Thursday, January 07, 2010

Leaf Blow(ers) Your Horn

Yesterday the mow, blow and go maintenance crew was outside my office in full force. The gas powered blowers are so loud, that I can't help but be annoyed. Why can't they just use rakes and brooms which have quiet, rhythmic, scratching noises that I find kind of relaxing? I know it's because they're too damn slow. But is there an opportunity in the blowers to develop something less annoying to me?

If you think about it, the gas blowers have a droning noise similar to the vuvuzela horn that's popular at soccer matches, and arguably also irritating. And during soccer matches at large stadiums I've thought how much more interesting the sound would be if each horn had it's own tone, ideally spread out among the horns so you have different notes in a triad scale with the root, the third and the fifth (for example C, E and G for the C Major scale).

Well, why not apply the same idea to the leaf blowers? Provide them with a tonal resonance and then give the option to buy attachements to change the tone of the blower so if you have a whole crew out you could have an a simple chord crew, like your earlier mentioned C crew (C-E-G) or your D minor crew (D-F-A).

A more interesting experimental music maintenance option might be to rig a single unit to switch tones as it revs up. It's never a constant stream of blowing, there's always that pulsing to slowly push the leaves and debris. Now, you could have the unit switch in a linear fashion and play a simple melody, like the rotating cylinder of a music box. Or, perhaps more avante garde, you could have the notes randomize, but maybe just for a limited number of notes all in the same scale (such as A minor 9th: A - C - E - G - B). Get a few of these leaf blowers going and you just might have some experimental fusion jazz going as you clean up the landscape.

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