[SoundStudies] Wed 13 Nov, 4:30pm - David Budries

Lynda Paul lynda.paul at yale.edu
Wed Nov 6 08:40:00 EST 2013

Yale's* Sound Studies Colloquium* continues this semester on the second
Wednesday of each month. Please join us next *Wednesday, November 13*, as we
feature *David Budries*, Professor and Chair of the Sound Design Department at
the Yale School of Drama and Sound Design Advisor for the Yale Repertory
Theatre. We meet in the Whitney Humanities Center, room B04 at 4:30pm.
Professor Budries will lead an interactive presentation entitled:

"Sound and Meaning," or "Recognizing Aural Fragments"

What characteristics of a sound make it recognizable?

Frequency, intensity, envelopes (volume and timbre) and the time it takes to
express the sound, all allow us to recognize meaning in a sound. What's the
smallest excerpt of sound/music that can provide enough information to 
allow an
experience of recognition, intention, or meaning?

Sound designers are often able to hear snippets of sounds and instantly
recognize a tune. They don't do it as a game; they just do it because their
personal database of music and sound is so big that it's relatively easy for
them. But all of us make sense-libraries in our brains that become the basis
for language and our navigation through the world. It's not just humans: our
smart phones are capable of sampling a selection of music, sending that music
to the Shazam database, and then returning the name of the selection to us,
based only on a 5-10 second sample. Software like Shazam works by taking a
"fingerprint" or spectrogram of sound and logging that information into a
database. In my experience, people do a similar type of sampling. We take in
sense-samples, then query our sense-libraries to arrive at conclusions about
where we are, what we hear, and what we see, taste, smell, and feel.

How much sound is the general population is capable of remembering? And how
brief a segment is necessary for us to recognize it?

Using the participants of the colloquium as subjects, I hope to learn 
about sound and recognition. Bring your listening ears to this interactive
Sound Studies Colloquium.


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Kind regards,
Lynda Paul, Postdoctoral Associate in the Integrated Humanities
Joseph Clarke, Doctoral Candidate in Architecture

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