Augmented Lithophone:
Quark Park 2006

Main Quark Park Webpage

Perry's musical rendition of Jon's rocks breaking:

Here's my original edited recording of Jon's rocks breaking
This is energy from millions of years
being released.

Here's Jon tapping the breaking rocks

This is a 15 minute composition written in the

ChucK audio programming language.  There are 
4 distinct sonic "scenes," beginning with the
crackling of the granite breaking (multiple delayed
and reverberated loops of this).  Slowly, tapping
sounds begin to augment, then replace the cracking
sounds.  These taps were Jon's actual hammering of
the shims used to split the rock.  This eventually
grows into a rhythmic pattern, based on a meter of
17 grouped as 7 + 5 + 5 (there are 17 stones in
the lithophone).  The crackles return to replace
the rhythmic tapping, then the piece concludes 
with hammering sounds that almost approach those
of woodpeckers.  These final sounds are isolated
strikes of the impact drill Jon uses to make the
holes that were eventually used to split the
rocks.  All sounds heard in this exhibit are those
of the stones and the tools used to break them.
Thanks to Jon for letting me "look" into his rocks
with my microphones.

About the Electronics:

Each "bar" of the Lithophone (stone xylophone)
is affixed with a piezoelectric contact microphone.
These transfer the vibrations to a box containing
some simple digital signal processing equipment,
which adds delays and reverb to the xylophone 
sounds (simulating a cave-like environment).
Enjoy the sounds!!

Some Early Pictures:


Some More Pictures (Aug. 5):


PRC BIO: Perry R. Cook attended the University of Missouri at Kansas City Conservatory of Music from 1973 to 1977, studying voice and electronic music. He worked as a sound engineer and designer from 1976-81, then returned to UMKC to study Electrical Engineering and complete a BA in music in 1985, and a BS in Electrical Engineering in 1986. He received a Masters and PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford in 1990. He continued as Technical Director of the Stanford Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), until joining the faculty of Princeton University in 1996, where he is now Professor of Computer Science, with a joint appointment in Music. He has published over 130 technical/music papers, books, and book chapters, and presented lectures throughout the world on the acoustics of the voice and musical instrument simulation, human perception of sound, and interactive devices for expressive musical performance. Dr. Cook has performed as a vocal soloist and computer musician throughout the world, and has recorded Compact Disks on the Lyricord Early Music Series Record Label with the vocal group Schola Discantus. He can also be heard on an interactive improvised computer music compact disk on the Cycling 74 label with the group "Interface." He was the recipient of a 2003 Guggenheim Fellowship, to write a new book on the subject of Technology and the Singing Voice.