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17 - The Miracle of the Ear

Our ears are the most delicate, yet resilient organs we possess. And through them we experience the world on a variety of levels. We experience the cities around us, the increased sounds of traffic and the related noise pollution. We are sensitive to the vibrations which have influenced everything from the very first sounds of the Big Bang, to the mythical sounds of the cosmos and the harmonies of the planets.

Cellist Friedrich Kleinhapl was invited by the AVL Cultural Foundation to take a walk through the world of sound vibrations. From religion to music, the golden ratio to automobile manufacture, the influence of sound and the ear’s capabilities can be found in all aspects of human life, and the universe within which it resides.

From navigating our cities to passing on knowledge, the ear and the vibrations it picks up have shaped the way we interact with the world and our fellow humans. They influence how we perceive the world as well as the way we feel about it, something that’s not lost on AVL. Kleinhapl speaks to Bernhard Graf of AVL’s Vehicle and Powertrain Acoustics function about the importance of sound and vibration in vehicle development – not just from a noise pollution perspective, but from an emotional perspective, too.

A tour-de-force of hearing and its implications, Kleinhapl’s project traverses the musical, spiritual, philosophical, cosmological and the scientific. And it asks as many questions as it answers in the process.

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AVL CF