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Re: Very quiet recordings

Subject: Re: Very quiet recordings
From: "404" quies_still
Date: Mon Jun 4, 2012 4:19 pm ((PDT))
I really did agree with what with you say Jez. When I applied for funding f=
or my project I even phrased it like this:

"What do we hear when there=92s nothing to listen to?
What do we listen to when there=92s nothing to hear?

I do know that silence does not exist. Or that, if it does, it cannot be re=
corded. Or that, if it could be, it cannot be played back, or heard or re-e=
xperienced in the same way.

Even deaf, you never hear nothing. There is always something."

But then I found myself in places so remote, where there really was (almost=
) no sound. And it wasn't like those pockets of quiet we can still find in =
most European countries, where "there is a wealth of sound to be heard (..)=
 just on a different level", no, it really was silent. Not quiet, but silen=
t. Or nearly, because when it's really hot, you can't escape the flies. Unt=
il the wind picks up. But every now and then there's moments where the wind=
 lies down and the flies stay away and it's silent. Not quiet. But silent.=

I'm sure that anyone who's ever driven into the Australian outback or deser=
t know what I'm talking about. I can highly recommend it. It's sonic orgasm=


On 05 Jun 2012, at 05:53, Jez wrote:

> 'it probably has to do
> with how quiet spaces throw you back on yourself. They function like mirr=
> somehow. Because there's "nothing" to escape in or hide behind, you're le=
ft with
> yourself. Unlike, say, a piece of music, or bird song, or dawn chorus, th=
> simply "nothing" and as far as I'm concerned that's massively overwhelmin=
g and
> powerful'
> it's interesting how opposite individual impressions of similar things ca=
n be - for me its the total opposite. Far from their being 'nothing', in pl=
aces of quietude there is a wealth of sound to be heard - its just on (not =
just at) a different level. I also perceive the sense of self totally diffe=
rently, feeling less aware of myself than in loud environments.
> Its a very old discussion I know but there is no such thing as silence & =
there's never an environment with 'nothing'. For me this is why the term 'q=
uietude' is more appropriate than 'silence'.
> --- In  404 <> wrote:
> >
> > hi Tony (and Jez and Mark)
> >
> > I'm obsessed with quietness as well. To find a really silent space and =
just sit and listen never tires me. If I try to rationalise it, it probably=
 has to do with how quiet spaces throw you back on yourself. They function =
like mirrors, somehow. Because there's "nothing" to escape in or hide behin=
d, you're left with yourself. Unlike, say, a piece of music, or bird song, =
or dawn chorus, there's simply "nothing" and as far as I'm concerned that's=
 massively overwhelming and powerful.
> > I've been actively seeking out empty and quiet spaces. A search that to=
ok me all the way to the Australian outback and desert, where I experienced=
 near silence. I put together an album with some of my recordings. If you'r=
e interested, it's here:
> > The last 4 tracks are recordings of these spaces. Now obviously, experi=
encing a quiet space is one thing, and recording it something else. It does=
n't take much before we hear the microphone rather than the space. But then=
 again, I find that kind of "failure" artistically very interesting, but th=
at's food for another thread.
> >
> > Peter
> >
> >
> >
> > On 04 Jun 2012, at 11:02, Mark wrote:
> >
> > > Hi Jez,
> > >
> > > I lived with a deaf family for several years during university. It's =
a common misbelief that the deaf cannot hear anything, but on average they =
are living a world of soft booms faint, clicks and muffled voices. While I =
wouldn't wish deafness on my worst enemy, I feel that the lack of distracti=
on helps in developing exceptional skills in listening and the intuition of=
 subtle energies.
> > >
> > > just a few distracted thoughts ^__~
> > >
> > > Mark
> > >
> > > On Jun 4, 2012, at 6:24 AM, "Jez" <> wrote:
> > >
> > > > very quiet recordings (quietudes) have been something of an obsessi=
on of mine for many years. I spend a lot of time recording stillness in bui=
ldings for example. When there are just small sounds to hear we have to mic=
ro/macro listen & that draws you in, closer.
> > > >
> > > > --- In  "soundings23" <tony.whiteh=
ead2332@> wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > > Hi All, just for interest here are two very quiet recordings I up=
loaded to Soundcloud this morning. Both are hydrophone recordings taken yes=
terday near where I live.
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > I was in two minds whether to upload them, because they are so qu=
iet. But, I was fascinated because they are so full of tiny detail, especia=
lly the pond at Chudleigh. I also found that I enjoyed listening to them wi=
thout excessively turning up the gain - which just seemed to increase the n=
oise of my Edirol's pre-amp.
> > > > >
> > > > > As I said on the soundcloud page, they make me think of sound wor=
k by the like's of Francisco Lopez, Radu Malfati and Bernhard Gunter .
> > > > >
> > > > > Ages ago there was a review of this sort of quietness in Ed Pinse=
t's Sound Projector magazine where, reviewing Lopez's "Untitled 74" he said=

> > > > >
> > > > > "There's something going on there all right, but what is it? How =
is it possible to record and produce sounds so remote and tiny that you're =
only dimly aware of them? ... No point turning up the volume - that'll only=
 cause more damage - these are fugitive spirits, like fairies of the air wh=
ich will vanish if you draw to near to them."
> > > > >
> > > > > I like that. And I like what the hydrophone reveals of these tiny=
 sound worlds.
> > > > >
> > > > > BTW, while writing this, I felt like I was reviewing my own recor=
dings - which would be odd and not a little arrogant - but I don't feel the=
se are my recordings, I simply dropped the hydrophone in a pond, hit record=
, and listened - so I'm reviewing and sharing thoughts what I heard rather =
than what I did with what I recorded.
> > > > >
> > > > > Be glad of any thoughts on very quiet sounds, or links to anythin=
g similar?
> > > > >
> > > > > Tony
> > > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> >

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