English poet and novelist Thomas Hardy once said, “A man’s
silence is wonderful to listen to”. This could be taken as a motto of my essay,
as in two of my recordings made for the first assignment I listened to the
silence. Both times it turned out not to be as silent as I imagined. Moreover,
in each of the recordings it is very different. It appeared that my ear very
often does not pay attention to many of the surrounding sounds.
The first recording I made at home – in a small and closed
space. When I was making it, I thought that there would be just nothing, but it
appeared that though it was quite in the room, there were also other sounds –
steps, mouse scrolling or car passing near the window. The conclusion that can
be drawn is that the thing we usually assume as silence actually is not so
The second recording was from a wide and open space,
though also rather quite - the parking lot near a supermarket. The sounds
presented in this one are: the blowing of the wind, occasional sounds of the
birds or car driving away. While making this recording I tried to put a windscreen
because of the wind, but it damped down all other surrounding sounds, that is
why I preferred the recording without the windscreen. The conclusion I drew was
when recording natural sound in a quite open space it is better to do it
without a windscreen, even if it is windy.
The third recording I made in a bookstore. This acoustic
space was large, closed, and filled with people. The recording comprises
variety of sounds – music playing, people walking, talking, sneezing... The
recording provides insight into fact that we are in a public place.
The last recording was made in a laundry – closed space
with constant background noise of washing machines. On a foreground there is a
song from the TV-set, on the background there is washing noise, but in between
of these two noises there were other sounds - a basket dragging on the floor,
or coins falling out of the coin machine.
The general conclusion I can draw from the assignment is
to listen carefully to everything which is around us – there is a lot of staff we
do not pay attention to.