Aural Observations 3: DeLonghi Dragon Two. Oil filled radiator

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I have an oil filled radiator. My radiator generally resides in my study / studio but gets moved around between rooms to service the heating needs of my apartment as and when required. Over a period of time I began to observe a peculiar, regular tapping noise encompassing the space of my apartment. Around this time, I feel it important to note. I had been studying in some depth the work of John Cage (one of my long standing creative heroes), and focussing particularly on his initial ‘light-bulb’ moment: the possibilities of the ambient. This naturally progressed onto me discovering the work of the musician composer Francisco Lopez, and his ambient recordings. In particular his recordings of electrical appliances in a domestic space. These experiences combined with the obvious need to ‘get out more’ hopefully go some way to describing my state of mind at the time.

After numerous failed attempts at trying to diagnose the origins of this peculiar rhythmic tapping, I experienced my very own somewhat less significant ‘eureka’ moment: the tapping appears only when the radiator is efficiently fulfilling its heating requirements. The tapping originated from none other than the DeLonghi Dragon Two.

Having observed the acoustics reverberating from the ‘Dragon’ I made an audio recording of it in order to study it in more depth. Having edited the clip in question and exposed it to a series of noise reduction filters I was able to more readily define the syncopated rhythm originating from the radiator.

Above is a rough attempt at notating the sound: a visual imaging of an audible event.

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