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...a sweatshop of moxie

Thursday, May 12, 2005

The White Noise of Rainer Linz

One of my more obscure likes is that crackly sound emitted by radios or televisions when not tuned to a station -- the now almost obsolescent White Noise.

In fact, when they were all the rage as secret Santa gifts back in 2000, I received a pseudo-futuristic white alarm clock-cum-radio which also featured sound settings.

Mine was white

For the insomniac amongst you, one could fall asleep to:

  • Forest Woodland
  • Humpback Whales
  • Rainforest Idyll
  • White Noise

And invariably the latter was my kip sound of choice.

Possibly because of its hypnotic effect, it also can be quite irritating to listen to, I recognise that.

But there's another reason I like white noise: it sounds futuristic -- a bit like you've tapped into the dying moments of a white dwarf. Let's just say, there's no organic occuring sound like it anywhere in nature.

That's why finding this site made my day today. The name is very similar to what I do on this blog too, I'm sure you'll agree.

It's called...


They've even got, on their frontispiece, a spinning coil pic that "looks" as if white noise had taken shape somehow. Veddy veddy cool.

Even better were the sound .wavs available, almost all it seems, the brainchild of one Rainer Linz, the Essen-born Australian composer and 'sound musician' from Melbourne.

One of them particularly caught my ear.

It sounds as if white noise had been captured in a crowd, mixing with the muffled conversations, movements, and edgy nervous tensions of a vernissage or theatrical first night -- unsurprisingly, since it was called...

Belgrade Opening

That's one sample. But this other one sounds as if a Soviet-bloc rocket launch were being counted down by the unforgettable Kraftwerk.


You can almost picture chubby cosmonauts in their Michelin Man costumes wading to the launch pad as their names are announced, can't you?

Comrade Gordana Novakovic
Comrade Zoran Milkovic
Comrade Group Captain Rainer Linz

And if ever I have to compose a soundtrack for TCM's silent film series, say for Fritz Lang's Metropolis, I'm ripping off this .wav in its entirety. I think I'll rename it though, let's say:

Retro-Futura Frenesì

Run Maria Run!

Ah well. I never did find my white noise .wav to replace my defunct alarm clock with chipmunk woodsy sounds. I did find this downloadable programme though, which at 632K, shouldn't hog system resources unduly.

Now if I could only find a screenshot of that crackle-and-pop, I'd be sleeping as sound as a magpie tonight.


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