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INFRASONICASKET EXPLORING THE MUSICAL POSSIBILITIES OF INFRASOUND BY BRYCE BRESNAN A Thesis Submitted to the Division of Humanities New College of Florida in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Bachelor of Arts Under the s ponsorship of Mark Dancigers Sarasota, Florida April 2013
! "" ACKNOLWEDGMENTS This project was a challenging and ambitious undertaking for me and without the help of my friends and family it would never have been possible. Thanks to my paren ts and sister who were willing to help me through the hardest part of this process: developing my ideas. Through your willingness to listen to me babble on about my research and our enlightening discussions about my half baked ideas, I developed a strong f oundation for a project I am extremely proud of. Thanks to my professors: Bret Aarden, Maribeth Clark, Kariann Goldshmitt, and Steve Miles. To me, this project represents a personal culmination of the ideas I've developed under your tutelage, for withou t any one of the perspectives on music that you have shown me over the years, this project would not have been possible. Thanks to Mark Dancigers for the help, advice and encouragement you provided during the process of sponsoring this thesis. God knows I needed every bit of it. Thanks to Eric, Alex, and Dylan for the h elp in construction and design. Thanks to Elliot and Mar for not charging my box rent as it took up our c arport for the better part of two months. Thanks to Gary and Professor Herzog fo r helping me move the box from place to place. Thanks especially to Amanda for eve rything you've done. The various jobs you've assisted me with are too numerous to count, but most of all you took care of this often stressed thesis student without batting a n eye.
! """ TABLE OF CONTE NTS List of Figures ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... iv Abstract ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................... v Chapter One: The Power of Infrasonic Music ................................ ................................ .... 1 Introduction Myths and Rumors Infrasound and the Paranormal Scientific Study Artistic Applications Artistic Context Exploratio n Through Composition and Performance Chapter Two: Construction, Composition and Performance ................................ ........... 17 Challenges to Building an Infra Woofer Construction Composition Performance Chapter Three: Outcome and Conclusions ................................ ................................ ...... 40 Outcome My Experience of the Pie ce Alternative Approaches and Possibilities for Future Work Lingering Questions Bibliogrpahy ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 49
! "# LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Figure 1. Frequency response chart comparing per formance ................................ ......... 19 Figure 2. Thigpen Rotary Woofer ................................ ................................ ..................... 20 Figure 3. Thigpen Rotary Woofer frequency response chart ................................ ........... 20 Figure 4. A scaled 3D rendering of the box design ................................ .......................... 23 Figure 5 Frequency response of the Dayton 18" Reference HO Series ........................... 24 Figure 6. View from the door of the theater ................................ ................................ ..... 38 Figure 7. The setup from other angles ................................ ................................ .............. 38 Figure 8. An illustration of the inte rsection between heard and felt music ...................... 47
! # INFRASONICASKET EXPLORING THE MUSICAL POSSIBILITIES OF INFRASOUND Bryce Bresnan New College of Florida, 2013 ABSTRACT Infrasound is defined as the range of frequencies below the range of human hearing: 20 Hz down to .001 Hz. It is a relatively unexplored range of sounds that has some mysterious characteristics including the ability to subliminally influence emotions. In some cases, this sonic material has be en known to induce inexplicable fear and "paranormal" experiences In that same vein, there is much interest in the idea of using infras ound as a weapon because its physical properties seem to point to the possibility of harnessing infrasound to impercepti bly influence humans both physically and emotionally. One of t he most intriguing aspect s of infras onic music is that it ca n not be heard, which is not to say it ca n not be perceived. Given enough volume, infrasonic music can be felt tactilely. In this the sis I explore the curious realm of infrasonic music through construction of a specialized infrasonic speaker array leading to the composition and performance o f a piece of infrasonic music. Mark Dancigers Music
! $ CHAPTER ONE The Potential Power of Infras onic Music Introduction Defined as sound below the range of human hearing, approximately 20 Hz down to .001 Hz, infrasound is a counter intuitive material to use for musical composition that raises an obvious question: why compose music that you can not hear? Though it might seem from its definition that infrasound is completely imperceptible to humans, there is a large body of evidence to suggest otherwise. This range of silent sound waves has a subliminal power that humans perceive more with a sense of touch or feeling than an auditory sense. Many historical and scientific examples show infrasound has unique psychological and emotional effects, which present potentially interesting musical opportunities. In this chapter, I begin to explore how the conc ept of infrasonic music can be examined in an artistic context. Its existence raises many questions about how the body, the ear and the mind interact when experiencing music. Infrasonic music tests the limits of the affective power of music and even presen ts an argument for music that is not heard, but felt through tactile sensation. Historical encounters with infrasound and its effect on people has become a topic that is shrouded in misconception and clouded by myth; however, despite the inaccuracy of som e of the claims, I feel each encounter with infrasound is compelling support for the need to explore the artistic applications of this uniquely silent sonic material.
! % Myths and Rumors Much of the interest in the topic stems from a sensationalization of its physical properties that make the suggestion of weaponizing infrasound seem plausible, if not downright obvious. Infrasound is relatively undetectable to humans, though its effects are not negligible. It is a known byproduct of large cataclysmic events in nature such as earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions and other large explosive events. It can cause objects to shake and move with intense power and yet it can not be heard. To an unknowing observer, this might seem almost like magic. The media's fictitious exagerations on the accomplishments of Russian born, Fr ench scientist Vladimir Gavreau are a wild example of a historical fascination with infrasonic weapons. According to an anecdotal ac count of Gavreau's achievements by Gerry Vassilatos Gavrea u was originally a roboticist developing "remote control automatons and robotic devices...for use in battlefields and industrial fields." (Vassilatos ) His interest in sonic weapons began with an investigation of an odd phenomenon that was occurring in his lab in the mid to late 1950 s: all of the employees in the military research lab where Gavreau worked would on occasion, become simultaneously struck with a sudden and acute nausea for no apparent reason. After fruitlessly investigating various possibiliti es such as pathogens, food poisoning and even toxic gas, he eventually discovered the disturbance was being cause d by a powerful infra sonic standing wave. The source of this wave was a large fan in the facility that had been just slightly damaged so that w hen it moved air through the lab, the air interacted with the geometry of the building in a particular way and created intense vibrations that were below the range of human hearing.
