Project 10. Exercise: Listening

You can do this exercise any time because you only need your ears – but you may find it
helps to focus the mind if you listen through headphones attached to your camera. This
will also help you to identify the peculiarities of your own equipment.
Find the most silent place you can. Listen. Make notes of what you can hear.
Try this in a variety of ‘silent’ places; you will be amazed by the range of sounds that you
normally ignore. Can you identify the sound of silence itself?
Look back at your sequence from Project 2. Identify all the items in the scene that might
make a sound.
Try to think in an objective way about the quality of each sound. Dissociate it from the
object that made it. (It may help to record the sounds and play them back in a random
order.) Listen carefully to each item. Make notes on the sounds it produces. What quality
do the sounds have? How do they feel?
To help you answer this question you could try using other sensations to describe the
sounds. Try and describe each sound with a:
• flavour/smell (think like a wine taster)
• colour
• emotion (joyous, frightening, melancholy)
• physical texture (smooth, sharp, rounded)
• anything else that comes to mind. Be creative.
Upload to your blog.

Sounds noted:
Crows – an abrassive, sharp caw sound, that conjures a sense of winter within me, although this was captured in the middle of summer.
Wind – a constant whirring of wind, even though a relatively calm day. Has a hypnotic rhythm that calms and provokes transcendence of thought. A circular sound, feels almost like one could wrap themselves up in it.
Aircraft – a jet liner high up in the clouds. Southeast England is almost defined by aircraft sounds, being under many different flight-paths. A sound that almost feels like it is sadly part of the natural soundtrack of the day, but it feels unclean, almost dominating and of malice. To others I imagine it brings promise of freedom and holidays.
Birds – various bird sounds as they stop and swoop amongst the wild bushes behind the house. The front of the house is literally one hundred yards from the sea, and strangely at the point of taking this soundbyte, NO seagulls are vocalising.
Workmen in distance – there are signs of humans at play and at work cars go by, men talking, a distant drumming sound as someone is playing their radio.
Pigeons – that rhythm of cooing pigeons, sounds like a warm day in audio.

Peter O

 

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