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27 - Kitsuka

Can the sound of an engine be music? Experts from AVL’s department of Vehicle and Powertrain Acoustics already appreciate the emotional importance of a vehicle’s sound, and how sounds can be used to create a sense of comfort and security, and increase a sense of quality and performance. But can a car be a musical instrument? AVL asked musician and media artist Josef Klammer to find out.

Commissioned to coincide with the AVL Sound Engineering Conference in 1999, and with the help of Dr. Franz Brandl and Dr. Martin Pflüger from AVL’s acoustic department, Klammer set about sampling automotive sounds to create a new musical composition.

Engine sound, type of vehicle and engine, all affect pitch, rhythm and timbre, creating a sound palette from which Klammer was able to construct Kitsuka. Additional noises such as windshield wipers, indicators, and car doors closing added percussion and a whole host of new musical elements to the musical composition, which was performed to engineers at the conference. New harmonies and melodious arrangements combined to create a symphony that puts a new perspective on our relationship with the automobile.

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