! & Gavreau's discovery inspired him to explore these mysterious, silently d ebilitating characteristics of ultra low frequency sound waves, and according to the article, Gavreau created an array of fantastic infrasonic "whistles," which wreaked havoc on humans and buildings alike. One of the weapons was said to have accidentally b lown all the windows out of an unsuspe cting building that was nearly five miles away from the testing area. Human targets did not fare much better. Reportedly, the effects of just a few seconds of exposure to the blast from these infrasonic weapons would d isable the test subjects for days at a time. Among the plethora of unpleasant effects were nausea, disorientation, and even extreme difficulty walking for days after the exposure. Apparently, the weapons were almost too powerful to control, sometimes accid entally backfiring and causing the entire research lab to nearly collapse or once, as Vassilatos recalls, an operator was nearly "enveloped in infrasonic death" before managing to switch off the device just i n the nick of time. Unfortunately, this incredi ble story ends up being too good to be true, according to Dr. Seth Horowi t z. With a little fact checking, he discovered that "while Gavreau did exist and did do acoustic research, he had actually only written a few minor papers in the 1960s that describe h uman exposure to low frequency (not infrasonic) sound, and none of the supposed patents existed." (Horowitz 240 ) Despite its exaggeration and misinformation, Vassilatos' embellishments on Gavreau's accomplishments are a typical example of the historical my thologizing the mysterious power of infrasound. In American pop culture, the animated comedy series South Park recently featured the episode "World Wide Recorder Concert," that focuses on one of infrasound' s more outlandish rumors: the Brown Note. Hypoth etically, the Brown N ote is
! approximately the average resonant frequency of the lower intestines, around 7 Hz, which, if played loud enough and long enough, will cause a loss of bowel control. Though the idea might seem bizarre, this rumor has a scientific grounding that can be explained by the physics concept of resonance frequency. Resonance is the tendency of an object to vibrate with greater amplitude at some frequencies than at others. All objects that vibrate have resonance frequencies, otherwise know n as the frequency at which there is a relative maximum of the response amplitude. Additionally, too much energy produced in an object at the resonant frequency can sometimes result in catastrophic failure of the vibrator. This principle is popularly demon strated when by singing loudly an opera singer causes a crystal wine glass to shatter. Many of the organs in the human body have their strongest resonance frequencies in the infrasonic range. (Cowan 5 ) Considering the principle demonstrated by the opera singer and the wine glass, it is not unreasonable to think that if the resonant frequency of an organ was generated with a high enough amplitude, the targeted organ could be shaken so hard that it would become damaged, or, given enough power, might even ex plode. Like many rumo rs surrounding infrasound, the Brown N ote and the possibility of infrasound damaging organs are just urban legends, but they do have a kernel of truth to them. Fortunately, though it is plausible that the resonance frequency of an ob ject could cause it to become structurally unstable if enough energy were used, human organs are well insulated by blood, muscles, fat, and other surrounding tissue that strongly dampens vibrations. Producing a frequency loud enough to cause damage to huma n organs requires the approximate acoustic power of a space shuttle launch or the detonation of a
! ( small bomb, "...and at that point," Horowitz states in his book The Universal Sense "it would be much faster to hit the person over the head with the emitter and be done with it." (Horowitz 244 ) Despite its humorous connotation, the B rown N ote and other rumored problems that could occur from low frequency resonances are legitimate concerns for astronauts and jet pilots who operate vehicles that vibrate at extr emely high amplitudes. The A ir Force and the TV show Myth Busters inv estigated the existence of the Brown N ote, and on both accounts it was concluded to be a pr actical impossibility. (Johnson ) Infrasound and the Paranormal Another sensationalized facet of infrasound is its close relationship with paranormal activity. In an interesting article published in the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research by Vic Tandy, infrasound was discovered as the source of an unexplainable "haunting." In his article, "Ghosts in the Machine," Tandy states that the research lab in which he worked as an electrical engineer was considered unanimously by the employees to be "haunted." Most people felt uneasy when entering the lab, and there were common unexplainable event s, such as the occasional glimpse of an apparition out of the corner of the eye, cold chills down the spine, and the unnerving feeling that someone else is present in an empty room. In his spare time, Tandy was an avid fencer and occasionally used one of the vices in the lab to prepare his fencing foils fo r upcoming competition s One evening, as Tandy was working in the lab, Tandy noticed the blade of the foil was vibrating rather wildly, despite the foil being secured in the vice on his desk. Immediately he was reminded of the haunting in the lab and wondered if the ghost was to blam e for the vibrations.
! ) However, a fter calming down a bit, Tandy reasoned with himself that there must be a vibration in the air below the limit of what he could hear that was causing the blade to vibrate. He detached the vice from the table in order to move the oscillating blade around the room. By doing this, he found that the vibrations were strongest in the center of the room where his desk was located and weaker out near th e walls of the room. Locating the source of the sound, which was a slightly bent blade on an extractor fan, Tandy managed to turn it off. Once the fan stopped moving, the foil stopped vibrating and the feeling of unease suddenly disappeared. Based on the d imensions of the room, Tandy calculated the standing wave had a frequency of 18.98 Hz. After a bit more research, he discovered the standing wave's frequency was exceptionally close to the resonance frequency of the human eyeball, around 19 Hz plus or minu s a few tenths of a Hertz depending on the mass of the eye. (Aerosp ace Medical Research Laboratory ) The ghostly visions that he and others in the lab experienced were being produced when their eyeballs were slightly compressed and vibrated by the infrasoni c standing wave. Another known source for fear inducing infrasound is found in an elevator within Brown University 's Biomed building. Those who have ridden it call it "The Elevator to Hell," not because of the depth of its decent, but because it causes a sickening sensation in its occupants, even for short periods of time. The elevator's dimensions are coincidentally perfect for the reson ance of a 4 Hz frequency, which is generated by a slightly damaged fan set in the ceiling of the elevator. Dr. Horowi t z who describes the strange phenomenon, attributes the feeling of disorientation and nausea to vibration of the fluids in the ear, which are largely responsible for your sense of balance and spatial orientation. This acoustic stimulation of the ear is know n as vibroacoustic disease, a
