Re: encouraging polemics and reflection...

Subject: Re: encouraging polemics and reflection...
From: Rosemary Mountain (
Date: Sat Feb 13 1999 - 07:08:36 EST

Douglas Doherty wrote:
> ... (after quoting my earlier note)
> I feel this is a bit general and getting too tied to the technology when it
> is the sound that is important; it is the characteristics of the sound that
> make it "spacey" and "trippy", or earthbound. In the end motor skills are
> not necessary to give a sound a convincing sense of physical reality, just
> knowledge, skill and patience. Knowledge of sound and how it works
> (acoustics AND psychoacoustics), skill at the technology, and patience
> because the theory can only take you part of the way.

I agree that my original comment was "a bit general" and that the
effects could easily be "simulated" without motor skills, and conversely
-- returning to JF Delannoy's comment the other day -- that motor
movements are not the only evocation of human physicality.

> In addition, motor skills can also result in "spacey" sounds.

Of course!

But I meant to refer to some striking correspondences between our
perceptual parsing strategies and human motor movements -- for instance
our inability to distinguish temporal order just beyond the limit at
which we can play notes on a keyboard or violin, for example (around
20/second) and also an apparent upper limit of the period which can be
directly perceived as regular which corresponds nicely to a cycle of
slow limb movements (there is a limit to how slow we can walk!)

There are of course many other factors, but I am finding it interesting
to realize, rather belatedly, that we hear things the way we do partly
because of the "configuration" of our bodies and those of the bodies
around us.....


  Dr. Rosemary Mountain
  University of Aveiro
  Communication & Art Dept.
  P-3810 Aveiro, Portugal

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