Week 4: resolution ~ the coda

paper off screeen

This is the visual picture of banana paper being torn from the mould (carefully). If the paper is the right thickness and the pulp has been successfully dried, then tearing the paper is a vibrant song, with a rustle at the end.

In his seminal book on sound in the arts Noise, Water, Meat; sound theorist and historian, Douglas Kahn states that visual sound recordings and phonography dramatically changed the physics and cosmology of sound in the late eighteenth century. The earth now had a “stylus” the sounds of nature could be recorded as well as viewed.[1]

paper off screen with knife web

This technique of drying in the air on the mould is an Oriental method  of paper making rather than the compression method where paper pulp is “couched” onto felted blankets which are then compressed and either peeled off  to dry on a flat surface like a wall or hung up to dry then later pressed again.

Part of the attraction of the Oriental method is the rapid drying of paper, from vat to paper in good sunlight is only four hours or so. Pulling the paper from its mould is a  satisfactory auditory and material conclusion to its journey from plant to paper. In musical terms this is the resolution of the musical composition or ‘coda’.


[1] Douglas Kahn, Noise, Water, Meat: A History of Sound in the Arts (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1999), 75.




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