Overall Summary: for me this sound journal has helped open my eyes to just how much sound can, within our given realms of perception, place us within certain frames of time and space. Such as when the idea of snowmobile sounds on a Wednesday morning snapped me back into the reality of it being vacation. Also, I truly gained a clearer perspective on just how much ambient noise there is and how much I personally have taken sounds for granted, usually writing them off as simple background. But when I brought some of those sounds to the center of my perception and thought process, I discovered how rich and even complex their textures are. Not to mention was able to uncover and piece together a musical composition, simply by layering the sound from a car’s tires moving on pavement. I found that what I thought were very plain, simple noises, were actually very complex and intricate series of sounds that mesh, or articulate themselves in incredibly interesting ways.

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5 responses »

  1. travisjr07 says:

    2/21/12 8:40AM – 9:00AM, apartment kitchen, Farmington Maine
    Variation 1: focused on the polyphony of refrigerator sounds.
    There were very fluid swirling sounds which began with lower tones, then increased both in tempo and pitch, all moving in a circular pattern.
    This was accented by sporadic articulations which were low pitched humming buzz sounds that came at random intervals. The noise itself was constant; at times it was a singular drone, while at other points it took on the form of a very rhythmic pulse.
    There were also small popping noises, again low in tone and in volume
    Variation 2: focused on the interaction of sounds, via center-fringe technique.
    I centered on the buzzing sounds, putting the swirling noise on the fringe of my focus. Said swirling noise became a very constant, but blurred, tonal noise. It ceased to “swirl,” but rather, morphed into a drone.
    The pulsing beat of the buzzing noise became much clearer. The buzz was at times very sharp at times, then very dull at others. It remained random, yet while apparent too on a very rhythmic quality that overlapped the drone of what was the swirling noise perfectly.
    And it was discovered that what I initially perceived as a constant buzz, was actually a lower toned pulse.
    In summation: my eyes were truly opened to the small scale level of detail and intricacies of the sounds my refrigerator can produce. I was also amazed at how rhythmic it was at times. However, I wasn’t able to produce a satisfactory musical work from the combination of the sounds. Perhaps that could be an alternative variation.

  2. travisjr07 says:

    2/22/12, 9:00Am-9:20AM, Apartment Kitchen, Farmington Maine
    Variation 1: focused on the polyphony of sounds that were on the fringe of my hearing, while trying not to make them the center of my focus.
    There were the swirling thick, low tones of the wind. This was combined with low grinding noises of snowmobiles.
    Variation 2: focused on the texture of the sound from the snowmobiles.
    Texture was thick and grating. The sounds were at times sharp (revving of engines). And then they were at times a duller, throaty moan.
    In summation: I really tried to keep these sounds on the fringe of my hearing, but they soon became my ultimate focus and center of thought. This was especially true in trying to think of how to describe sound in terms of texture. It’s something we do every day without thinking, but when thinking about it, it became difficult. It also, oddly enough, gave me a sense of time. I thought it odd that I was hearing snowmobiles in the middle of the day on a Wednesday, then remembered it was spring break. Additional variations may include once more attempting to keep the noises solely on the fringe of my hearing.

  3. travisjr07 says:

    2/24/12, 10:15AM-11:00Am, Girlfriend’s car, going to Bucksport Maine
    Variation 1: focused on bringing the fringe sound of tires on pavement to center of my focus.
    There was deep thick low tone, constant whirring grind noise. This was articulated with thuds of potholes, crunching, and thick grinding of gravel on tar. There were also small popping noises from tiny rocks caught beneath the tires.
    Variation 2: construction of a musical work.
    I honed in on the gentle, but thick, whirring sound. Through the circular motion of the sound, I picked out a very distinct rhythmic pattern. It provided a nice backbeat. The grinding of friction and rocks created a sort of melody to this. And little solos were performed by the thuds and cracking sounds from hitting potholes, which after a while seemed to have a pattern in themselves.
    In summation: it was a lot of fun to open up the intricacies of the sounds that are produced by the car tires. It was even more fun to attain a certain level of understanding in the way that the patterns were emerging and evolving.

  4. travisjr07 says:

    2/25/12, 12:30AM-12:45AM, Apartment bedroom, Farmington Maine
    Variation 1: focused on texture of sound in concern of the wind.
    At times very thick, deep, and almost gravelly sounds emerged in low to medium tones; very dense. While at the same time, there were thinner, very sharp sounds that had a very high pitched sheen to them. The deeper tones were very smooth, while the higher pitches were rougher, less fluid.
    Variation 2: focused on interaction of sounds.
    There was a very distinct circular pattern of motion that emerged; very predictable. The movement ranged from deeper tones moving up to medium tones and then punctuated with very clear and articulated sharper, thinner sounds. Each gust seemed to move in this way, a circular path of motion was created. Then with each gust, these sounds were layered, it reminded me of a round singing.
    In summation: I gained a very new perspective on just how intricate the layering of these wind sounds was. And also, perhaps moreover, I was surprised at how easily a pattern seemed to form. That’s not to say there were not moments of random variation, but overall it was very rhythmic.

  5. travisjr07 says:

    Sound Journal (cont.) 4/2/12

    3/28/12 2:00PM-2:35PM Farmington Tire Center
    Variation 1: Polyphony of sounds: Radio and Computer (Strange Auction video feed)
    Slow to medium speed musical sounds and voices with extremely melodic rhythm combined with smooth flowing voice and rapid fire expression which was often overwhelmed and /or distorted by radio sounds. Less often, during low tempo/volume on the part of the radio, the voice from the video overwhelmed that of the radio. At times the radio sporadically blared with “white noise” static, making the voice from the video even clearer, though muting it volume wise. There was fluidity to the mellow and rhythmic sounds of the radio, while the auctioneer’s voice was less swollen and more distinct at times, even though comparatively it was much flatter.

    Var. 2: Texture of Sounds: Radio at times had a silky, very smooth texture accompanied by abrupt (sporadic) grating/rough sounds from the static. It was very fuzzy at those points. While the voice from the online video was grainy though, smooth flowing but not silky. The radio sounds were also deeper and thicker/richer. While the voice from the computer was thinner almost whiney, this gave it a very sharp texture.

    Var. 3: Fringe-Center Method: I really tried to put one set of sound(s) at the center of my focus and one on the fringe. It did not turn out well though. I found because of my spatial relation to each sound producing item (the radio and computer speakers, respectively) that it almost seemed like they were still sharing equal space inside my consciousness, in that I felt like I could hear each coming in a separate ear at the exact same time. It was very odd, and made it very hard to put my direct focus on one. It was also strange in the way that each ear seemed to be responding in their own respective way to the difference in each of the sound textures that I described above.

    Overall, it just dawned on me at that exact moment that the way these two sounds producers interacted was perfect. I thought the way that they blended, then at times counteracted and/or counter-balanced each other was intriguing. I found myself reverting back to some of the same ideas and concepts that occurred to me in the previous journal, I think it speaks to the importance of intention in listening, but also the level of habit in it, which I linked to the ideas on habit expounded on in regards to our motility and spatiality.

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