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Facial Vision is an amateur hobby project of Shawn kb7clx begun in 2008 in
Shawn occasionally has gotten the urge over the past few years to do some sort of musical experiment or other, mainly for his own enjoyment and that of a few online friends. It all started a few years ago when he discovered a program called Electronic Piano (Piano Eletrónico) developed by Maurício Antunes Oliveira from São Paulo Brazil. It's a Freeware program that allows the user to play midi Musical Notes, Chords and Drums using the computer keyboard configured as a piano keyboard. With this, Winamp and Goldwave: a shareware sound editor, Shawn made a few more or less successful attempts to make music. Well, actually he had made a few out the window nature recordings and slowed down sound experiments with Gold Wave alone before this.
Since joining last.fm he had heard plenty of other people's strange musical experiments, and often contemplated creating a profile and uploading his own. It was only in mid November of 2008 when he decided to see if he could do anything with the MusiNum freeware program which allows one to make fractal music. He then decided to throw caution to the wind and see what all his friends on last.fm would think of his musical experiments old and new. He found MusiNum to be very accessible and pretty easy to get something listenable out of, and very very addictive.
Why did he decide to call the project Facial Vision?
That's actually an antiquated term that has since been replaced by Human Echolocation. Shawn is blind since birth, and has always had this inate ability.
According to Wikipedia, "Human echolocation has been known and formally studied since at least the 1950s. Before it was known to be based on localization of echoes, human echolocation was sometimes described as "facial vision". The field of human and animal echolocation was surveyed in book form as early as 1959. Some blind people have described the phenomenon not as a learned method of navigation, but as an inherent and intuitive extra sense. For example, a blind person could walk past a line of trees and feel a "pressure" at their side as they passed each tree. The cause of this would be the echo of the sound of their footsteps"; (or other ambient sound in the environment); "however, they
may not consciously be aware of this mechanism, only that the phenomenon exists and
can often be relied upon to detect obstacles."
Though outdated Shawn thought Facial Vision was a good name because it was the first time he'd ever heard any sort of explanation of the phenomenon. HE first heard it from his bus driver and old friend of the family back when HE was in high school. They were talking about how Shawn can sense things in front or to the side of his face, from a hand several centimeters away to a wall, large tree or vehicle several meters away. The driver mentioned experiments that had been done around the time of World War II and found that the phenomenon they called facial vision worked by pressure from sound waves on the face. Now we know differently, but the old term had made an impression.
To Shawn, it would be obvious to any blind stereophile with headphones and a good classic rock track flanging all over the place that the ears, not the facial muscles are involved.
Shawn enjoys incorporating this type of flanging, phased sound waves, into many of his musical experiments. Sometimes the effects are subtle, other times they're brutal and wrenching. These latter will be added to the album (Vomit Comet).