Track 12 Revisited
Particularly in his early short stories, the scientifically-trained Ballard delighted in injecting scientific tropes into his stories and Track 12 is a brief and lightweight example which nevertheless contains some interesting ideas.
At the heart of this tale of revenge is the made-up science of 'microsonics' -- the study of the quietest sounds recordable. There is a splash of technological colour in the invented sound units 'microsens' and mention of the most sensitive 'audio-probes'. However, the beauty of the story is in Ballard's descriptions of the amplified sound recordings of things like a pin falling:
...and a kiss:
There are in fact ultra sensitive microphones that can pick up the footfall of an ant or the heartbeat of a snail. As prefigured in the story, scientists have even been able to record sound vibrations in individual cells.
I've used a different approach to try to replicate the sounds the mad scientist Sheringham plays to his hapless guest. Using the extreme soundstretch tool made by Paul Nasca, I was able to expand the sound of a pin dropping and the sound of a couple kissing between eight and eighty times to create an aural landscape similar to those described in the story.
Original sounds from SoundDogs
|Mike Bonsall - December 2014 - m dot bonsall at gmail dot com|