This project got more interesting as it went along. Initially I found it very difficult to be patient enough to listen for different sounds that I normally would never stop to listen for. I think it was a very effective way of helping me to notice the world around me. People often say that one should take more time to stop and smell the roses, but after doing this assignment I would say that people should also stop and listen to them too. If there is one thing the I would say I learned, for sure, is that I don’t like the sound of “silence,” because it’s really quite loud and distracting when you listen to it for too long. I found myself getting very distracted by things that were humming or buzzing or thumping that I normally wouldn’t hear. I would also say that I discovered how sounds interact with each other a bit. When given the time to listen, it really does become evident that no matter what or how many sounds you put together, they will create something that is totally new and different from what the original sounds were.

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5 responses »

  1. bendunbar says:

    2/21/12, 10:30 am, Cow Pasture –

    Variation: Focus on the sounds of the cattle eating their hay.

    Lots of grinding noises, some gurgling as well. Lots of background noise – cawing and chirping from the woods nearby. Scraping sounds, smooth but loud. A rustling sound.

    During this listening session I found myself listening less to the actual grinding sounds that came from the cattle chewing, and focusing more on the sounds that were coming from the fringe around me such as birds making noises in the woods nearby. I guess this means that the fringe became my center and the scraping of horns and grinding of hay became the fringe because they were the more consistent and less abrupt sounds.

  2. bendunbar says:

    2/23/12, 1:30 pm, riding in the vehicle –

    Variation 1: Listen to the sounds that the vehicle itself is making (radio turned off).

    Low rumbles, a steady hum interrupted by shorter bursts of deeper sounding rumbles as well as an occasional whistling sound – rather high pitched at times. A whooshing sound, and some clinks every now and then.

    Variation 2: Try to listen for sounds that are happening outside or around the vehicle, opposed to just the vehicle making the noise.

    Whooshing is happening, accompanied by occasional “voom” sounds, passing by the exterior. Occasionally louder rumbled can be heard, as well as squealing of some kind.

    I noticed during the first variation that a diesel truck is not a quiet ride at all, yet there is a lot to listen to. I found myself getting absorbed in the whistling sound that the engine makes, and I would get so hung up on it that I would wait for it and block out everything else as I anticipated it. The second variation allowed me to realize that the road in general is a fairly loud place that is layered with one whoosh and grumble after another. It really felt as though the sounds built off of each other, and created a sound landscape that was quite layered indeed.

  3. bendunbar says:

    2/24/12, 10:30 pm, Living room during, Mount Desert Island –

    Variation: Listen to the rain falling outside, and attempt to isolate the different surfaces it is impacting.

    Tinny sounds, soft splattering as well as harder splashes that seem to thump. A pitter pattering sound of some sort. There is a tinkling/shimmering effect that increases and decreases. Some whistling.

    The sounds that rain makes when it falls differs greatly depending on where it lands. I was able to detect at least four, possibly five different sounds that it makes depending on where it hits. When it would hit they skylights it was very tinkly and shimmery I suppose, until the wind shifted, causing it to drive harder into the glass. This would cause a more metallic sound. The softer thumps seemed to be coming from rain hitting the granite steps in larger drops from the edges of the roof. There was also the steady pitter patter coming from the wooden deck. Together all of the sounds create a washed out whoosh that sounds a lot like wind, but when singled out they’re is much more depth to them.

  4. bendunbar says:

    2/26/1, 5:30 pm, Laundry room –

    Variation 1: Focus on the water in washing machine.

    Lots of gurgling, and swooshing sounds. Extremely fluid with occasional gulping sounds.

    Variation 2: Focus on the machine itself.

    Humming, a very light gravel sound, thumping – maybe thudding.

    The sounds of the washing machine and it’s water are very fluid, and very in sync with each other. Depending on the sounds the machine makes, the water reacts and makes specific noises to accompany it. It seems to be a cause and effect scenario. The hum of the machine itself seems to take priority over the water that it a bit more muted to do it being internal.

  5. bendunbar says:

    3/30/12, 7:15 pm, Bedroom –

    Variation 1: Listen to the sounds coming from outside the open window.

    Lots of different types of whooshing, sharp high pitched chirping and squeaks, a humming every once in a while – distant sounding. Natural sounds.

    Variation 2: Listen to the sounds inside the room.

    Not a lot of sound coming from inside. Ticking sounds – very faint background noise, a creaking of some sort, very irregular.

    Variation 3: Listen to inside and outside sounds, comparing the two.

    Outside sounds are much softer, more natural. Inside is harsher, harder, and seem more man made. There seems to be more “silence” inside than outside, but the outside invades the inside more when there are gaps in the interior noises.

    The natural sounds of birds and the wind are much more relaxing compared to the fan thats blowing inside, and the creaking I hear when someone else moves somewhere within the house. However when the house is quieter than the outside, it seems as though the noises outside become amplified and are more easily heard through the open window.

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