! recently diagnosed problem found in some construction workers and heavy machinery operators. (Horowitz 240 ) Scientific Study The previous examples show how humans are affected by the unintentional production of infrasound, b ut there is evidence that shows that the intentional use of infrasound has a statistically significant and psychologically stimulating effect on listeners. Infrasound exists just beyond the listener's normal range of perception, meaning it can be heard and experienced without the listener ever being conscious of its presence. A compelling study conducted in 2003 provides evidence for the claim that infrasonic tones, at least when used as subtle accompaniment, can have a significant effect on a listener's em otional engagement with the piece of music. In an experiment directed by Dr. Tracey Murray, a group of researchers and musicians utilized infrasonic accompaniment, in the form of a 17 Hz tone, with a selection of four originally composed works that were presented in a series of public performances. At each separate performance, only two of four pieces would be supplemented by the infrasonic accompaniment. In order to control the possibility that it was the piece of music that was creating altered emotiona l states and not the infrasound, the researchers alternated which two of the four pieces were augmented for each performance. At the end of each of the four pieces, audience members were asked to fill out a questionnaire regarding their personal reception of the work. Questions such as, "H ow would you rate this piece on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being extremely poor and 10
! + being extremely excellent ," and, "D id you have any anomalous experiences during this piece?" were asked of each audience member. For this particular experiment, the exact quality of feeling was not under strict investigation, but a wide range of reactions were given when the audience member was asked to describe the anomalous experience. Some words connected with the odd sensation caused by the infrasonic music were "spine crawling," "awe inspiring" and "anxiety provoking." After analyzing the collected data, Murray found that pieces which were accompanied with infrasound had a significant 22% increase in the number of reported anomalous expe riences. Though the results of this experiment clearly show that infrasound has a psychological impact when combined with music, it is unclear whether it is more in the vein of disturbing the psychological disposition of the listener or impr oving it. ( O'Ke effe, Ciarn, and Sarah Angliss ) Artistic Applications The particularly fascinating thing about these encounters is that they all converge around a core characteristic of infrasound: its subliminal power to affect the listener. The artistic applications for sonic material with this ab ility are immediately apparent. I nfrasonically augmented artwork offers the possibility of amplified emotional engagement. Not only could music be enhanced by strategic use of infrasonic accompaniment, but it has applications in performance art and film as well. Cat Hope, a music professor at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, created a few performance art pieces with infrasonic accompaniment. In The Low
! Groom, infrasound was used to enhance the abject nature o f the piece by altering the listener's spatial awareness. In my installation The Low Groom (2006), a low frequency tone is emitted from a bass amplifier into a small room, where one person may enter at a time. The person listens to a low, slow sultry voi ce on closed headphones which instructs them to manipulate a piece of fresh offal in a bowl before them (the offal is filmed live and projected onto the naked back of a live performer in the space, which gives an effect of manipulated' internal organs). H ere the intention of the low tone is not to offer the audience something to listen to or focus on in a conventional sense, but to offer an effect that will alter the way the listener experiences the voice in the headphones; a resonance within the body, whe n the ears are closed off and they eyes focused elsewhere. The tone intends to create a feeling' or atmosphere' in the room that the visitor is unlikely to even notice sonically The Low Groom uses low frequency sound not as music (it is after all a rathe r tedious ongoing tone) but as part of a larger, spatial concept of composition. (Hope 51) This concept of sonically induced fear is utilized in film, as well. To elicit a feeling of unease in the viewer, Irrversible (2002) a French horror film, genera ted a subtle, low drone at 28 Hz in the background noise of th e soundtrack during the first thirty minutes of the film. Admittedly 28 Hz is notably above the infrasonic range, so this is not a true application of infrasound, but since it takes an exceptio nally well
! $! equipped theater system to reproduce infrasound, it would have been impractical to attempt using a tone lower than 28 Hz. Though the film was known to cause people to exit the theater because they were too disturbed to sit and watch the film any further, it is impossible to know whether this was the work of the low frequency sound or the accompanying grotesque images and disturbing story Another compelling aspect of infrasonic art is that it seems as if it could be an art form that produces obj ectively measurable results in those who experience it. Though they have not been studied in detail yet, infrasound's curious properties seem to affect the listener's emotional disposition in an objective, psycho physiological way, as opposed to an experie ntially dependent or fundamentally subjective way. Infrasonic music conceptually pushes the boundaries of what can be considered music and provides an interesting argument for active silence. Despite intense debate over the definition of music, it seems d ifficult to consider events that can not be heard and identified by humans as music. Silence is a useful compositional element and has its place in music, but if left on its own it becomes harder to consider it music. Even John Cage's 4' 33 was perhaps n ot a completely silent performance. One possible interpretation of the role of silence in the piece is that when faced with the absence of the expected sound from the performer, the focus of the performance is placed on the noises that are occurring in its place and arguably, those sounds that occur in the space of the performance become the "music." Cage is not explicit about how he intended this use of silence, but certainly he was no stranger to the musi cal reframing of traditionally "non musical" soni c material.
