I chose to open my audiography with silence. Silence represents the calm before the storm. When we are sleeping we do not process the sense data of the real world in a direct way. In reality the only silence is found in sleep.
The silence is followed by an alarm. This noise wakes me every day. More than that, it marks a sharp snap into the new day. The alarm is both cyclic and punctual, it divides the realms of slumber and awareness of dreams and reality. In addition to these sentiments the also evokes a sense of resentment. Resentment for the regular and scheduled life we construct, wash rinse and repeat. As the alarm interrupts my natural Circadian rhythm, I am reminded of how little freedom I have existing within a system of artificial segmentation of time and an unnecessary sense of urgency.
Following this alarm is the song “Hoodmorning” by the Game. The opening half minuet of the song reminds me of how fortunate I am to be waking up in the place I am. It is also an upbeat song that adds some flavor to an otherwise monotonous morning routine. When selecting what song to start my day with, I had some difficulty. After narrowing it down to two selections, Up Up and Away by KiD CuDi and the previously mentioned track, I decided to go with the Game, mostly because of the general message of the song and the semantic mood it creates. KiD CuDi is too airy and happy to begin the grind of a day of classes to. In reality, the specific song is unimportant to the auditory significance of this sound byte. Rather, it is the buildup of the introduction and abrupt beginning that force me out of bed and into the shower.
The noises of my morning hygienic activities are white noise. The sound of water running in the shower as regular to us as the wind, can induce a meditative mood, especially fresh out of the dream state. It is this sound coupled with a feeling of refreshment that pulls me fully into my day. As I hastily brush my teeth, listening causally as Michelle Chion would say, I stop to realize how odd it is to hear a noise from inside one’s own head. The sounds of cleanliness are encouraging and healthy.
As my day continues I head to class, compressed air hisses as a bus pulls up to the front of University Heights North. It represents the beginning of work, of study. As my ear perceives the hissing air, a mental sigh accompanies it, and I am resolved as I board the bus, mentally preparing to tune out the noise on board. The clamor of humanity itches my inner ear as I ride to class, irritating and obnoxious, even as I try to block it out. Snippets of the irrelevant banter we employ to fill the silence of our world. Conversations with no substance, used to pass the time, to fill the space with not a single individual investing any real stock or passion into anything they say. Talking for the sake of talking. I am relieved as I disembark.
This transitions to the relative silence of the classroom broken every so often by the question of a student or the opening of a door. Pencil scratches paper as the professors voice slowly fades from my immediate auditory sphere of attention and becomes time. The scratch of pencil on paper is significant. It is paradoxical. The audio should indicate a hunger for knowledge, a drive to pay attention and take down the notes heard from the professor manifested in frantic scratching. In this case it is the sound of a pencil doodling away, the sound of a brain producing in the wrong discipline, an artistic output that indicates a need for stimulation. The boredom encapsulated in this sound byte is something I live with daily, another reminder of the monotone of daily life. It seems that the monotone of life. It seems that as our lives become more monotonous in nature, audio of our daily lives blends together, resonating with this sentiment. We are quick to disregard those things that do not interest us, especially in audition.
Class ends and I return to my dorm. The slam of the door punctuates the day, semantically symbolizing an end to work contrasting a physically constrained dorm with the mental felling of freedom that creeps into my consciousness.
This freedom is manifested in music. As I turn on the stereo and Macklemore’s “Jimmy Iovine” blasts on and the bass rattles the shades, I start to refocus my auditory sense on the music finally something with passion coupled with intelligence. Message and content are integral in my enjoyment of music, the semantic meaning of lyrics stimulates my brain in ways that the noises of everyday life never can. Reduced listening takes this to a whole different level, opening a world of infinite possibility.
Lastly, I included the light switching off to punctuate my day. A simple click the marks a spiral into the world of dreams and nightmares, a calming and relieving noise even with the knowledge that tomorrow won’t be that much different.
Chion “The Three Listening Modes”
Erlmann, “The String and the Mirror ”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Ab-Soul “Jimmy Iovine”
The Game “Hoodmorning”