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Sound, Language, Love, and the art of the Mix Tape.

February 12, 2010

Sound as Art
I love listening to WNCW 88.7 stream on internet radio while I sip coffee and plan out my day. Several stories currently revolve around Valentine’s Day. One story made me lower the computer screen and sit up straighter while I listened intently.

Radiolab: Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan’s Ultimate Mix Tape by Soren Wheeler and Jad Abumrad

The opening line: “This is a love story. And, oddly enough, it starts with an interstellar space mission and a golden record.”

The Voyager Interstellar Mission sent golden records with all sorts of crazy recordings for the aliens to find up to a billion years from now. Ann Druyan was the creative director for the project and was looking for a song to put on the record when she met Carl Sagan. You really should read or listen to the rest of the story yourself because the story should take your breath away and give you chills.

Her Ultimate Idea that blows my mind and hurts my brain:

“Druyan had an idea for the record: They could measure the electrical impulses of a human brain and nervous system, turn it into sound, and put it on the record. Then maybe, 1,000 million years from now, some alien civilization might be able to turn that data back into thoughts. So, just a few days after she and Sagan declared their love for each other, Druyan went to Bellevue Hospital in New York City and meditated while the sounds of her brain and body were recorded. According to Druyan, part of what she was thinking during that meditation was about ‘the wonder of love, of being in love.’ ”

Aliens turning data into thoughts? Brainwaves vibrating out love beams? WOW!

Intrigued, I remembered these Tibetan sound bowls and gongs

and using frequency and salt to capture amazing patterns

I then found water sound images. The beautiful shapes astound me. I would love to represent those stars in an array of blues in a felted art form.

Art of the Mix Tape
What would YOU put on a mix tape to send into space? The thought blows me away! Personally, I think that golden record contains some wonderful sounds. They even included humpback whale songs. I am still very nostalgic for cassette tapes to the point where I have only had tape decks in all cars I’ve had.
Interesting Mix Tape Bits

    Kym at Medley makes amazing ipod cases (or cases for other small items) out of discarded mix tapes and zippers. You should check them out and buy some; they’re ingenious.

Science v. Art
How could I turn science into art? I am interested in trying to felt images from the Hubble and from other space missions. Can you imagine what these 2 images would look like felted?

Enhanced image. Saturn’s clouds. Photo Nov. 5, 1980.

Crab Nebula, NASA, ESA, J. Hester (Arizona State University).

Where I blast off from here
Please leave a link or a comment if you know of any artists that use either felt or stitching to represent nebulae, brainwaves, sound, and whatnot. I have seen stitches to look like an EKG, but that’s as far as my knowledge reaches.

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