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March 2005
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Sonicisim is a thought model:  a subset of a broader complex of ideas that explore the essentially vibratory notion of reality. 

  • A waveform in one medium holds meaning in a second.
  • Sound represents the interstice of physiology and cosmology
  • Experience is a standing wave, a habit of creation and it's creatures

Nada Brahma. 

Research in Sonicism leads one to Hildegaard, Messiaen, McKenna, Bohm, Jung, neurology, whale song, ragas, ringtones and Stockhausen.  The patterns of vibration in air that we call 'sound' can be expressed using mathematic models.  Particularly  useful is the Fourier Transform, which separates a waveform into constituent sinusoids.  Each frequency represents a component, and when combined, the sinusoids sum to the original.  Fourier transform is a tool that can be applied to any waveform, allowing for a common representation of waveform structure across multiple media. 

The abiding presence is transient, liminal and aesthetic.

Hildegaard of Bingen

Hildegaard has a wonderfully complex and realized cosmology, expressed  in her songs and visions.  It's as if there is a point where theology and cosmology meet, and that point ends up resonating through the human body.  Perhaps we have a body so that we can resonate?  Further, that the cathedral is a structure, a technology, that opens a sound into a different temporal reality:  either simply through reverberation, or through other more sophisticated spatial techniques that emphasize aspects of the sound.

I want to mirror this to the rise of digital sampling technology, which allows us to interrogate a sound at the micro level, beneath the human perception.  In both cases, a sound leads our physiological responses beyond what we normally contain.

Into this environment was first introduced the human voice, monophony leading to polyphony:  one line leading to counterpoint.  It didn't have to be this way.  This music represents a growing sense of spatial constructions, of species connections.

With the advent of recording technology, it becomes possible to hear sound outside of time.  The cathedral also allows the dimension of time to be expanded, altered.  the results of digital/cathedral sound analysis are transient, subliminal and aesthetic.

Bach knew this.  Messiaen knew this.  The organ stood to fill each crenelated nook and cranny with a finely tuned harmonic.