The world has surely gone mad this week, as it appears that people suddenly care about things like sound art and field recordings. It must be Spring. Following is a roundup of the last few days sudden massive interest in sound.

To set the mood, please enjoy this clip of Suzanne Ciani on 3-2-1 Contact (pointed to this by David D’Andrea). Also worth a watch is the clip of Suzanne Ciani working on the music and sounds for the Xenon pinball game from the Omni televsion show.

I first realized that “something was up” when I saw this article in the Guardian,
Sound art is here to stay – Sound artist Susan Philipsz’s inclusion on the Turner prize shortlist should make Britain sit up and listen“. What ability this little intro to sound art has to comfort the deeply-wounded-by-recent-events-average-Guardian-reader is debatable. But it is welcome.

Moving on to what passes for reputable news media on this side of the pond, the venerable Cracked Magazine gives us “7 Insane Ways Music Affects The Body (According to Science)“. In a weird twist on the sort of articles that used to appear in the 50’s and 60’s that would take the sensational and present it as cautionary we have Cracked taking the scientific and presenting it as wacky entertainment. All science will ultimately find new life as a bar bet.

New Scientist presents “Harmonious minds: The hunt for universal music” in their latest issue, which hunts for some answers on musical preference and emotional response and gives us this gem: “One could conceivably rear infants in an abnormal musical environment to see whether that alters their preferences,” says McDermott. “But how many parents would really want to do that to their kids?”

Most interesting to me, so far, was the news that (as reported in Drowned in Sound) Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker has curated a collection of field recordings from sights managed by the UK’s National Trust, and it is available as a free download. It is an enjoyable and well presented collection. I listened to it twice today. Get yours now.

Finally, we come to a pair of articles by Peter Kirn, author of the excellent Real World Digital Audio and main man behind the CDM empire. Regular readers of Create Digital Music started to think that things were a little slow lately until Peter dropped his manifesto “The Myth of Falling Fidelity, and Audio History Unburdened by Fact” followed by the postscipt “Your Hearing, According to MP3: Sounds for Humans, Played for 10^450 Years“. If you have the time, you should go read.