Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Sound Walk

Every once and a while I decide to make a conscious effort to listen to everything I hear. Today, i parked my car on the roof if a garage. I live and work in a city so pretty much everything I heard was mechanical. But what I observed was how sound tells a story.

First, the change from the many conversations inside the building to outside. The conversations were replaced by cars some distant and some near. The filtering and reverb was multifaceted. Music, even electronic, usually only applies reverb at one distance.

Then the garage elevator closes and you get a change from the vast collection of sounds to the motor of the elevator. As I watched the world outside, the silence was so noticeable.

Then the door opens and the city sounds return but the are muffled by the height. Not just softener but the more distant sounds increased.

Then I got in by car. Door closing and immediately silence except for the intimate environment inside and the slight but muffled engine sound. It was distinct from the elevator.

The the slight phasing of sound as the car moved through the enclosed garage. Then the window opens so I can swipe my card. The sounds of the city return but still muffled and then as I moved outside the sounds were similar to walking to the car but also different. Then I closed the window but since I was not in the garage the city sounds remained but muffled.

What amazed me was that filtering and reverb told as much of a story as did the sounds. I have to record this. It was an interesting sound walk.

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