Tag Archives: Sound

Slow-Mo Dial-Up Sound

This is the sound of a 56K dial-up modem slowed down 700%. It’s kind of creepy, but kind of beautiful in an eerie sort of way as well.



Solar Musicbox

This cool little site shows the orbits of the planets with each one making a sound as it crosses a line, like a music box. Pluto goes so slow though, you really have to wait to hear its sound. It’s really, really fun to stare at.

Solar Beat

Dispersion of Sound Waves in Ice

I can’t embed the sound, but it’s worth clicking through to hear it. It reminds me of the blasters from Star Wars.

I made this sound recording of a frozen lake in the winter of 2005/06 in the area around Berlin. Frozen lakes are known to give off most noise during major fluctuations in temperature: the ice expands or contracts, and the resulting tension in the ice causes cracks to appear. Due to the changes in temperature, the hours of morning and evening are usually the best times to hear these sounds. In my experience, thin ice is especially interesting for acoustic phenomena; it is more elastic and sounds are propagated better across the surface. Snowfall, on the other hand, has a muffling effect and the sound can only travel to a limited extent. The ice sheet acts as a huge membrane across which the cracking and popping sounds spread.

Dispersion of Sound Waves in Ice Sheets [Silent Listening]

What English Sounds Like

Prisencolinensinainciusol is a song written by an Italian composer in gibberish, but gibberish that sounds like English. It was intended to show which particular phonemes of English are picked up by non-speakers but it actually sounds like English to me too. I just can’t understand a word of it…

[via BoingBoing]


Mystery CD From the Desert

Swan Fungus of WFMU’s Beware of the Blog writes about a strange CD he found while hiking at Joshua Tree:

The last place I ever expected to find an unlabeled CD-r filled with music would be in the middle of the fucking desert. But nearly two years ago I was hiking in Joshua Tree and I came across a completely surreal sight: an old-school 5 1/4″ computer floppy disk. It appeared to have been tossed casually near the side of the trail I was on, housed in a simple plastic baggie. I reached into the bag and pulled out the floppy disc. I noticed that the magnetic tape inside the plastic case had been replaced by a recordable compact disc. The disc had a creepy message scrawled on it which read, “A silvery female voice breaking through onto the airband sang in German, ‘We are from another world, but you have cut us out”. I don’t believe in ghosts or extraterrestrials or anything, but standing in the middle of nowhere reading that line was enough to send me into a miniature freak out. What’s more, a folded-up piece of paper was also buried inside the plastic cover. A treasure map. Browned edges and everything. It featured a pirate ship (?), a series of footsteps through mountains and palm trees (?), one red X, and ten blue X’s. One of of the X’s appeard to be floating in the middle of a body of water.Whoa.

I listened to the recording on my drive back to LA that night. It was indescribably weird. The dedication to the floppy disk case, chicken scratch message, and treasure map implied that someone with way too much time on his or her hands crafted it. The insanity of the recording — with one or two kind of pretty moments — mirrored the obsessively constructed feel of the package. I didn’t know if I was listening to the work of a mad genius or a deranged psychopath. The sounds are a combination of heavily processed human voices and schizophrenic space music. The 11 tracks are very short, with only four “tunes” lasting longer than three minutes. Most are in the thirty-second to two-minute range in length. I wouldn’t call it “rock,” but it’s guitar-centric. I also wouldn’t say that it is very good, but it made for an interesting listen.

It’s very possible it’s a hoax, but I just love mysteries like this so much. The full post has all of the tracks uploaded so you can hear them. They’re pretty creepy to say the least.

Question Mark Question Mark Question Mark [WFMU’s Beware of the Blog]


The Theremin is an early electronic musical instrument, invented in Russia in 1928 by Léon Theremin. It’s controlled by two antennas which sense the location of the player’s hands, with one being used to control the wave frequency, i.e. pitch and the other being used to control the wave amplitude, i.e. volume. It’s supposed to be very easy to learn but very difficult to master, especially because there are no frets or keys to guide your hands.

In the video, Clara Rockmore plays Wieniawski’s “Romance”. Ms. Rockmore was one of the first performers to bring musical artistry to the theremin. You may recognize the sound from old Sci-Fi movies.

Theremin [Wikipedia]

Sonic Boom

boom boom

This is a picture of an F-22 in mid-sonic boom over Alaska.

[via Geekologie]