! $$ Despite the illusion of silence created by our limited perception, infrasound is fundamentally not silent and it is not imperceptible. Even though our ears are deaf to its presence, it is quite possible to feel its effects through tactile sens ation. The lingering of this synesthetic perception after the audible aspect of music is removed makes infrasound a unique sonic material through which infrasonic music composers can explore a continuum between music perceived with the ear and music percei ved with the body. Infrasonics offer the opportunity to simulate the bodily sensations that sound creates when it is not isolated to our ears. By stripping away the sonic frequencies that normally dominate the listener's perception of sound and music, my project aims to induce these bodily sensations and bring them as well as the experience of "silent sound" to the forefro nt of the listener's attention. Artistic Context How would Jacque Attali regard the possibility of infrasonic music ? Initially, I qu estioned whether Attali's ideas about the power of noise, sound, and music could be applied to infrasonics since infrasound is alienated from other sound by virtue of it s inaudibility While it is possible that i nfrasonics fall outside of his hierarchy of noise and music, I think that the existence of infrasonic music broadens Attali's definition of sound In his s ection on "The Sounds of Power," Attali writes, when [noise] is fashioned by man with specific tools, when it invades man's timenoise is the so urce of purpose and power, of the dream -Music." (Attali 6 ) D espite the fact that Attali was probably not considering infrasound in his portrayal of the power of noise i nfrasonic music composition and performance shows how congruent infrasonics are with t hese
! $% descriptions In the context of my project infrasonic music demonstrates it potentially has the same characteristics as audible music despite its apparent lack of audibility What I attempt in the course of my composition is indicative of the musica l process that Attali describes above: fashion a disorganized, raw material of infra sound into the form of music in order to demonstrate that even noise that is imperceptible to the human ear can exhibit musical possibilities T his congruency between the t wo musics raises an interesting question about Attali's concept of the power of sound: if infrasonics do in fact demonstrate the same characteristics of p ower as audible noise and music: in other words if infrasonic music fits the Attali's definition of music, then it would seem to imply that the power of sound is derived from something other than its audibility. Another way to contextualize my project is through Piere Schaeffer's writing s o n acousmatics, which are resonant with the concept of infrason ic music. Much of what acousmatic procedure intends to do for the listener is provide a heightened awareness of the "sonorous object" as opposed to its source. When listening to a recording of a violin, it is possible to mentally picture a physical violin, thereby clouding the listening experience with personal, mental, and cultural connections to the source of the sound. However, due to the difficulty in both musically producing and perceiving it, infrasound lacks cultural assignments and it would seem imp ossible for a listener to mentally reference the source of infrasonic sound. Even after being removed from its source, say the speaker electronically generating the tone, the infrasonic sonorous object can not be analyzed "acoustically" by the ear into the qualities of its sound such as duration or frequency It slips these objective listening approaches and moves right into the Schaeffer's acousmatic field. By
! $& removing the source of the sound from the listener's interpretation of the sound, the listener is not only freer to listen to the actual sonorous object, but also freer to observe his or her own listening. The inexplicable anxiety that infrasound has the capacity to invoke is one such acousmatic observation. However, infrasound does more than just remove the source of the sonorous object: it practically removes the sound of the object as well. Acousmatics is focused on exactly how sound is interpreted, and is in direct conversation with acoustics, or how sound is generated. However, since infrasoun d strictly speaking can not be heard, applying acou smatic procedure is problematic. It is difficult to ask the question, "w hat am I hearing?" when you are unable to hear anything at all. It is possible that infrasound lies below the level of acoustic per ceptibility, where acousmatics may not be relevant. What exactly is the difference between hearing and feeling and how do they interact when we listen to music? Certainly both sensations can be connected to the experience of musical perception. My intent ion is to explore these concepts through my project. I believe that musical perception can be visualized as a continuum between both hearing and feeling, and that infrasound is a prime musical material, which can be used to investigate how the two interact I also think infrasonic music blurs the line between hearing and feeling, making a strong case for the possibility of a form of music that is not heard, but instead only felt. Pauline Oliveros experimented with music that occurs beyond the limits of hum an perception in her work featuring ultrasound, which is on the other side of the sound spectrum. By using electronic signal generators, she attempted to reproduce combination tones such as the ones that she was taught to listen to during her years of acco rdion
! $' instruction. During that time she wanted to hear the tones without the fundamental, or the lowest sine wave frequency that makes up a sound, so she could focus just on the highest frequencies present. Notoriously, the director of the electronic music studio she was working in at the time barred her from producing ultrasonic music by removing the power cables to the equipment Oliveros was using. Despite being discouraged by her mentors, on the grounds that technically imperceptible music was a waste of time, Oliveros was nonetheless drawn to the mystery of these silent frequencies and explored their musical potential. (Oliveros, 102 103) Similarly, my project is an exploration of musical possibilities of imperceptible frequencies. Through the use of in frasonic sounds, I desire to see just how imperceptible infrasound really is, while exploring the qualities of an unheard music. Infrasound, unlike ultrasound, offers the listener a way to perceive the music in a non traditional way that provokes some inte resting questions about how music can be experienced by listeners. Another aspect of sound perception that Oliveros pondered in her article "Some Sound Observations" was a curiosity of what hearing is like for other animals with different sets of ears. Sh e quoted a short phrase from Waves and the Ear by Bergeijk that states "Some animals, notably insects, do not have ears in their heads but in such unlikely places as their legs (some crickets) and thorax, the middle' portions of the insect body to which t he legs attach (some grasshoppers)." (Van Bergeijk, Willem Andr Maria, David, and Pierce ) Infrasound gives insight into this world, although it is rather abstract. In many cases, infrasound is not regarded as heard, but more felt, given that the sound is produced loudly enough. Listeners describe infrasound as a perceptible pressure in the air, which,
! $( ironically, becomes most noticeable when the sound is suddenly stopped. It is easier to describe infrasound with adjectives normally reserved for touch than with sound adjectives: it is not "loud" but "heavy," it i s not "low" but "deep." Though, admittedly it is not quite the same as having ears on your knees, the synesthetic experience of listening to infrasonic music is an exercise in alternative forms of listening. The unique capacity of infrasonic music to stimulate the senses beyond hearing points to a method of compositionally emphasizing the more general experience of tactile engagement with music. Currently, it is common for large music concerts to h ave such intensely amplified bass frequencies that the sound can easily shake your entire body, which is perhaps some of the enjoyment for concert goers who experience intense embodiment of music and sound. The embodiment of infrasound, while a similar sen sation, is experienced almost ent irely through the tactile sense In fact, the lower the frequency, the more the listening experience expands beyond the known borders of sound into the realm of tactile sensation. This blurring of the line between sensation s, redefines for the listener how the body can experience music. Listening to infrasonic music is listening to what is left over when sound is stripped from music. It is the silent, physical power beneath music. Exploration through Composition and Perfor mance I seek to explore these concepts and possibilities through the composition and performance of a piece of music that prominently features infrasound. Unlike the use of infrasound in Cat Hope's work The Low Groom, in which it is used as a subtle accom paniment, my goal is to focus the listener on the actual infrasound, and the
! $) sensations produced as the body is exposed to it. To do this, I need to use an instrument that can produce infrasonic waves, which, as I will explain in the next chapter, is not a n easy task.
! $* CHAPTER TWO Construction, Composition, and Performance of INFRASONICASKET Challenges to Building an Infra woofer Intentionally producing sound waves below the range of human hearing is an impractical e ndeavor, and there are very few applications for producing sound at those frequencies. For the most part, the available commercial sound equipment is aimed to accurately reproduce only the 20 Hz 20 kHz range, which is congruent with the standard range fo r human hearing. (Cowan 5 ) Applications of infrasonic sound reproduction are found in high end audiophile systems and occasionally in large movie theater sound systems to augment the "rumbling" feeling from sound effects such as explosions. Even in those e xamples however, it is an expensive endeavor and is usually considered the lowest priority, no pun intended. On the other hand, there is evidence to suggest that although you cannot "listen" to the frequencies below the 20 Hz limit, it does not mean you can not "hear" them. The fact that humans cannot perceive specific sound waves by means of the sense of hearing does not mean that those waves are not important to the experience of the sound. Sound can be "felt" through vibrations in the air hitting the body, or even heard through the subtle yet palpable sympathetic vibration of the skeleton, called bone induction. Although you cannot "hear" that range of low frequency vibrations, their influence on the body is not negligible. Confirming this, a study of infrasound conducted by the Air Force Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory concluded that it is a misconception that infrasound cannot be heard.
