In the last 24 hours I've had a couple of really affecting soundless sound experiences. I'm talking sounds you feel in your guts. Like when you stand on the top floor of a really tall building on a windy day and you can feel it swaying, but everything looks fine out the window.
1: I was in the Indigo (= the Canadian Walmart of books) at the Eaton Center a couple of hours ago. The store is up at the top of the mall and has floor to ceiling glass windows that face out over thousands of people making noise.
I was sitting on the floor at the end of one of the rows and I suddenly noticed that I was starting to get a headache. But it wasn't a normal kind of temple-pounding too much coffee/booze headache, it was more at the base of my skull. Almost as if my neck was tired of holding up my head. It's the kind I get when I listen to most house music, i.e. too much low end. Anyway, after a couple minutes of "listening" I realized that it was probably a combination of escalator rumble and the noise on the other side of the window exciting the natural resonance of the gigantic windows I was sitting next to. A couple minutes more and I started to feel sick and had to leave.
It was bizzarre. I couldn't hear anything unusual, but I could feel the insides of my body vibrating extremely slowly. Big waves of back and forth.
2: Earlier in the day I bought a coffee from a shop near my house. It had one of those 2-year-old kid sippy cup lids on it. I was walking around for a while, sipping away, when I dropped my cup-hand down to my side; holding the cup around the rim with the tips of my fingers. As I swung my arm forward and backward I found that if I held it just the right way I could get the air flowing past it to play the cup and make it resonate.
But! I couldn't hear it. I could feel it on the palm of my hand in the little airpocket created by my inverted and cupped hand. The weirdest part is that that feeling felt like I was hearing it, if you take my meaning. It was almost as if my skin had ears.
This is probably really weird, I know. It's an idea I heard about a while ago (and kind of dismissed), but having such visceral experience with it I must say that I'm intruiged.
It got me thinking...
Do any of you guys make use of these sub-sub frequencies in your work? How would these translate to a theatre or home system with likely sub-par playback devices?
I know of the deaf Xylophonist (whose name I can't remember) who "hears" with her entire body, but I haven't seen any work that makes specific use of it.
Have you seen any art/music that makes use of the "hearing skin" phenomenon?