h a l f b a k e r y
actual product may differ from illustration
add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random
news, help, about, links, report a problem
or get an account
Let's face it, earthquakes don't really get the positive
reviews they deserve. It may have
something to do with buildings collapsing and bridges failing.
To remedify this, MaxCo. is seeking to produce and release
an album of earthquake music.
High-resolution cameras will be dotted around
woodland trees and other such places
where tall thin things tend to exist. After the next major
quake (and assuming that at least some
buildings/trees survive), the footage will be analysed pixel
by pixel, to measure the swaying of
tall objects. All the sways will then be up-shifted by a few
octaves to bring them into the audio
The resulting symphony from a large quake in (say) a city
will begin with a discordant clamour of
sound, dominated by the main frequency of the quake itself.
Once the quake stops, however,
each skyscraper will continue to resonate at its own
characteristic frequency (or perhaps a base
frequency plus one or two harmonics). Shorter, stiffer
buildings will produce a rapidly fading
"piiiing", like wineglass being tapped; taller more flexible
ones will produce deeply sonorous bass
notes that take minutes to fade into silence. Perhaps one or
two buildings will start out on one
note, and then abruptly shift frequency as a vital structural
element cracks somewhere in the
Forests will provide a much more complex soundscape - not
only are trees more flexible than most
buildings, but their tapering trunks and large limbs will add
richness and overtones.
"Really? £25bn of damage? Yes, but it sounded lovely."
||This hardly counts as "music" since you are passively listening to ambient noise. I would suggest synchronised and timed detonantion of nuculeur warheads in deep underground shafts near fault boundaries.
||Umm, y'know that there are seismometers, right? Far more
precise than watching lamp-posts wiggle.
Also (if you're lucky, or unlucky, depending on your point-of-
view) you can hear earthquakes. I know from personal
experience, listening to aftershocks. Like thunder, they do
sound pretty cool.
||//seismometers// Yes, if they can be cheaply mounted on
the tops of all the buildings and trees. I was thinking that a
single high-resolution video could capture movement in
multiple structures. It's the structures' movements that we're
interested in, more than the ground's.
||In fact, the video might not need to be so high-res. I know
people have recorded sound by filming (with a regular
camera) things like pot-plant leaves or crisp packets exposed
to the sound.
||Dunno about "all" the buildings and trees... More than 200
were distributed around Christchurch after the Feb 2011
These days, many cities have a wide angle "live" camera for
TV channels. So you can probably do it already.
||// These days, many cities have a wide angle "live" camera for TV channels. //
||Yes, you just never know when some maniac is going to fly a commercial jet right into a tall building ...
||What is the sound of one land flapping?
||Ooooh, ooooh, we know this one ... "California Dreaming" played on an 8-track stereo in a vintage convertible Cadillac Eldorado, being driven pedal-to-the-metal towards Nevada as the San Andreas unzips along its entire length behind it ...
||// Yes, if they can be cheaply mounted on the tops of all the buildings and trees. //
||Maybe not seismometers, but accelerometers are miniscule and cheap now, and should be
sensitive enough for that motion.
||// I know people have recorded sound by filming (with a regular camera) things like pot-plant
leaves or crisp packets exposed to the sound. //
||That was done with a high-speed camera, unless more recent work has managed to get it to
work with a regular camera somehow (rolling shutter?). The term to search for is 'visual