July 16th, 2005

abstract butterfly

The Throwaway-Camera-ness of Everything

"There are no small parts. Only small actors"--Milan Kundera

Imagine a throng of katydids, crickets and grasshoppers, in the scraggle woods surrounding a lake. Imagine that they make the most beautiful racket, like a thousand instruments playing in interlocking harmonies that crowd into your mind as if you were in a symphony of bug. Imagine you're walking down a broad trail, with a hip-looking microphone held high over your head, a portable tape player at your side, trying to record the sounds. You picture yourself, a kind of missionary from the insects to the infidels, trying to capture this Moment as if the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven are rendered in the notes of aphids. You stand, some suburban Freddie Mercury, capturing a National Geographic moment so unexpected and delightful that you know you'll change reality when you replay it. You'll drop it into Audacity, you'll mix it with reverb and echo loops,and you'll create a simple ballet of sound, to which a few special but treasured cogoscenti will dance.

Then imagine that you replay the tape, and all you hear is the hiss of the tape and the wheel of the rotors, turning the tape, and the faintest buzz in the background.
Somehow, when you hit the button on Magix that changes the waveform, you inadvertently hit "white noise".

I notice that throwaway cameras shoot well only at 4 feet of distance.

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