This sincere looking chap is Alvin Lucier, Artist, and sonic explorer. One of his most memorable works is ‘I Am Sitting in a Room’ in which he records himself speaking a phrase in a room. He then plays that recording into the same room and records that. Each subsequent recording has more and more room tone until the fundamental frequencies of the room completely obscure his original narrative. It’s a simple idea and a great one, the best thing about it is that you can try it out for yourself really easily.
My sound today is a recording made in the upper room of Beconsfield Art Space in South London where I was making an installation last year. The room is acoustically very active with old wooden floors, reflective walls and a very high celling. I played the sound of a one sample click (sounds like a glitch at the start of the mp3) into the room using a PA system then recorded the results using a pair of Oktava MK012’s, normalised the recording then played it back into the room and recorded that. I repeated the process 10 times. As you will hear the results are fascinating. I really like the way the tiny impulse gradually turns from a percussive sound into a pitched sound as the attack time gets stretched out and the room’s fundamentals take over. You don’t have to have a big room to try this out it’ll work well in any slightly reflective space, you could even try it through a convolution reverb. My installation is documented here.