buildings that sing – a letter from Wendy Jacob

Dear all,

It was good to visit Cherry Rd and hear firsthand the sounds you have been chronicling all fall. It was also good to see all of YOU!

The sounds of Cherry Road are complicated, with both constant and unexpected sounds layered one on top of the other. Marcin and I were able to get some good recordings by going early in the morning and unplugging the coke machine so we could zero in on some of the other sounds. I think we got all the ones that you described in the diaries, plus some. Playing the sounds back as vibration (through the balloon) had some surprises . Donald’s foot massage machine, for example, sounded to my ears like a steady drone. When played as vibration, however, I could feel the oscillations of the motor.

Thank you for your most recent round of Sound Diary entries. They show the range of cool, mellow happy, including Dawn S. with D. in the coffee bar with a few people milling around; to warm, excited happy, including Dawn H. with N. at the tea dance. (By the way, what is a box organ man?) The one hour pie charts are great. Please remember to indicate what time periods they represent. Ie. noon to 1:00. Multiple portraits are emerging from your diaries. Portraits of D and N, and also portraits of Cherry Road.

My next challenge is how to get the vibrational songs to you so you can introduce them to D and N in a form they might be open to. Let me know if you have any ideas for mediums (ie. balloon, drum) that you think might work.

One final thought. While we were recording, the most relentless sounds (to my ears) were those created by the squeaking doors to the dining room, and the motor of the coke machine. I think Kenny put some oil on the door hinges, but the coke machine can only be silenced by pulling the plug. It is, of course, possible that D. has a very different relationship to these sounds than I do, but my gut feeling is to quiet both. What do you think?

My best regards from Boston, on the eve of a snow storm.

Wendy

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