A conceptual approach to the babbling brook: what if the soundscape of a creek were not an accident of nature, but deliberately designed? Hugh organizes scientific data on cavitation, bubble size, gravel shapes and sizes, waterfall acoustics, and creekbed dynamics to propose a method for designing one's own babbling brook with the most interesting resultant sound. Gift baskets of gravel, pre-selected for optimum sonic variety and performance, are offered to visitors, starter kits for a creek of their own.
Everyone should find time daily to relax with a good brook. The Krumbein Roundness factor is real, a system for describing the shapes of gravel, dating to 1941. But what if the gravel was chosen in order to maximize the sonic qualities of a brook? Imagining a false natural history, I collect gravel and sounds and wonder how they could be described. English is rich with onamatopoetic words for water; the Japanese also have many varieties. Like capturing birdsong in prose, I attempt to describe the range of water. Note the bell curve distribution of rock shapes; there are few at the extremes, and most are in the center, suggesting they are in the middle of their life. But they could also be of medium softness. What’s your Krumbein index?