! $+ I nfrasound can be heard (at least down to 1 Hz). Single frequencies of infrasound are not perceived as pure t ones. Instead they are described as more of a chugging or motorboating sound. This leads one to the conclusion that what a person really hears is not a pure tone of infrasound, but instead the harmonics generated by the distortion from the middle and inner ear. (Johnson 2 ) Ultra low frequency speakers are generally considered impractical because of the way in which they adhere to the laws of physics. In the process of turning electrical energy into acoustic energy, loudspeakers convert almost 99% of the e nergy into heat, making them relatively inefficient transducers. In general, the efficiency of a speaker is reduced the lower the input frequency is and to make matters worse, speaker motors become extremely inefficient below their own resonant frequency. This loss of efficiency can be seen in graphs of a speaker's frequency response which demonstrate how efficiently a driver can produce certain frequencies relative to others. All voice coil based speakers have a frequency decibel curve that drops off belo w the resonance frequency of the spea ker and declines exponentially past that point. Consequently, playing tones loudly in the infrasonic range strains the speaker's components and begins generating a lot of heat, eventually damaging the speaker.
! $, Figur e 1 This frequency response chart comparing the performance of different subwoofers shows the typical exponential drop in efficiency in the infrasonic range Some experimental speaker designs do not exhibit the drop in the low en d frequency response that traditional conical speakers do. In my research, I have come across one unique and revolutionary speaker design that specifically handles infrasonic frequencies called the Thigpen Rotary Woofer. Instead of a traditional voice coil to speaker cone assembly, it replaces the cone with a fan that rotates at a constant speed. The amplifier is connected to a voice coil that changes the pitch of the fan blades, enabling the speaker to efficiently produce infrasonic frequen cies as far down as 0 Hz with astonishing accuracy. This 0 Hz is achieved by creating a static pressure differential; in other words, it compresses the air in the room. The only drawback to this design is that it costs a little over $27,000, not including the specially de signed amplifiers and the installation fee. ("Thigpen Rotary Woofer.") Without the finances to purchase this device, I decided to employ a more affordable design
! %! Figure 2 Thigpen Rotary Woofer Figure 3 Thigpen Rotary Woofer frequency response chart In order to prevent damage from accidental infrasonic signals, most amplifiers utilize a passive high pass filter, limiting the loudness of frequencies below a set cut off frequency. Usually, the cut o ff is set at 20 Hz, where the lowest edge of human hearing is considered to be, and it curves downwards at 12 dB per octave. The intention is to filter any accidental loud infrasonic signal that could be pushed through the system causing the speaker damage from the over exertion. Infrequently, infrasound can be found in sound recordings due to the fact that microphones often have a wider frequency response range than we can hear. Professional mastering processes employ techniques to filter out
! %$ unintentional infrasonic signals, but sometimes this is overlooked. Infrasonic signals can be accidently user generated, as well. (Snoman ) For instance, when a device is unplugged from an input without first cutting the power to the amplifier there is a resulting loud popping noise. This can be heard fairly commonly on home stereo systems without any problem, but it is extremely destructive to highly amplified sound systems, especially if infrasonic frequencies are not filtered out. In my own design, I am challenged b y not one, but two high pass filters. The first filter is located in my external sound card (Focusrite Safire Pro 14), which is the DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) running sound out of my computer. The high pass filter in the sound card has starts the cu t off at 20 Hz and has a 12 dB/octave curve. The second filter is in the Peavey PV 2600 amplifier I am using. According to the manual, it has an optional low cut feature filtering anything under 40 Hz, but disarming it will reduce the high pass cut off to 5 Hz, making it much easier for me to produce infrasonic frequencies. Construction In order to address most of the problems of infra woofer design, I decided not to adapt traditional speaker box designs for infra woofer frequencies. Although it is possib le that with the right box design I could extend the speaker's lowest playable frequency, the lowest frequency I could reasonably produce would be around 14 Hz. Also, the amount of wood required to build an infrasonic speaker box is staggering and the carp entry skill required to construct it would exceed my abilities.
! %% Instead, I decided to turn the concept on its head and reverse the orientation of the speakers so that they are playing into the box. The concept is analogous to a pair of headphones. The spe akers found in a pair of headphones are relatively small and are unable to prod uce loud sound in an open room. However, if you put them close to your ears, it is possible to generate effectively loud sound with high resolution. Therefore, i f I am able to r educe the ratio of the volume of the listening room to the total surface area of my speaker array, the result will be useful sound pressure levels at extremely low frequencies without overheating the components of my setup. I decided to construct somethin g I am calling an "infrasonic casket." E ssentially, it is a small, closed chamber approximately the size and s hape of a funeral casket, which allow s for one person to lie down inside with moderate comfort. Onto th e exterior of this device is mounted two 18 '' subwoofers directed inwards towards the listener. One of the most striking features of this design is that I can only perform my composition for one audience member at a time as they are closed in the casket. At first glance, this seems rather eerie, but considering this form of music can elicit altered emotional states, it seems appropriate that it be a personal, and singular experience. Not only will the audience member not be able to see me or even him or herself, but also I wil l not be able to see him or her either. Their experience will be private. The sonic casket is constructed out of Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) of inch thickness. MDF is a very economical and sturdy material for subwoofer construction. It is superior to plywood due to the fact that its increased weight provides better resistance to sympathetic vibrations. Also, since it is a mixture of wood dust and glue it has a uniform density; whereas plywood does not. This characteristic will help to
! %& restrict any unwanted loss of air th rough the sides of the box, which would severely limit the efficiency of the speakers. While it is lying on the ground, the dimensions of the box are 36 inches (0.9144 meters) wide by 79 inches (2.0066 meters) long by 24 inches (0.6096 meters) tall. The drivers are centered on each of the side panels. With no particular orientation as to which side of the box their head is located, the listener will be lying down in the box so that the speakers are located on either side of his or her body. Figure 4 A scaled 3 D rendering of the box design Although it is not depicted in the figure above, there is a well fitting lid that rests on an inner lip placed inch down from the top of the box. The lid has four handles secured to it so that it can be easily lifted from the box. I lined the inner lip with open celled foam weathering stripping which provides a tighter seal for the lid and improves the efficiency of the box. It also prevents noises that result from the lid vibrating agains t the box as the boards vibrate sympathetically with the sound.
