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Main » 2009 » February » 3 » Listening to the Silence
Listening to the Silence
5:55 AM
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 silent.

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.
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