Please read the following instructions before playback:

The audio above is not the work but a means to facilitate the dynamic listening which you must perform.

Throughout playback you must adjust the volume of your playback system in relation to the constantly shifting loudness of the audio track.

The object of continual volume adjustment is to maintain as constant a resulting perceived volume as possible, despite continual changes of volume built into the track. Performance requires constant attention to the track’s loudness and simultaneous compensation in relation to its changes:

– if the track gets louder, you must turn down playback volume;
– if the track gets quieter, you must turn up playback volume.

By such constant compensation, perceived volume should remain as static as possible.

There are two suggested base playback levels and options for performance:

1) Throughout performance, audio should be kept at the threshold of audibility. This means that the volume level to maintain throughout should never exceed or be less than that volume level below which you could no longer apprehend an audio signal. This means that throughout performance, what you hear should be perpetually on the edge of “nothing”: as soon as you hear “something”, tend to turn it down; as soon as you can no longer hear “anything,” tend to turn it up.

2) Throughout performance, audio should be kept at the threshold of comprehensibility. The material of the audio track is spoken English text. This means that the volume level to maintain throughout should be the minimum level necessary to “follow” the semantic context of the text. This means that throughout performance, what you hear should be perpetually on the edge of clearly making out the content of the text, but no more: as soon as you clearly understand it, tend to turn it down; as soon as you can’t understand it, tend to turn it up.

In both cases, loudness changes in the track swiftly, slowly, and at every speed between; so too must your compensatory adjustments be.

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Notes:

– Audio begins only after 15 seconds.
– The audio track begins extremely quietly (ca. -50 dB). As such, your playback system should be turned up to its maximum setting to hear anything at all. From there, one can best proceed with either of the performance options.
– Before attempting performance, make note of the functioning of the volume controls of your playback system – whether in the form of a knob, slider, button on your keyboard or remote control, or whichever virtual control you might have on your computer or device screen. You must be able to dynamically adjust volume during playback.
– Before attempting performance, you might determine and accustom yourself to the playback level you have chosen for performance (1 or 2) so that you can better track that level during performance.
– If during playback at maximum volume your system cannot fulfill the audible requirements for performance options 1 or 2, you might consider an alternative playback system or playback via headphones.
– If during playback your system is too loud, you will need to perform the entire listening in the lower portion of your possible volume spectrum. If your volume controls do not offer adequate dynamic range in the quieter register, you might then consider an alternative playback system or playback via headphones.

“Successful” performance is unlikely on your first try. Performance can and should be “rehearsed.” Advanced performance might also enter into loudness compensation of noisier or more dynamic playback environments.

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The text of the audio track, a condensed version of Bill Dietz’s “Holiday Vignettes” (2013), was read by Tami Birch, Chris Dietz, and the author on January 10th, 2014 in Bisbee, Arizona.

A live study for “Nuvole Detail” was presented on December 21st, 2013 at Exploded View Gallery in Tucson, Arizona.

A “Nuvole Detail” Tutorial Diversions Profiling Software, with which any audio source material can serve as the basis for listening performance, will be released later in 2014.

– BD

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