! %' For my drivers, I decided to purchase two Dayton 18" Reference HO series subwoofers. For their price, they have one of the lowest resonant frequencies (19.6 Hz) and one of the highest motor efficiency ratings (20.4 Tm), both of which are important for producing low frequencies with as much accuracy as possible. Additionally, the speaker design requires a large surface area without the diameter of the speaker hole compromising structural integ rity of the sides of the box. For this reason, I chose speakers with an 18" diameter. Figure 5 Frequency response of the Dayton 18 Reference HO Series Using a spreadsheet calculator provided by Don Hills, a senior member of t he web site diyaudio.com, I estimated that the maximum SPL of the enclosure would be 165.6 dB. This calculation was reached by inputting the volume of the box, the surface area of the speaker cone, the x(max) of the driver and the number of total drivers i nto the
! %( program. Hills explained that the maximum SPL calculation was based on the ratio of the volume of the box when the speaker is fully extended to the volume of the box when the speakers are fully extended in the opposite direction. The calculation i s not frequency dependent because the wavelengths of the infrasonic frequencies are longer than any of the dimensions of the box, so the resulting maximum SPL calculation would only be limited by the performance of the equipment and the frequency response of the driver. It is important to note that this calculation is based on the x(max), which is the limit of the extension of the speaker cone or the point at which any increase in power will result in the speaker being destroyed. This theoretical upper leve l of SPL far exceeds what I will be utilizing, but it indicates that I can achieve useful SPL during the performance without having to use much power at all, which means the speakers will not be under much stress. Even if I were to turn the speakers up to the point at which they are fully extended, I will not reach anything near the calculated limit for a few reasons: I am running these speakers far below the frequency range they are rated for and I am fighting the high pass filters in the equipment I am us ing. The more power I put into the speakers, the more these factors begin to limit the quality of sound. Composition For this composition, I was more interested in frequencies than notes, but since I was usin g musical software to compose the piece I was challenged to translate MIDI notes into frequency. The problem is the relationship between frequency and pitch is logarithmic, not linear, so MIDI notes do not line up very neatly with frequency O ne
! %) MIDI note covers a range of frequencies, and the higher the pitch is the larger the range. Also, most of the frequencies I was trying to produce do not even have a theoretical note approximation and only a few MIDI notes are in the infrasonic range. I used two different pieces of software to compose this piec e. Mainly, I used Ableton Live 8, a common digital audio workstation. The session view in Live allowed me to easily view and arrange the piece, and gave me control over the macro structure. Using a sine wave oscillator in Live, I composed the initial curv es by approximating the closest MIDI note to the frequency that I desired and then used automated pitch bends to slide the pitch to the next approximated note. To compose the rest of the frequencies and to help the translation from MIDI note into frequenc y, I used a program developed by Michael Klingbeil called SPEAR. SPEAR is a unique sound editing program because it uses a simple interface that specifically tracks the frequency of sinusoidal partia ls instead of pitch or MIDI note. It also has a simple ed iting tool that allows me to quickly collect all of the sonic data and transpose it down quickly and effectively. SPEAR's tool set lets me expand or compress the frequency range of any selection of data, allowing me to map it with precision into the specif ic range of frequencies I desire. My piece is divided into four sections of smooth rising and falling frequency contours. The first section begins in the audible range with a solid tone at 200 Hz and then moves slowly down into the infrasonic range until it re aches 10 Hz over the course of one minute. Without stopping, the pitch rises back up and levels out at 60 Hz, passing from infrasonic back into sonic over the course of another minute. Next is a series of sweeps from 100 Hz down to 20 Hz. The first is a long sweep that takes 30 seconds, but
! %* each time they increase in speed until the last sweep will take only a second to complete. After the last sweep down, the pattern reverses and as the frequencies sweep up from 20 Hz to 100 Hz the curves slow down to and end with a reverse of the original 30 second sweep. After the sweeps are completed, the next section contains a series of pure tones at specific frequencies held for specific durations. Starting at 30 Hz, I will move down 2 Hz to the next frequency and add 1 second to the duration of the tone. I will start with 30 Hz held for 1 second, then 28 Hz held for 2 seconds, then 26 Hz for 3 seconds, and so on until the frequency reaches 10 Hz, which will be held for 11 seconds. Then I will reverse the patter n going from 12 Hz held for 10 seconds to 30 Hz held for 1 second. The final part of the piece is completely infrasonic, slowly moving down from 10 Hz to 5 Hz over one minute and then back up over one minute. This is the gentlest part of the piece as it is theoretically impossible to hear. After 20 Hz is reached at the end of the sweep, there is a gradual volume fade out of the tone and the piece will be concluded. The runtime for the composition is 8:28. I am attaching a series of screenshots of SPEAR tha t act as the score for the piece. The program plots each curve on a graph where frequency is on the Y axis and time in seconds is on the X axis. I separated the score into the four sections of the piece and in order to make it a bit easier to read, I adjus ted the frequency scale (the Y axis) for each section of the piece so that the curve fit better. Due to the line width of the curve, some of the curves are not totally accurate, as SPEAR had to adjust the drawing of the curves to fit the time scale. The fa rther zoomed into the time scale, the more accurate the lines
! %+ become. I adjusted for a view that uses the most efficient amount of space, yet sho ws as much accuracy as possible.
! &) Performance Initially, I wanted to attempt to limit the intensity of emotional reactions to the box and have a minimal, ambiguous atmosphere so t he listener might experience a reasonably context free emotional reaction during the piece. Unfortunately, the morbid implications of ly ing down in a casket and having a heavy lid seemingly trap you in total darkness are d ifficult to overcome or ignore. Since I would be present during the performance in order to assist the listener into the box and begin playback, I felt that I should be e xplicitly comforting and reassuring so that I might stave off any fears the box might arouse in the listener. I held the performance in the Black Box Theater at New College of Florida. On the outer doors of the theater I posted a single sheet of paper that read, "INFRASONICASKET" at the top. Below it were the following instructions: This experience is meant for one person at a time. While the doors are closed, please wait outside. The experience takes approximately 10 minutes. I arranged the casket in th e center of the theater next to a table that held my electronics. I directed several white spotlights at the casket in the center of the room, illuminating the equipment with a dramatic light.
