Vibroacoustics in Science and Music



In 2001 the band Cornucopia  (Puerto Rican musicians Jorge Castro and Claudio Chea) released an album called “Vibroacústica”. The title refers to a disease that allegedly afflicts people who have been exposed to loud noise over long periods of time. The vibrations thicken the walls of the heart, so the theory goes, and damage the immune, gastrointestinal, and neurological systems. This is noise as toxin, entering and sickening the body. The album takes the disease as its point of departure, and using location recordings of the coast of Puerto Rico, analog synthetic manipulations and digital processing, both recreates and protests the noise and its impact on human beings in Vieques, Puerto Rico, which was the target of bombing practice for over sixty years. This paper argues that the album subverts the idea of the preservation of a soundscape and instead reinterprets the sonic violence of occupation with the tweets, chirps and burbles of its soundtracks.