Landline (fixed media): Audio clip

Ihave vivid memories of my landline telephone in the home I grew up in. It was an old-style shiny black rotary dial phone, with its own table, accompanied with directory and phone book, all situated in the entrance hallway. As I grew up, the home telephone changed size and shape, the rotary dial disappeared and replaced with touch-tone buttons, and then eventually it became cordless liberating the speaker from its fixed location. I realised recently that I had not used my current landline telephone in a long time. It had fallen behind some furniture and become caked in dust. When I came to use it, it felt strange and the sounds it made me curious about this somewhat endangered household object. I became fascinated with the dial tone sound and later discovered that landline dial tone sounds are not the same in every country. For some of my non-British friends and family dial tone pitches appeared to be a type of cultural sound emblem reminding them of home. The UK’s dial tone is a combination of sine waves mixed from 350Hz and 450Hz, while the North American is a combination of 350Hz and 440Hz. In this piece I have explored my landline telephone in all its glory and have tried to recreate and reimagine the sounds of that first home telephone I remember from when I was younger. Many thanks go to Conserve the Sound online museum for granting permissions to me to borrow one of their archived dial telephone sounds (name: Fernsprechtischapparat, Manufacturer: Deutsche Bundespost) and giving me insight into the world of disappearing sounds.


First Prize at Musicworks Contest

Toronto magazine Musicworks has announced that the acousmatic work Landline by Manuella Blackburn was awarded the First prize at its Musicworks Electronic Music Composition Contest 2018. Works by the collective Chroma Mixed Media (Katerina Gimon, David Storen, Brian Topp) and Epa Fassianos were respecdtively awarded 2nd and 3rd prize. Honourable mentions were given to works by Elliott Lupp and Bekah Simms.

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