age of lightning-speed data, there's a remake...
That's the original.
I am sitting in a room different from the one you are in now. I am recording the sound of my speaking voice as well as the image of myself, and I am going to upload it to YouTube, rip it from YouTube, and upload it again and again, until the original characteristics of both my voice and my image are destroyed. What you will see and hear, then, are the artifacts inherent in the video codec of both YouTube and the mp4 format I convert it to on my computer. I regard this activity not so much as a demonstration of a digital fact, but more as a way to eliminate all human qualities my speech and image might have.Here's number 56:
Turn down the sound... number 1000 is really ugly.
As I said, this isn't intended to be "pretty," but it is fascinating to me. If you're curious, it looks as if all 1000 iterations have been posted.