WK 11 - Transference

A word to a sound. 

A word is interpreted by different people in different places. Each person brings a different history which means they will associate a different meaning or experience with this word. Together these recordings will form some kind of meta-narrative of responses or reactions or associations.

This cloud of interpretations then forms a sound composition. The composition is not linear. It doesn’t make sense to have a start and an end when working with materials such as these. Beginnings and ends give the material hierarchy. The sounds need to generate and form new sounds in response to each other. These ideas came from the thought of imagined sound which is something that shifts and grows and shrinks and moves. 

A sound does not have to be literal. The word blue is a colour when we think about it in visual terms, but the word blue is so much more when we think about it in sonic terms. Like Nancy says, “the sonorous […] outweighs form. It does not dissolve it, but rather enlarges it; it gives it an amplitude, a density, and a vibration or an undulation whose outline never does anything but approach.” Sound has the capacity to break away from visual form in the most spectacular ways. Characteristics of sound are more difficult to describe, but sound invite  complexities to the idea of an object.  

The word does not matter. The word is not the point here. 

What matters is the response to the word, and how a collective example of this response to the same word can have a meaningful outcome through sound. Sound is where this word is centred, and things more in and out of sound and the mind.  

It’s difficult for someone (like me) who has invested so much into the aural, to understand how someone who has not tuned into the sense of hearing listens to sound. I want to understand this. I hear different things to other people because I listen differently. If I listen to something on one day in one room, I will hear different things on another day in another room. The mediation of audio is so incredibly important to how we listen. 

There are so many things that effect one’s listening experience - many of these things are very personal. 

  • Speaker placement
  • The technology used
  • Acoustics in a room
  • Other sounds in a room
  • The recording process
  • The listening process
  • The health of the listener (if someone has a cold they will hear differently) 
  • The attention span of the listening 
  • The stress level of the listener / the stillness of their mind
  • Whether or not that person has eaten 
  • The person’s relationship to sound, how open are they to listening? 
  • The comfort level of that person, what chair are they sitting on, what kind of light is there in the room, 
  • What sounds has the person been exposed to during the day? 
  • Are their ears tired? 
  • Where do they live? People who live in quiet places listen differently to those who live in cities. 
  • Are they used to listening to things on headphones?