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Earth Sound Earth SignalEnergies and Earth Magnitude in the Arts$
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Douglas Kahn

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780520257801

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520257801.001.0001

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Long Sounds and Transperception

Long Sounds and Transperception

(p.162) 12 Long Sounds and Transperception
Earth Sound Earth Signal

Douglas Kahn

University of California Press

Examples are given of sounds produced over a considerable distance, acoustically and transduced through signals, including those at earth magnitude: the eruption of Krakatoa through the air, nuclear tests, whale communication, and ocean acoustic tomography tests through the ocean. The long sounds of whale communication form inspiration for Alvin Lucier’s composition Quasimodo the Great Lover (1970), which is analyzed at depth. The term transperception is proposed for perception of distance within sounds and other phenomena, illustrated through Quasimodo and a passage from Henry David Thoreau. Transperception is then related to the network “problem of latency” in global-scale digital transmissions, and it is discussed in terms of acoustical latency in music and a composition by Nam June Paik.

Keywords:   long sounds, transperception, Krakatoa, whale sounds, ocean acoustic tomography, network latency, music and latency, Alvin Lucier, Quasimodo: The Great Lover, Henry David Thoreau, Nam June Paik, Roger Payne

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