Re: (More) Cool sounds from outer space!

Subject: Re: (More) Cool sounds from outer space!
From: Shane Turner (
Date: Mon Aug 01 2005 - 00:20:02 EDT

You know, I agree with you, and I've had similar experiences. Last summer,
wandering around the streets of montreal with a friend late at night,
listening to the natural rhythms of crickets and the different songs of
birds. All beautiful to my ears.

Try as I might, I can't help but find the whole "what art is" to be nothing
more than a pretense: why if I like something or dislike something, you
have to agree with my opinion. It is an absolute. After all, if it's not
"art", you're not allowed to like it.* Naturally opinions will always vary.

I've posted far,far more than usual on this topic, but something about it
really got me going.

Maybe time for some of that chai somebody was talking about a while back.

--shane turner

*if there's one thing the hollywood blockbuster summer of 2005 had to say,
its that "only a sith deals in absolutes!"

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jean-Marc Pelletier" <>
To: <>
Sent: Sunday, July 31, 2005 11:32 PM
Subject: Re: (More) Cool sounds from outer space!

> Just in case, some found my original answer to
> a bit short:
> Last week, we had an ea concert at our school. About half-way through I
> got up and left. I even left in the middle of a piece, which I reckon was
> rude, but I really didn't feel like staying any longer. I went outside and
> laid in the grass, watching the stars and listening to the chorus of
> cicadas, crickets and frogs, accompanied by the wind brushing the nearby
> trees. I couldn't help feeling that all of this was infinitely more
> beautiful and interesting than anything I'd heard or seen in the half
> concert I attended. This isn't a statement about art. It's not a statement
> about music, not even about that particular concert, just my current state
> of mind. I haven't bought all that many CDs recently, and haven't really
> listened to those I did buy. Instead my fascination for the order of the
> world around me has grown.
> I linked to the first sample, the one from Saturn, because of its uncanny
> resemblance to 1960s SF soundtracks inspired by the Barons' work. My use
> of the adjective "cool" was strictly tongue in cheek. I was trying to
> capture a little of that 1960s camp in my choice of words. I might have
> failed.
> The VLT recordings are somewhat different. As some people very thankfully
> noticed, VLT transmissions just happen, by chance, to fall right smack in
> the human frequency hearing range. Not only that, the time-scale of the
> various events is such that there is no need for any time compression. The
> setup needed to make these emissions audible is simply radio receiver ->
> amp -> speaker. This makes it an electroacoustic phenomenon. As in
> electrons to sounds. This is the list of the Canadian *electroacoustic*
> community and I thought this would be more than relevant.
> Just to re-iteratate: VLT recordings are 1 to 1 mappings of
> electro-magnetic disturbances associated with auroras. They are not
> "illustrations" but simple transduction. Unless you are unbelievably
> pendant, they *are* caused by auroras (in some cases at least).
> I find the question of what is "art" or "music" spectacularly boring.
> "Gesang der Junglinge", "Vingt regards sur l'enfant J├ęsus", last week's
> cicada chorus and VLT emission recordings are all sonic structures. As
> perceptible material, they all have value, be it semantic or
> morphological. "Dawn chorus"-type of VLT are so-called because they sound
> like the chorus of birds in the morning. They are "beautiful" in part
> because they function in a programmatic fashion, appealing to the
> listener's imagination. This morphological proximity between "dawn chorus"
> VLT and birdsong causes a number of semantic associations in the
> listener's mind. Entire imaginary landscapes and sceneries arise before
> the mind's eye.
> In the end, it's all energy. The Pathetic Sonata, "Chiaroscuro", VLT, me,
> you, this e-mail message. However, as I sentient being, I choose to try to
> find beauty wherever I turn my ear or eye.
> Jean-Marc

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