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In the Other Room | Weeknotes

I recently stumbled in to a niche Archipelago of Youtube. On a map of the internet, I think it’s located just off shore of the ASMR peninsula.

The genre is called ‘In the other room’, ‘In a bathroom at the club’; ‘the other room at a party’ or ‘outside the club’ whatever.

Heres some examples:

Other Room Youtube

You’re in the bathroom at a club in 2004

30k views

mr. brightside from another room

913k views

Toto- Africa (playing from outside the club)

257k views

β€˜Call out My Name’ But you’re upstairs at a Party

159k Views

Youtube is absolutely full of these videos once you go down the rabbit hole. Some of the mastering is better than others but I think this genre is absolutely fascinating.

I think in part it must be driven by people listening on headphones. Playing one of these tracks though speakers on my hi-fi sounds terrible. But in headphones there is a certain ‘magic’ from the frequency manipulation. Some songs really do feel like they are coming though the wall or whatever.

There are also more creative sonic ‘locations’ out there too.

ASMR Outside Cyberpunk Club – Muffled Music, Ambience, Soundscape, NCM

58k views

The video above comes with a detailed description too:

You are on a busy street on Syenrori Port, a trading planet, not owned by any government officially, but definitely run by many seedy organizations. This particular street is where you need to pick up an order from your sketchy employer, hence this had to be one of the sketchiest streets on the port. While you are waiting for your employer to send the message that tells you where the pickup site is, you stand along the wall of a building directly across from a club. Other planets tend to do trading with each other in a legitimate fashion, but this planet forgoes all those pleasantries. Right now you are in Yevnov Territory, they definitely own that club, which makes you increasingly uncomfortable. However, you need to grab that order before you can go anywhere…

I’m absolutely blown away. I love the idea of the production of ‘sonic worlds’ like this.

No Minds Eye

Eve has one of those bluetooth sleep masks with headphones in. She wears them when the neighbours are being noisy etc. Frequently she listens to Headpaces’ ‘sleepcasts’ or whatever they are called. High quality audio captured from locations like a jungle pond at dusk in Bali, Clifftop at high tide in the rain etc. Field recordings.

Since I discovered I don’t have a minds eye I’ve been asking her all sorts of questions about what is actually going on when she’s listening to the soundscapes before bed. Apparently she’s laying there and picturing/visualising all the things she can hear.

Building a whole visual world in her minds eyes.

A few weeks ago she handed me her sleep mask and pressed play, offering no contextual information and asked me where I thought I was.

Not being able to picture anything I had to do ‘deep listening‘ on what I was hearing. I describe the experience as like spinning a mental rolodex, searching a memory bank of sounds I’ve ever heard before. After a few minutes of careful listening I said ‘It sounds like a man peeing into a bucket standing up next to a washing machine’.

The ‘correct’ answer was ‘A field recording of jungle cicada’s next to a stream’.

Unfortunately, my ‘man doing a pee’ description highly accurate. Now, despite knowing its Jungle Cicada’s, whenever Eve now listens to that soundscape all she can picture is a man peeing into a bucket in a utility room. I’ve ruined that particular recording for her forever. Like an audio version of a once seen, can’t un-see visual illusion.

She played me another field recording and I listened to it for ages trying to figure out what I was listening to. Eventually I said ‘It sounds like a bunch of pink and brown noise put though oscillators at 50/60hz or something’. Her: It’s a laundrette. Me: Oh yeah obviously. But it was essentially a bunch of brown and pink noise oscillating!

Another dessert cicada soundscape she played me sounded like ‘What it’s like to be inside of a TV tuned to a dead channel’. Then we had to stop playing the game before I ruined all the soundscapes in the app.

Sonic Worldbuilding

I’m pretty sure David Byrne in his 2012 book ‘How Music Works’ he talks about how the ‘sound of the room or venue’ effects the music you’re hearing. Punk and rock and roll always sounds better in a small room packed full of bodies.

None of this is new obviously. Back at university we learnt all about mixing and mastering, frequencies and how convolution reverb modelling works etc. How classic music and opera have been optimised for the concert hall, religious music is almost always optimised for the context it was to be preformed in.

Check out this performance of orthodox cherubic Hymn in Mode 1 performed with the reverb modelled from the convolution data from the Hagia Sophia.

250k Views

Whilst we are on the subject of religious music here’s Psalm 50 (the video title is incorrect) performed for the Pope in Aramaic. It’s one of the most incredible performances I’ve ever heard. Not sure I’ve ever shared it on the blog.

7.2M views

Anyways, I’ve now super interesting in ‘room sound’ and the effect of the room on the production of sonic meaning.

