I have a hard time focusing on things.  I tend to get caught up in everything other than what I should be focusing on, so I was looking forward to this assignment, if only because it would give me a chance to zone out and focus on other things.  Occasionally, I would zone out and have difficulties focusing on anything at all, but I thought the assignment did a good job of helping me focusing on the little sounds that people might not notice otherwise.

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2 responses »

  1. dattmaigle says:

    Date: 2/20/12,

    Time: 11:28 a.m

    Location: Sitting in the basement

    Variation #1: Focusing on the dryer

    Clanging, tapping, like popcorn popping in the microwave, a consistent droning sound

    Variation #2: Directing my attention to the other sounds in the basement besides the dryer

    Grunts and sighs, squeaking, repetitive rolling sound, voices overlapping one another (one was higher in tone than the other)

    Variation #3: Focusing on the noises occurring outside of the basement

    Clicking noises from every direction, creaking, loud squawking (high-pitched), doors slamming, humming sound

    Summary: I decided it’d be interesting to sit in the basement of my girlfriend’s house and focus on each layer of her house, starting at the lowest point. I focused on the loudest thing in the basement first: the dryer. I was looking for a pattern of sorts in the sound of loose change and zippers clanging against the sides, but the noises were completely random. The droning noise of the dryer was constant; it put me in a trance at times, making it hard to focus on the clanging sounds. As for the other sounds in the basement, there were several people doing different things down there (exercising, painting, doing chores), which created an interesting and elaborate weaving of noises. The noises outside of the basement were the hardest to hear, but when I focused on them and nothing else, there was a pattern to them. Every five seconds or so, a clicking sound (likely the paws of the dogs) shuffled across the floor. A door would creak open and slam every thirty seconds or so.

  2. dattmaigle says:

    Date: 2/22/12
    Time: 8:00 p.m
    Location: Working at Shaws Supermarket, behind the register

    Variation #1: Focusing on the noises in within my personal space

    A beeping sound (not a steady rhythm, but close to it), voices with different tones overlapping one another, sobbing, shrieking

    Variation #2: Focusing on the noises throughout the store, further away from me

    Waves of voices crashing over each other (difficult to decipher words, became a sort of humming noise with slight variations in pitch), constant beeping, a humming sound different than the hum of voices

    Summary: I’ve worked at a grocery store for almost six years now, and while it’s a tedious job, I thought it’d be fun to focus on the sounds found while working. It was more difficult than I expected (it’s hard to focus on noise when you have to focus on the customer and their order), but in doing so, I realized how repetitive and drone-like working in a grocery store is, which explains why it’s easy to get tired and feel out of it. The voices of every customer in the store mixing together created an odd humming noise that changed pitch every so often (depending on how many people were in the store). It’s fascinating to focus simply on the hum. The beep was the other constant sound during each variation. When focusing on the voices and the other noises, the beeps disappear, but when you focus on the beeps, it’s easy to become aware of how prevalent they are. There’s always multiple registers signed in, which means there’s always a beeping noise.

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