Electric Cars, in B flat


Many years ago, while daydreaming, which I do a lot, I was thinking about how to solve a very real and big problem with electric cars (besides autonomy). They are so silent, that pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles don’t hear them coming.

And so I thought to myself that electric cars should emit noise of some kind, but that it should be as pleasant as possible. Like, say, music.

I further imagined that there should be some rules (automatically picked-up over the airwaves by the vehicles), so that the electric cars would always be playing in the same key (maybe a minor key to commemorate a sad occasion, a bright major key to celebrate something positive, etc., or different keys according to the weather, the time of day, the density of traffic, the unemployment rate, whatever…)

It wouldn’t matter what the rhythmic structure might be, or the timbre or character of the sound of each electric vehicle. The more varied, the better, so that despite the single key, there would be all kinds of interesting polyrhythms and orchestrations going on.

On occasion, I’ve actually been stupid enough to mention this idea to people. They usually stared back at me with a mixture of fear and pity.

Maybe they—and you—will think I’m slightly less batty after listening to In Bb 2.0.

In Bb 2.0 is a collaborative music and spoken word project conceived by Darren Solomon.

Different individuals record videos of themselves playing different instruments and/or devices in B flat. The videos are displayed in a mosaic and you can start/stop each video individually at any time.

Play with the page for a couple of minutes. The result may surprise you. It is remarkably pleasing to the ear.

It didn’t surprise me. Because it is exactly what I imagined for my crazy musical electric car idea…

16. May 2009 by sknob
Destination: Geekiness, Making Music, Surfin' | Leave a comment

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