[Image: California Academy of Sciences].
While BLDGBLOG just explored the possibility that reefs might actually be huge musical instruments, it turns out that a group of Scotsmen have been testing that exact hypothesis: “Stephen Simpson at the University of Edinburgh, UK, and his colleagues set up 24 artificial reefs, each with a speaker system, near Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. On six consecutive nights they played recordings of natural reefs at half the sites. A reef that was noisy one night was silent the next and vice versa. Reefs with the audio cue attracted four times as many cardinal fish and nearly twice as many damselfish.”
This “audio cue” is elsewhere described as the “‘frying bacon’ sound of snapping shrimps,” and it “can be picked up from 20 kilometres away.”
All of which is another way of saying that reefs already are musical instruments: vast landscape saxophones being played by shrimp underwater…
Having said that, what if you switched Simpson’s recordings and played, say, the sound of Madison Avenue along one of the reefs – what new ecosystems might result? Conversely, what if you played the sounds of a reef through speakers down Madison Avenue?
And could you imitate the sounds of a reef at a Hong Kong karaoke bar? Rather: what would happen in you did?
What is the future of abstract karaoke?
If you totally scramble the soundtracks of the world – what happens?