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Coughy Cantata

Combine all the audience's coughs over multiple live performances; remove the music
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The idea for this art project is as follows: Pick one piece of classical music; say, Bach's "Coffee Cantata". Actually, better if it's a piece with very many live recordings. Overlay all the live recordings of this work (normalizing the speeds so that they start and end at the same time). But digitally remove the music and leave only the sounds of the audience (coughs; sneezes; humming; cell phones; cough drop wrappers).

Then publish only these audience sounds.

I think the sounds will be an interesting representation of the ebb and flow of the music. For example, there might be more sounds during loud parts (where people think their coughs are masked) or during slow parts. The audience noises could also be graphed and overlaid upon the sheet music as a kind of intensity graph; this could also alert conductors as to when they should consider somehow improving the interest of the performance.

phundug, Oct 30 2011

4'33" http://www.youtube....watch?v=hUJagb7hL0E
Similar idea, although without the 'ebb and flow' information. [TomP, Oct 30 2011]

[link]






       This won't be generally possible with existing recordings; the human ear is very good at discriminating sounds, and the fact that most of the sounds you desire are inaudible or barely audible in the original recording reflects the fact that they are essentially not recorded at all, not that they are masked by the music. In other words, digital processing will not be able to clearly isolate sounds that were not clearly audible in the original recording.   

       If new recordings were made with clever arrangements of microphones you could get better (but not perfect) discrimination.
spidermother, Oct 30 2011
  

       Depending on the recording setup and notwithstanding that you will hear the music, albeit muted, it doesn't sound all that difficult to do [+]
FlyingToaster, Oct 30 2011
  

       At last, my true artistic medium has been discovered (if not enjoyed)! [+]
Grogster, Oct 30 2011
  

       It'd work best off the studio master of course.
FlyingToaster, Oct 30 2011
  

       Subtractive ideas are always a winner for me. +
xenzag, Oct 30 2011
  
      
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