This term refers to small portion of sound,"an elementary acoustic particle"(Truax) that can be combined with others to create larger sounds or events in composition. (Source - Rodolfo Caesar (1992). The Composition of Electroacoustic Music. PhD Thesis, University of East Anglia.)
Grains of Sound
Imagine the grains of sand on a beach. Each of them is very small, but together they can form sand castles and even mighty sand dunes.
Grains of sound are exactly the same. They are tiny particles of sound that, when combined together, can create fantastic new shapes and structures.
It’s often difficult for us to hear individual grains on their own, but we hear them when they are found in groups. We call these groups of sound grains: ‘granular clouds’.
Just like rainclouds these hover in the air and can be any shape.
Where can we find Grains of Sound and Granular Clouds?
Sound grains and larger granular clouds are found in nature, they are often crackly sounds, but more often than not they are created by people out of recorded sounds.
Granular Leaves Sound
The sound card of 'Dry Leaves Blowing' from the 'External' soundcard pack has been transposed up to create a granular cloud.
(Some people make their own grains and build entire pieces from a process called Granular Synthesis).
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