! &* Figure 6 View from the door of the theater Figure 7 The setup from other angles
! &+ Once the listener entered the theater, I read a prepared paragraph briefly explaining the piece and the box: I am going to perform for you a piece of music that prominent ly features infrasound. Infrasound is the range of frequencies that are considered to be belo w the range of human hearing -from 20 cycles per second down to .001 cycles per second. The piece will have audible elements and you will hear the light swooshing of the speakers as they oscillate and other small sounds as the box itself vibrates slightly, but the majority of the music will go unheard. I designed the box you see before you specifically to amplify infrasonic frequencies. You will lie down in the box and I will place a well fitting lid on top of the box. This is not designed to scare you or to trap you, only to improve the sonic aspect of the chamber. Though the lid is relatively heavy it is not latched or sealed in anyway and is quite easy to lift. S hould you become uncomfortable and desire to exit the box before the performance is completed, just let me know and I will help you out. I can hear you easily through the box, though you might not be able to hear me due to the placement of the speakers. I recommend that you experience the piece in darkness, as it is intended, but if you wish, I have a flashlight to provide illumination. Do you have any questions? After I finished reading the statement and all questions were answered, I assisted the liste ner into the box and gently placed the lid on top. I then sat at the computer and began playing the piece from my laptop. Once the piece ran its course, I opened the box
! &, and assisted the listener out. After a brief chat about how the experience went, I tha nked him or her for coming and then escorted them out of the theater and brought in the next person.
! '! CHAPTER THREE Outcome of the Performance and Conclusions Outcome Due to many cooperating factors, the performances o f my thesis project went exceedingly well and I was able to successfully explore many interesting aspects of infrasonic composition that was the impetus for my piece. The box I constructed for the performances operated exactly as designed, the equipment us ed functioned perfectly and a great turnout of interested and excited participants enabled me to run the piece back to back for the entire twelve hours I had reserved for the performance. Approximately 50 to 60 people came through and experienced the perfo rmance. When I had to close it down for the evening, there was still a line of several people on both days. I even received approximately a dozen emails requesting additional performances. I am under the impression that most, if not all of those who experi enced the piece were excited and engaged after they got out of the box. Responses varied from mild amusement to wide eyed amazement, but the most common phrase stated immediately after I opened the box was "w h oa ." With the conception of the piece, I attem pted to walk the fine line between overwhelming and underwhelming, and this seemed to come across to the audience. No one asked me to open the lid prematurely, and no one mentioned excessive discomfort during the performance. On the other hand, no one repo rted being completely unmoved or bored while lying inside the box for the duration of the piece. Though the reactions
! '$ varied, I felt that everyone who experienced the piece walked away with something to think about or at least a positive outlook on a uniqu e experience. My Experience of the Piece For the most part, I found the piece extremely relaxing. Lying down in a dark, quiet box with a foam pad and a pillow is a relaxing activity in general, and the low slow sweeping bass tones were calming to me. Th ere were some sections of the piece in which I became more aware of the sensations of the sound acting on my body, which were initially rather odd because of their novelty, but I would not say that they were disconcerting. For the initial sonic part of t he piece, I was largely aware of the sound as it reverberated in my head. At this point, the piece is perceptively the loudest and so it was the most intense, but as the frequency falls down into the infrasonic range, the intensity decreases, or at least c hanges to be more of an entire body feeling rather than being focused in just my head. Once the piece dipped down into the infrasonic range I was aware of how it played along the core of my torso and my legs. Perhaps it was power of suggestion, but there w as a definite sensation in my stomach. It was not quite unpleasant, but I can see how it would make someone feel as if they were nauseated. The most interesting sensations occurred in the second part of the piece in which there are several dips that incre ase in speed and then reverse. When the dips were occurring from high frequency to low frequency, I could literally feel the sound moving up my body from my feet to my head. I was rather startled at how corporeal this sensation was. I thought at first, whe n the sound was moving extremely slowly, that this sensation
! '% could have been due to some sort of mental association with the sweeping sound which caused a phantom sensation in my body as I listened to the sound. H owever, considering the engineering aspects of how the sound waves interact in the box, I think there might be a physical explanation for the feeling of the sound "moving." In any space where waves interact, there are locations in the space where waves of the same frequency interfere with each oth er by either creating a wave with a stronger amplitude than that of the original waves, or by canceling each other out. Since the frequencies were moving up and down smoothly, this could have been literally moving the interference pattern around th e box sp atially in the box, and that was the cause of the sensation. The difficulty in knowing this for certain is that it is hard to predict how waves interact in three dimensional spaces where the distance to any side of the container is shorter than the wavelen gth of the frequency played. Considering the length of a 20 Hz sound wave is approximately 56 feet, it becomes exceedingly hard to know how the waves interact in my box where the longest distance between walls is 6.5 feet. In the final part of the piece, which was completely infrasonic, I was extremely excited to be able to actually experience the infrasonic parts of the piece. As I predicted, it was not exactly heard but rather it was felt. I would descri be it as a pressure on my ears and my head, instea d of a sound. I could not tell its pitch, and I could not determine if it was "loud," but I could definitely tell a difference between the "sound" and the silence when the piece concluded To me, experiencing the infrasound in my piece was an ecstatic expe rience because it indicated that that my design worked and that I was personally exploring my initially conceptual theories on music listening.
