Re: indefinite pitch

Subject: Re: indefinite pitch
From: miriam clinton (iriXx) (
Date: Fri Oct 07 2005 - 07:00:50 EDT

this fascinates me.

I have absolute pitch (perfect pitch) and so at first hearing I would be
able to tell you the names of the notes on the piano. But as absolute
pitch is linked to synaesthesia, I would also be able to tell you their
color and texture.

at 1/2 second intervals the note becomes an irritant, comes apart,
becomes a texture, all three at once... and i could paint you a picture
of it also. seriously. it becomes a physical picture, quite a strong
one, albeit abstract.

i once played the piano part of 'in C' by Terry Riley and nearly drove
myself nuts but explored a world at the same time... one that with
greater maturity (i was 16 when i did it) i would probably explore
further. or maybe not. epileptics dont cope well with those sorts of
things, or with the rising zoom of some of Janek Schaefer's turntable
effects which i loved but unfortunately sent me running out the room.
some MMORPG sound effects have had the same effect on me - as does
repetition. ok i've given the game away now and someone's gonna send me
a piece to drive me nuts... j/k... it doesnt always work =P. however i
do deliberately use such 'irritants' in my pieces to convey
psychoacoustic effect. i have no idea if they work for others... but
others have said they perceive the effect that such 'irritants' give
/me/. in other words, the psychoacoustic effect is conveyed even when
not directly experienced.

the same happens with indefinate pitch. gongs, church bells, timpani,
bakerlite telephones.... sometimes beautiful, and then after a while...
ouch, i hear this pitch, i hear that pitch... where is my center?....
but still... 'wow, where is my center'....

Kevin you can come experiment on me =P. Actually this is something I
will remember for teaching future classes... even the definate can
become indefinate. my personal favorite, sonically, is the upper
harmonics of bass piano strings.

out of interest for my own work... can anyone suggest a way to do this -
in pleasant and unpleasant sound - with voice and/or deflective surfaces
(i used to sing into the piano also)... i have moved on to focus on
voice as my instrument thesedays and unlike most classical vocalists i'm
willing to do anything with it including grunge (as a studio discovered
one day when i screamed at high pitch into the mic and waited for
security to arrive... they didnt. they were used to our noises).


Kevin Austin wrote:

> You enter the realms of physics and psychoacoustics, and (re)introduce
> a fascinating concept / dilemma.

99% of aliens prefer Earth

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