Reduced Listening

Four tones, a harsh buzzing tone cluster, and clusters of various tones and buzzing in the background. The lowest tone is a subtle C3. The second tone is predominantly A3, but also has a little bit of B3 and C4. It’s moderately loud and sounds like a dark buzzing. The third and fourth tones are G5 and C6. They are very bright and loud but more pure than the second tone. The tone cluster sounds like a cluster of quarter tones between G6 and Bb6, and is unbearably loud at some points.

The spiraling descent is about one minute long. All of these tones swirl around in this large reverberant space. Some fade in while others fade out. The C6 crescendos towards the middle and decrescendos after. The G6 crescendos towards the end. The tone cluster fades in and out around the beginning and end but remains fairly loud. The first and second tone’s volume varies but remains relatively smooth and constant. The tones in the background form a metallic sonority with no discernible pitch.

What I find interesting about this noise is that, while most people would perceive it as annoying loud noise, I find it somewhat musical and almost ethereal. Musical because the tones coincidentally ended up harmonizing, and ethereal because of the harmony and how these tones sound like they’re coming from all directions, as if one was suspended in a void.

Revision: none


4 thoughts on “Reduced Listening

  1. I made this sound by recording different buzzing sounds around campus. Sounds of a utility closet, sounds of my engine revving, sounds of an air filterer. I then edited them to weave in and out of each other in audacity.


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