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Final Project: The Best Medicine

September 17, 2009

Turmeric is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family, Zingiberacea.  It is native to tropical South Asia and needs temperatures between 20°C and 30°C, and a considerable amount of annual rainfall to thrive. Plants are gathered annually for their rhizomes, and re-seeded from some of those rhizomes in the following season.  In Ayurvedic practices, turmeric is thought to have many medicinal properties and many in South Asia use it as a readily available antiseptic for cuts, burns and bruises.  It is also used as an antibacterial agent.  This piece is not about turmeric.

Listen here:

I created this piece using only recordings of laughter.  Laughter is contagious, and I attempt to show that in the first 40 seconds of the piece, which includes only original recordings.  After that, I used several effects, including high-pass filters, phasers and reverb, to modify the recordings and produce new sounds.  The auto-tuning effect heard starting at 1:00 was done using Pitch Correction in Logic Pro.  Other melodic and harmonic sounds were produced from the original recordings of laughter using Melodyne.

All of the sounds used for this composition can be found on FreeSound.  The ones that I created myself can be found in this pack:

Other sounds I used are listed here:

        By K1m218 (
            ClearingThroat3.wav (
            ClearingThroat2.wav (
            ClearingThroat1.wav (
        By sagetyrtle (
            manlaugh.wav (
            laughter.wav (
        By DaveHammond (
            Laughter.wav (
        By thanvannispen (
            male_Bram_laughs.aiff (
            woman_Noor_laughs_like_crow.aiff (
            group_laugh_long.aif (
            group_laugh_long_exaggerate.aif (
        By Corsica_S (
            baby_giggle.aif (
        By Oberon81 (
            Man laughing hard.mp3 (
        By hanstimm (
            hanstimm_laughs_a4.aiff (
        By Syna-Max (
            alien_predator_laugh.wav (
        By Hell's Sound Guy (
            SMALL GROUP LAUGHTER.wav (
        By Shades (
            Laugh-child.wav (
        By Leady (
            insane laughter man reverb.wav (
        By NoiseCollector (
            soopastarlaugh.wav (

Here is a score to accompany the piece:

Score for "The Best Medicine"

The background image is a spectrogram created in Sonic Visualiser.  Other photos are pictures I took, except for:

Small child:


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