! '& Some of the more interesting sensations reported by listeners were mild vertigo, inexplicable excitement or emo tional engagement, and odd visual anomalies with both open and closed eyes. Personally, I did not experience any of these sensations myself, except for during the initial testing of the box. As I was constructing the box, I played some random infrasonic to nes when I was seeing how much of a difference the lid made. When I got to about the 15 to 18 Hz range, I experienced some odd sensations in my stomach and the light which was shining through a crack the corner of the box appeared to dance a little bit whe n my eyes were open. I attribute these experiences more to my excitement and anticipation of these exact sensations and less to effects from the music. Unfortunately, I have not experienced them subsequently. Alternative Approaches and Possibilities for Future Work I approached this project as a child of two worlds: I am fascinated with this topic both artistically and scientifically. In this project, I was able to explore the concept through musical composition and performance, which opens up many poss ibilities for future work. For instance, one of the challenges of exploring the effects of infrasonic music is that although th ere is a large body of evidence both scientific and otherwise to suggest infrasound has a subtle, emotional influence on listene rs I could not be entirely confident that my particular performance exploited this effect. Since the topic of infrasound is not well investigated scientifically, I could find very little information that could help me develop a piece of music that best ut ilized this emotionally engaging characteristic of infrasound. For the most part, I had to rely on my compositional senses. The various
! '' personal accounts of infrasound purportedly inducing emotional unease are all quite explicit about the emotional reactio ns to the sound, but are comparatively vague about the characteristics of the sound itself (frequency, duration, loudness ). It would be interesting and useful for future infrasonic composers to experiment and gather data on the experience of pure infrasoni c music in order to perhaps explore why and to what degree this music influences a listener's emotions. In an effort to satisfy my original goal, I considered an alternative method of infrasonic performance. Initially, I aimed to build a speaker array ca pable of playing loudly in open air, which would function in a traditional performance in a concert setting. Though such a performance is not completely impossible, my approach was largely limited by seeking an effective approach that would not require tre mendous expense and effort. Given that limitation, one of the ways I could have perused my original idea while maintaining a low budget was by constructing a transducer using mechanical pistons instead of adapting a traditional loudspeaker. There is a larg e market for small mechanical pistons that oscillate at rates equivalent to infrasonic frequencies and purchasing several of these pistons would have been rather inexpensive. The next step would have been to attach a series of these pistons to a large diap hragm of some kind, for instance a large, rigid sheet of plastic or metal. Then, after providing the appropriate amount of electrical power for low frequency oscillations, I would have constructed a massive transducer capable of producing infrasound at hig h SPL in open air. Unfortunately, this design has a few problems. First, it would be relatively difficult to move between frequencies. The advantage of loudspeakers over this design is
! '( that loudspeakers can easily move between frequencies with little to n o effort. The scale of the speaker (my own design incorporating a 18" diameter), the weight of the diaphragm and the distance the diaphragm must move is carefully coordinated with the mechanical power of the motor. Though it becomes exponentially more diff icult the farther into the infrasonic range the input frequency goes, the electro magnet mot or in the speaker's voice coil effectively overcomes the inertia of the speaker cone. However, the larger scale of the piston driven transducer and the inefficiency of the piston motors would mean that my design would not be able to handle the inertia of the diaphragm as easily. Simply put, this means that moving between frequencies would have to be done gradually and only sine waves can be used in the composition be cause it would be hard for the speaker to produce any kind of complex waveform. A second problem with this homemade technique is that the lack of precision of cheap motors would make it hard to ensure that the frequencies generated were true sine wave "pu re tones." There would probably be a fair amount of distortion and inaccuracy depending on the precision of the construction but in general loudspeakers can ensure a more accurate production of sound waves even running below their rated frequency respons e limit. Eventually, the idea of constructing the room that the listener was in as opposed to the box supporting the speakers proved superior to other options, despite my initial hesitation at the thought that the casket design alone might induce intense fear in the listener. The entire reason for this decision was a compromise. I had to make due with the infra woofer design problems I outlined in chapter two, but it ended up working a little in my favor. The notion of being sealed in a small, dark box in order to listen to a musical
! ') performance became arguably as striking a feature as the notion of listening to silent, yet powerful music. Though compromise hindered my initial performance plans, it allowed me to focus my performance ideas in a new direction Lingering Questions In the wake of the performance, I found myself thinking about how this piece shed light on the possibility of a form of music that can not be heard, but which can be felt. Since I wanted to particularly illustrate how blurred the lin e can be betw een heard and unheard, my piece, specifically, was not completely silent. As I was thinking about how the concepts of heard music and felt music interacted with my piece, I found that one way of conceptualizing the interplay between the heard and felt qualities of music listening is by envisioning a four quadrant plane. Along the y axis of this plane is the boundary be tween "heard" and "not heard," and along the x axis is the boundary between "felt" and "not felt." Figure 8 An illustration of the intersection between heard and felt music
! '* Depending on how it is experienced, heard music is either located in quadrants I or II; however, a piece of music does not have to remain static in either quadrant, and it is rathe r easy to move between the two: a simple change in volume can cause a given piece of music to move between the two quadrants. Sometimes, a piece of music can even move between the quadrants during the course of the same piece. In general, the higher the li stening volume, the more the music is felt, however in some cases, for instance if the music is being experienced through a pair of headphones, the sound can be isolated in the listener's ears and despite a loud volume relative to the listener, there woul d be little to no tactile sensation, so the music would remain in quadrant II. Quadrant IV is a territory that has a few odd properties compared to the others. Even though it might seem like music which is not heard and not felt is insubstantial because i t is effectively silence, there are many occasions of silence withi n music. Silence is an often overlooked but essential part of music, and it is commonly found in brief spaces between notes and in longer dramatic pauses. As I mentioned earlier, a piece of music is not necessarily static on the field. I t can move between quadrants fluidly, and occasionally, with extreme rapidity. When silence is encountered during the course of a piece, the piece is transported immediately to quadrant IV and remains there f or the duration of that silence, after which it returns to quadrant I or II if the piece becomes heard after the silence. The transition between the "heard" and the "not heard" can be rather abrupt compared to the changes between "felt" and "not felt." Thi s being the case, it could be possible for a piece of music to be constantly jumping between quadrants IV, I and II, sometimes rather chaotically. Alternatively, this conceptual movement can be visualized differently if the piece
! '+ of music is considered in its entirety, instead of from moment to moment. When viewed in the context of the complete work, music containing silence, regardless of the silence's duration, exists simultaneously in quadrant IV and quadrant I and/or II, since it shares all those aspec ts in the course of the piece. Rarely does a piece of music exist in quadrant IV alone, but Cage's provocative piece, 4' 33," gets its controversial nature from the fact that it sits entirely in quadrant III. Ostensibly defying some elusive definition of music, 4' 33" has no heard aspect to it, which can make the experience of listening to, or at least trying to listen to it, rather unsettling for some listeners. Though musical silence is experienced constantly in relation to the first two quadrants, its integrity as a musical object becomes questionable when it is framed as an autonomous work. Infrasonic music is the only music that can exist in quadrant III by virtue of its distinctive, silent characteristics. It is common for humans with modern listenin g devices, such as headphones, to hear music isolated from tactile sensation, but it is all but impossible to isolate the tactile sensation from the sound. Infrasonic music provides the listener with a profound opportunity to separate and isolate powerful tactile sensation from loud sounds, giving the listener a unique, experiential perspective on the experiences from quadrant I. In this way, quadrant III can be viewed as a way to experience the power of quadrant I after the heard is cleft from the music, l eaving only the felt.
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