Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Episode #222: Acoustics and Resonance in Egypt

We are joined this week by Sebastian Lonberg, an audio engineer from Sweden who was with us on the Egypt trip. Sebastian was very interested in the resonant properties of the sites and objects we visited, and we had great discussions with him while we were there about his thoughts and theories on these effects.

On this episode we talk about our overall thoughts on the acoustics and the possible reasons for them. Sebastian also reads from an excellent article by Tom Danley about his explorations of the acoustical properties of the great pyramid in the late 1990s. A link to this article can be found below.
We had planned on going through some of our own recordings of the various resonant properties we investigated, but we didn't have time to get to it on this show, so we will probably be recording another episode with Sebastian soon.

Associate Executive Producers:

Antonio Kasljevic

Gregg Taylor


  1. I think the concept of the pyramid being some type of resonator is the most plausible of the alternative theories I've come across. If you did have something that massive resonating like that, wouldn't liquefaction occur? If I'm using that term properly, I mean the process where vibration (usually earthquakes) can cause dry land to saturate with water contained in the earth below. Wonder if that could have been by design? In a benevolent way, maybe it turned arid land into an oasis (until it stopped and reverted to desert), or if nefarious maybe it's the machine that brought forth the great flood (the Bible refers to the doors opening that brought forth the waters from the deep).

  2. As far as I know, I've never liquified anyone's brains, or any other thing with my fiddling. Came close playing with rock bands in disreputable bars...
    Similarly to Sebastian I learned early on to enjoy practicing and fiddling in stairwells and tiled rooms … better as they were larger. For a about two decades — from middle school to my late 20s — I rarely went anywhere without my fiddle case. Can’t tell you how many times someone smiled and asked, “Izzat a machine gun in there?” You learn to grin, and even think of some silly comeback.

    College in New Haven meant a campus large enough and substantial enough that there were scores of winding staircases and large, fully-tiled high-ceiling bathrooms in classroom buildings that were open late, almost every day. Fantastic!

    One day, another student whose skill on the violin I hadn’t known, followed the sound of my playing, came in and listened for a while. Coming to the end of a phrase, I paused and said "Hi" and we swapped lies for a while. At some point, he got serious...
    “My instructor told me I should only practice in a “flat” room, no echoes.” after a friendly word… he went on, “All the echoes tend to hide your errors. Well, That’s what she told Me.”
    Hey, he said he never ever practiced in places that echo. He went on to play for decades in the D.C. national symphony. I suppose I should respect his advice.

    I didn’t argue with him. Of course I pondered this. But the opposite is true, as well — the echoes of your mistakes can sustain just as long as the correct notes.
    Anyhow, it’s like the person who feels it’s an obligation to look in the apple barrel and select the BRUISED ones to eat, to prevent the damage spreading to the other apples. You end up eating ONLY bruised and damaged apples.
    Well, I’ve done plenty of practicing, performing, and auditioning in situations where I felt like a bug on a plate.

    So when I play for MYSELF I’m gonna find places where I can turn up my amplifier to “Eleven.”

    Well, in California, I stopped fiddling in the Stanford stairwells when Chelsea Clinton enrolled. My old Security Clearance not likely to mean much to the Secret Service detail.

  3. High-volume at 30 Hz ---> I'm guessing that a GUY feels that in the region of the organs of generation. If you don't want scrambled eggs for breakfast, the desire to decamp is proportional to signal strength.


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