Junto Project 0312: Amplify/Magnify

Someone suggested that Suss Müsik repost our contributions to the weekly Disquiet Junto projects, because they enjoy reading the explanations of the tracks. While you’re reading the original post, make sure you check out the other contributors’ works as well.

In order to better understand the relationship between magnification and amplification, Suss Müsik referenced an old paperback copy of the 1965 psychology textbook Perceiving, Sensing and Knowing.

The book contains an essay written by Roderick Firth on the Precept Theory, a key tenet on how we interpret sense-data. The nutshell is that traditional psychological distinctions are construed by evaluating an object’s ‘given’ status compared to how it behaves ‘in use.’

Our ability to judge magnified or amplified sound relies on a process of acclimation. As Firth puts it: “It makes no sense to say of an after-image that it looks different from what it really is … there really is in such a case an object about which it is an after-image, or an appearance of a physical object.” This is especially true when it comes to rhythmic music that commits itself to continuous change.

For this short piece, Suss Müsik determined two points of sense-datum for piano and drums. The “object’s” original state is ‘amplified’ with the addition of repetitious phrases at intermittent points, creating a busy din of notes, chords and beats.

At about the 1:15 mark, the object is ‘magnified’ by alternating between F#m11 and Emaj7 and a hint of stereo chorus on the drum phrasing. A bit of staccato strings fills out the sound near the end.

The piece is titled Zajonc after the Polish-American psychologist who suggested that repeated exposure to a stimulus brings about a change in social behavior related to that stimulus. The image is a magnified view of a 1950’s flash cube.

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