Revolution Number Nine – The Beatles, 1968

I admit that I’ve never heard of this before reading “Cut and Paste,” and I have to say that I really loved it. I find it very hard to not focus on the semantic nature of the speech, though it is very easy to disconnect from them after they have been repeated ad nauseum. Mindless repetition has a strange effect of either cementing a concept or removing us from it entirely.

However, I was still having an incredibly hard time focusing on just appreciating the sounds outside of any context, since so many of them were laden in context, particularly when someone said something I could understand or music was played! For example, car sounds accompanied by street noises, an open E string on a violin, or an ambulance klaxon carry some sort of identifiable nature for me that I cannot seem to escape. In many ways, the more complicated the sound, the harder it is to de-contextualize it…at least I thought so in hearing this.

The only central aspect that I could appreciate outside of any semantic or causal nature was the “number nine” repeated over and over, as that had no contextualization and had been repeated enough that it lost anything other than the very aspects of the tones of his words. I didn’t even register the fact that it was a male from the UK after the first few repetitions. I never really cared for why he was saying that phrase or what it meant. That being said, given the sheer multitude of sounds employed and the fact that there was no visual stimuli accompanying it, it was not totally impossible to try and focus on the acoustic elements of the sounds as some things just passed by so quickly. Perhaps I just suck at listening to sound collages, but I only could identify the central piano/”number nine” motive as anything recurring and fixed.


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