Tuesday, July 05, 2005


your attention, please!

I once saw a funny skit by the British comedian Lenny Henry, that highlighted the various "audio signatures" of different versions of Windows as they booted. Henry added a Rastafarian version.

But it is interesting to question what noise we notice, what we simply enjoy, and what escapes attention all together. For audio feedback in machines, Stephen Wilcox advocates using "semi-musical" chords that don't sound too musical (we don't pay attention to these) and don't sound too harsh (we focus too much on the sound, rather than what it is meant to cue). Wilcox suggests chords from Bartok and Stravinsky. I guess this approach doesn't work so well for people who consider Bartok's and Stravinsky's music lyrical.

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