Sunday, 11 September 2011

3 of 3 (this one for music fans)

Assume you read this on a Sunday evening (as I type) and you're on line (obviously), then check this out:

It's a piece of music by Deodat de Severac (sounds like a naff wine) but not so.  This piece of music I like for a number of reasons. I enjoy trying to play it as a rusty pianist. The guy on the YouTube video does a much better job. But I really like the idea that the composer thought of a mechanical box and tried to emulate it.
A music box something with no soul yet Deodat created a beautiful piece of music that captures all the magic of such astonishing little machines.
What's amazing is the more mechanical you try and play the piece and more deliberate and heavy and rhythmical your fingers strike the keys, the more fabulous the piece sounds.  When you slowly wind down and eventually stop playing, it's exactly the way a music box finally springs it's last note in your ear; awesome.

It's one of those 'shouldn't be like that' situations. A music box is something mechanical. It's made of steel and brass and copper. It clicks and whirrs and the sounds are made by the distruption and friction caused by tension in a spring. Yet all metals are sonorous and with that there is the potential of harmony.

If we design the greatest structures around an idea of what they can bring, their essence if you like, I think we'll create great design. In the same way someone plainstaking veneers music boxes in wood. such attention to detail betters the sound although it affects the workings not.

If we design our interventions around the harmonics that we know they'll create, then no matter how hard we hit them or how much friction we find therin the melody will shine through.

now, close your eyes and listen.

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