Lightning Storm

Monday, June 2, 2003

Fat, complex bolts of lightning have been arcing across the sky for the past few minutes, their brightness lightly visible against the gray daytime clouds behind them.

Jared had asked this weekend about synthesizing thunder claps, about what makes a thunder clap sound that way. The best we could come up with was that thunder was a series of sharp impulses caused by the electricity zipping through the air with a bunch of long, muffled echo delays added — simulating the buildings, hills, earth, etc that reflects sound back causing rummmmble.

And now iTunes, a piece of software that sometimes seems oddly aware of the mood of the room, has randomly selected Brian Eno’s “Always Returning” track from “Apollo Atmospheres & Soundtracks.” Which is a perfect atmosphere and soundtrack for that period between five and six in the evening if a storm seems impending. When the world radiates hushed anticipation.

I think people are friendlier before a storm. Maybe the added ions add tingle to life. Maybe that a storm can either bring life or violent destruction causes the lizard brain to perk up and pay more attention to its surroundings. Maybe the thicker air makes sounds feel closer and more intimate.