multidimensional scaling of timbre (Kevin Austin )

Subject: multidimensional scaling of timbre
From:    Kevin Austin  <kevin.austin@xxxxxxxx>
Date:    Thu, 23 Oct 2008 23:50:21 -0400

Interesting topic. When I introduce this, I only use one example, Kontakte of Stockhausen. My experience here is that the number of dimensions required for discrimination / categorization grows with repeated hearing. The dimensions are not elements of the sounds, but of the hearer. I have met people who have a single dimension for the piece, (1) noise. In discussions, for example in spectromorphology, the idea of a "sonic object" begins to be challenged, for few sounds have constancy; their identity, in my experience, being established by the depth of the listener's perception, and experience. As was once said, "Perception you see, is a cultural phenomenon." In my experience, the idea of modular dimensional hearing may be useful for the "general population", but for some composers who work _with_ sound, the [simple] modularization (frequency, amplitude, spectrum) is not descriptively useful. Turn off the video: This excerpt is from the middle of the mixed version. Best Kevin

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