by xenaudial

X checked in with the laptop. The timeline view of the ever-expanding thicket had zoomed in considerably, though the screen now refreshed much faster, making it difficult to see anything pertinent besides what the phonomagus wanted him to see… presumably.

“Machete fades,” Synjoyce distractedly murmured, before regaining previous intensities.

“Of all musical components, timbre requires the most… neuronal fabrication. Perceptualization. It’s an accurate transcription of how you occupy hearing… your distortional profile… how you get things… wrong hahaha. It’s a composite effect, made by collapsing all kinds of waveforms together. That perceptual unit… registers before you know its origin. Neurological spontaneity is truly hallucinatory! The brain speculates wildly… inappropriately much of the time!… while also jettisoning inconsistencies and retuning the timbral complex according to your neurohistory.”

Pointing at the laptop now, Synjoyce continued, somewhat trimumphantly: “And that’s why these transforms here are rapidly crossfaded rather than hard cut. Lopping off attacks, those fleeting breaks in the sonic continuum, amputates a significant amount of empirical evidence. Cut the transient, muddy the ID!”

Then, most cryptically: “Chameleons don’t become, they change. Amuse-oreille!

X only partially grasped the dense theorization Synjoyce was unfurling, that exploded with the energic fervor proper to the deeply repressed. Drifting off temporarily, X returned to thinking about the weird manner in which chaos converted into quasi-legibility once he listened away. A gambit was assembling that had to be eventually worked out: what perceptual-affective-technical engineering could produce a musical object whose intelligibility fluctuated according to whether you paid attention to it or not?

Meanwhile, Synjoyce had not stopped speaking. “The case was a lucky break. Portals are haaaaard to come by. Of course, the defendants couldn’t have bluffed their way into a multimillion-dollar award all by their lonesome… with such substantial similarities haha, each one gaucher than the next! No. Their success is symptomatic of dangerously elevated amusial tendencies! But this amusia is not inside you, it’s… out there… like the madeleine, waiting for the right host to set the memory free!”