Experimental LABS_


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The article Noise Floor: Between Tinnitus and Raw Data, begins with an intimidating title. What is “Noise Floor”? What is “Tinnitus” and What is “Raw Data”. Krapp’s article then indulges in almost poetic vernacular regarding the digital and accidents. “Our digital media culture is predicated on communication efficiencies to an extent that can obscure or veil sources of noise, as faults, glitches, and bugs are too often relegated to the realm of accidental.” This create in audible noise in my ears to all the distinct and historical digital noises that were obscure and accidental like the fax machine noise or the aol log in noise or when the telephone would crinkle like the wrapper of a candy.

Using seemingly accidental noises and mutated them into purposeful glitch electronica is innovative and what Krapps is referring to in this article. One concept he touches on is that of intent. That there is no difference between a clap and an orchestra tuning up except that the intent of the transmitter may differ. In the case of a “noise” the transmitter does not intent to transmit that sound.

This area becomes gray when one discusses the factors that distinguish music and noise as you delve into an area regarding what distinguishes one sound from another. In order to develop his argument Krapps defines music as “sound art; and it should be noted that sound art now relies extensively on computing hardware and software”. That point is crucial as the recording of music (and other sounds) IS dependent on digital media and id argue that experimental music, whether it be experimental ambient or experimental orchestral music or experimental glitch is also dependent on the use of digital platforms and thus while “noises” and music may differ in many aspects, the recording of both are dependent upon and reliant upon recording mechanisms, editing platforms, etc. and thus have important similarities in their lack of hegemony and what they are specifically dependent upon for their creation (on recording) and sustainability.


One thought on “Experimental LABS_

  1. You make a good point about music or “sound art” as being largely computer generated today. Computer generated sound seems to contradict the defined difference between sound and noise as being intent as digital sounds originate as noise and morphed by the artist into sound. Digital sound deals with making something out of nothing, whereas Krapp’s definition of sound assumes that every sound is created with intent.


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