Tuesday, 18 September 2012

an article on the BBC website asks 'what adventures are really left' - it goes on to discuss all the usual ideas of 'adventure' - climbing mountains, trekking across vast landscapes etc etc. I don't see this as 'adventure' anymore. It is too obvious, too limited by ideas of effort, dedication & experience which actually are as impact motivated as sitting through a modern action movie. So, I sent the BBC an email which i'm sure will have them puzzled or will probably be dismissed as the ramblings of some odd staircase recordist....

we live in an 'impact' driven society - adventures must be dramatic, all broadcast sound is compressed so it is 'in our face' & we don't have to truly engage with the act of listening. Popular music too is compressed, meaning the quiet sections of the music are as 'loud' as the louder sections. 

put simply one of the true adventures left is to realise this & to re-engage with the act of listening to the wide audible vistas we inhabit. From singing fences, the sounds of insects walking, our buildings vibrating to spending several hours listening to just one location, allowing oneself to become embedded in the ebb & flow of the soundscape specific to that place.

It is, after all, rather strange & somewhat sad that 99.9% of all these 'adventure' experiences are about the visual & physical - the sound rarely gets a mention & as with everyday life, most people simply don't really listen - they hear, perhaps spend a few seconds stopping to listen, but it has to be said, if our ears were thought of as muscles they'd be the flabbiest, most out of condition parts of our anatomy for most.

listening, truly listening to the world, with our naked ears & by using different microphones to take us deeper, below the surface, that is an adventure for sure & one i've been on for many years now. It never ceases to amaze.

I'm on a trip to Australia right now. I spent a day listening to a wire fence filtering the sounds of insects, birds, the breeze & the almost infra-sound tones created by surrounding vibrations. This requires as much work, dedication, struggle & sense of exploration as anything & brings with it experiences that are as exhilarating, rewarding, mind expanding & inspiring as any hike across the antarctic etc.

to get closer is the adventure we all ignoring, to be still & to truly experience a place.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful capture. Wish I could be there.