To Be Human Is To Vary

A recent trip through old podcasts brought me back to this great interview by [David Battino](http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/au/2032) with Peter Drescher, a sound designer who has created some remarkable music that all of us have heard: he’s the guy who makes the default ringtones for various mobile phone manufacturers.

That sounds immediately boring and mechanical and, well, corporate, but he takes his job seriously and all those labels that we are so quick to apply are things he himself knows. His Sisyphian task results in some interesting observations about what makes sound interesting to us, especially musical sounds. One of the things he reminds us is that the kind of ready repetition of music with which we are all now not only familiar but sometimes dependent — that is, recorded music — is really [a rather recent phenomena](http://broadcast.oreilly.com/2009/12/the-myth-of-music-ownership.html). (The link is to a piece by Peter Drescher entitled “The Myth of Music Ownership.)

Even within recorded music, however, the human mind between the ears seeks variation. Check it out. It’s short and full of great examples: [Peter Drescher on Annoying Audio](http://downloads.oreilly.com/digitalmedia/2007/03/30/dmi10-annoying-audio.mp3) — link is to MP3. (I had an embedded QT player, but I couldn’t get it not to pre-load the audio.)