What is non-cochlear sound? This open question is followed by way of an initial explication of the psychophysiology of audition. Non-cochlearity in sound is posited firstly in terms of synaesthesia and the skin and body cavity reception of infrasonic and low frequency sound waves. The auditory imagination is a further example that can produce a perception of sound without any direct acoustic stimulation of either the ear or skin and body. However, one’s imagination still retains a relation to the sounds of the world we live in. From a phenomenological perspective this worldly relation is a fundamental characteristic of sound as something that is heard. On this basis the causality associated with empirical accounts of auditory perception as a product of biological processes are contrasted with an interrogation of sound qua sound. It is posited that the sounds themselves are non-cochlear in the sense of being non-physical phenomena disclosed in the lived experience of hearkening to the meaningful sounds one hears in the world.
1 – Acoustic Resonance
2 – Resonance for wind and string – Karlo Margetic and Umar Zakaria on bass clarinet and double bass.
3 – Resonant Noise
4 – Body Waves with Stanier Black-Five
Four experimental electronic music works exploring the natural harmonic resonance of one of the largest acoustic spaces in New Zealand – the Great Hall at Massey University in Wellington. Riddoch specialises in the use of the Larsen effect (microphone feedback) to ‘ring out’ the unique resonant frequencies of an acoustic space. The four works track the evolution of his practice from simple pure tones through interference effects with acoustic instruments to the use of acoustically derived digital feedback controllers driving the electronic manipulation of sound. The only audio source for these first three works is the ambient noise within the acoustic space itself.
The final work, Body Waves with Lyttelton sound artist Stanier Black-Five, tunes her Christchurch earthquake infrasonic soundscape into the lowest fundamental resonant frequencies of the Great Hall to create music that goes beyond the auditory system to be felt in the body.