Wagner went so far as to create the Bayreuth Festspielhaus to house his work.

CAR

Holly Herndon’s first release is called CAR from 2011.

CAR is a recording released in 2011, specifically for automobile listening. It was conceived of after being invited to release with ThirdSex in Chicago, upon which I asked the label owner to survey his customers to find out where they listen to cassettes the most frequently. The overwhelming answer was β€œin the car”, so I composed for that environment utilizing sine sweeps and synthesis designed to resonate my Toyota Matrix.

Best enjoyed while driving!

This is obviously a highly specific site for composition! Whats interesting to me this weekend is the idea of world building the site as well as making the audio.

I personally really don’t enjoy ‘clubbing’. I don’t like the experience of being in a huge dark room with 100’s of people dancing, all the lights and sticky floors. Maybe I don’t like being around people enjoying themselves. LOL. Lots of my friends would always ask me why the hell I went to breakcore raves or whatever if I hate it so much.

The answer is because I love hearing music in the context that it was created for. Pop music really fucking loud sounds 1000 times better in a club than on the radio. Techno and experimental club music always sounds incredible on a huge soundsystem that shakes your chest. Seeing Dreamcrusher back in 2019 at unsound is a sonic hilight of my life thus far.

Game Engines

Over the last year or so I’ve spent some time messing about with game engines, learning the ropes etc. One of the big updates to Unreal Engine 4.25 back in 2021 was real time spatial audio both – convolution reverb and ambisonic soundfield rendering.

Inspired by the idea of sonic world build I think I’d like to try making some music, or a sound installation and build the room, the environment it supposed to be heard.

The same way that artists and producers record to tape/analogue, our use sprung or plate reverb for its sonic qualities, I wonder what music ‘filtered through the metaverse’ sounds like?

Mentioning this idea to my friend Arthur earlier he said Not sure how “recorded in the metaverse” works with my ontology of sound.

If anyone knows of any sound artists doing this please let me know!


Photo 365

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The Ministry Of My Own Labour

  • Making this new show/podcast is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Nothing has been easy so far. It won’t be ready for Sep10 πŸ™
  • Been enjoying not making the podcast
  • Week 3 of the new centre course is over

Dipping the Stacks

Metaverse, NFTs, and Blockchain Gaming in 2022 | Newzoo Trend Report

The metaverse, NFTs, and blockchain gaming have transitioned from being largely unknown concepts to terms on the lips of every major brand or investor. This fast-moving space demands an understanding of its foundational trends.

The Twitterification of TikTok – by kate lindsay – Embedded

But now, this behavior has migrated to comments on TikToks, previously one of the funnier and purer parts of the app, and it’s particularly jarring to witness. 

Failure to Cope “Under Capitalism”

Capitalism, in this rhetorical strain, is not so much the object of analysis or a concrete historical phenomenon as an all-purpose gesture. β€œ

Sometimes, paying attention means we see the world less clearly | Psyche Ideas

the idea that attention is a path to knowledge isn’t just part of common sense. It also has a long history in epistemology

To Control Your Life, Control What You Pay Attention To

Practicing attention management means fighting back against the distractions and creating opportunities throughout your day to support your priorities.

Reading

I finished the 40k book The Triumph of Saint Katherine. I like the format of the storytelling in this book. Usual for a GW novel.

Still reading Wired Love: a Romance of Dots and Dashes. It really is amazing. I think you could probably read the whole book in one day if you wanted. I’m only doing about 8/9% of the book a night as I’m taking notes.

I started reading The Artful Edit: On the Practice of Editing Yourself by Susan Bell on the recommendation of my friend Alex. It’s a very fun book about editing, and I recognise a lot of the states of mind mentioned in the opening chapters.

Music

thejaymo.net Spotify Playlist

Martha Skye Murphy – Distance On Ground

I first wrote about discovering Martha Skye Murphy earlier this year.

This week I’ve been listening to this 18min, two track collaboration with Maxwell Sterling. Each song is named β€œ86 km” and β€œ93.3 km,” respectively.

86km feels like a long drive. Ambient drone and blurred visuals out the corner of the eye. 93.3 sounds like a very bad experience at an airport, followed by delays on the tarmac waiting to push back. Both tracks however capture a sense of forward motion, the momentum you experiencing sitting still, but travelling from A to B.

The projects website says this EP is the product of one improvisation session.

Like I said back in Jan really glad to have discovered Martha Skye Murphy’s work. Incredible musician.

Remember Kids:

God damn it

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About Author

Jay Springett is a Solarpunk, and consultant strategist, currently specialising in the distributed web, metaverse, and world running. He is currently writing his first public book: Land as Platform.

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