Reduced Listening

This sound is a soft, periodic beating, like a muffled bass drum steadily hit over and over. The sound comes in many varieties, depending on the acoustical properties of both the surface and of the hitting apparatus. It generally has a fast attack and a slower release. Sometimes there will be two or more pulses working in tandem, resulting in a phasing effect where the beats move in and out of sync. I’m drawn to the repetitive, drum-like quality of this sound. For a sound occurring in nature, it is remarkably steady, at least as far as rhythm is concerned. In terms of volume, pitch, and timbre, there is a good deal of variation; the sounds range from tapping to hissing, and from low thud to high click. Any given sample of this sound reveals subtle nuances of articulation – some beats are more distinct than others, maybe every other beat is slightly accented. Since this sound is produced by approaching objects, there is a gradual crescendo as it moves closer to the listener, and a decrescendo as it moves past. In my opinion, this sound relates important information about phenomena in the world. Without revealing too much, it is a social sound.

Revised Description 2/4

Each beat is distinct from the next, since the sounds don’t reverberate much with the room. Although there may be several sources of this sound at a given time, each source produces its own evenly spaced beats. The sound has a low dynamic range, and the loudest parts of each beat are equal in volume, as are the softer parts.  In terms of tempo, a heartbeat is close.

– Miles


2 thoughts on “Reduced Listening

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