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Humor: March 2008 Archives

Auto Interpretation

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Bill Milbrodt

Car Parts Orchestra

The man who turned a family hatchback into a 30-piece touring band

Jasper Rees
The Telegraph

Part of the signature of a car is the sound made by its engine.

If pressed, even the most L-plated among us could probably identify a Rolls by its self-satisfied purr, or a Ferrari by its neurotic throat-clearing. But the most fanatical of petrolheads would struggle to discern, in the ambient jazzy backing to Alesha Dixon's new iTunes download, For You I Will, the snappy hatchback sound of the new Ford Focus.

The advertising industry's reverence for the tangential uses of disembodied cars is a fairly recent phenomenon. In 2003, the award-winning commercial for the Honda Accord fashioned the car's entrails into a hypnotically complicated mechanism. In 2006 a large choir of human voices imitated the clunks and whirs of a Honda Civic. The new ad for the Focus goes a step further, and puts car parts to musical use.

The Car Parts Orchestra consists, among others, of a weirdly bent flute, a bonnet recycled as a gong, a wheel-rim drum kit with gearknob for pedal stick and, the pièce de résistance, a double bass whose body takes the bulging form of a bumper, with a neck made from a roof support, which can be either plucked or bowed with a windscreen wiper.

Read more about this including video interviews with composer Craig Richey and inventor Bill Milbrodt at the Telegraph website:

   http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2008/03/15/bmcarpart115.xml

Musick has Charms to Sooth

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Sleeping Dog

New classical CD aimed at calming dogs

By Amy Hollyfield ABC 7 News

Classical music can often calm our heart rate down in traffic, but can it also affect our dogs? A music teacher in Half Moon Bay has just released a new CD specifically targeting out of control canines.

The call of the wild isn't always welcomed indoors. You can't exactly tell that to Sanchez and his friends, but what if music can call the wild right out of them?

Music teacher Lisa Specter accidentally discovered that certain kinds of music she played seemed to bring the energy level down a notch in the dogs she was pet sitting, and also in her very energetic yellow lab.

"I noticed that when I played the piano and when I played certain kinds of music, that he would slow down, lie down and go to sleep within a very short period of time," said Lisa Specter, creator and composer.

She started leaving the music on when she left Sanchez home alone, and he never ate another pair of diamond earrings or destroyed parts of her piano again. Until one day when she couldn't find her CD and tried some different music.

"It was still slow and I thought 'oh this will work, it's really ok,' and I came back and pillows were torn apart and tissues from the trash were all over the place. He was not a happy dog," said Lisa Specter.

Now she realized she was on to something. So she took her discovery and her questions to psycho acoustic sound researcher Joshua Leeds. Four different CDs and 150 dogs later they zeroed in on the music that can calm our canines.

Read more about this at the KGO/ABC 7 News website:

   http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local&id=6005162

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