In today’s class, Notation, we listened and saw  a few examples of your networks.

We also talked about the long histories of notation by beginning our discussion of music as it relates to sound and noise.

Following cues from attali and Noise, we followed notation as it moved from Classical Greece through the middle ages. As Modernity and the massification of graphic notation created a political economy of musical production, parallel trajectories of experimentation of both graphical and musical notation arose.

We looked in depth at Bach and the well Tempered Clavier as it relates to the elightenment project of individualism and perfection. 12 tone music, Schoenberg and Adorno’s attempts to deal with the unfinished enlightement project was addressed.

Particular attention was given to 2 areas of composition and notation: stochastic music and minimalism. We looked closely at rhythm cycles and loops, as they intersect with the sacred and local (gamelan, ragas, ghanaian drumming) and are reflected in concepts of globalized computational media.

Brief examination of the systems designed for new compositional forms were examined, as well as a brief look into Rem Koolhaas’s concept of Junk Space.

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we also listened to a number of tracks such as Terry Riley’s in C

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as well as James Brown, Fela Kuti, Radiohead, Steve Reich, Skream and others.




In this week’s class, we discussed deep listening exercises by the class.

Then we talked about waves, analogue to digital conversion and time, narcissus and echo in the land of reverb, psychogeography, Constant’s babylon and Debord’s naked city, Cardiff and Jam Master Jay.

Class assignment was to make a soundwalk based off of your site.

Presentation can be downloaded here

For the .pdf of the presentation on performance and performativity, please click here.

included is the sound of Ghanian postal workers canceling stamps at the University of Ghana

as well as a bbc documentary on Ghana

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and video of Steve Reich’s Clapping music

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1. Sound walk Critiques I

Topics discussed:

  • It was Pierre Schaeffer who introduced this word ‘acousmatic’ to the vocabulary of modern media art. Generally speaking, an acousmatic voice is a voice where the speaker cannot be seen, as in the case of the telephone conversation or of the radio speaker. The acousmatic voice being the voice without a body or, a body consisting of sound alone is at the same time ‘a body without organs’ to use the phrase of Gilles Deleuze, who insists that ‘the body without organs’ is not just to be understood as “radiophonic”, but “as a plateau in communication … a component of passage.”

  • Acousmêtre – a kind of voice-character specific to cinema that derives mysterious powers from being heard and not seen. The disembodied voice seems to come from everywhere and therefore to have no clearly definded limits to its power.

Acousmêtre depends for its effects on delaying the fusion of sound and image to the extreme, by suppling the sound – almost av voice – and witholding the image of the sound´s true source until nearly the very end of the film. Only then, when the audience has used its imagination to the fullest is the real identity of the sound revealed, almost always with a accompanying loss off imagined power. As long as we can´t see whom we attribute all-seeing power to the voice, but once inscribed in the visual field he loses his aura (as the wizard in the Wizard of Oz and HAL in 2001).

The acousmêtre has…

  • the power of seeing all
  • the power of omniscience
  • the omnipotence to act on the situation
  • the gift of ubiquity (to be where he or she wishes)

Project proposals

Some Sound Mapping and data visualization links of interest:


Data viz Next City

More data viz