Friday, March 21, 2014

"What I Hear" - Hunter Stone

I actually did my "soundwalk" not walking at all--I did it in a restaurant instead. I thought it was really interesting that when I began this task I had trouble focusing on the sounds around me. I kept being distracted by the visual stimuli around me, noticing the art on the walls and the dim lighting rather than what I heard. In this way, it really was a meditation; I had to become hyper-aware of my consciousness in order to pull out one of my senses from the complex mix of the others.

I was in a fancy Brazilian restaurant called "The Circus." The key sound I heard was the lively Brazilian music playing overhead. Beyond the music, I heard my grandmother's spoon scraping against the bottom of her bowl; the loud pop of a wine bottle being opened; plates crashing into a bus-bin behind the doors of the kitchen; footsteps up the stairs, the door closing. Then, I tuned in to the voices of the other diners around me. At first it just sounded like an inaudible, low-level din. However, once I began to pull out certain voices from the mass, I could make out small portions of individual conversations: uninhibited laughter (surely facilitated by the free flowing caipirinhas); an older woman saying, "Things didn't change in terms of perception..."; a group of Brazilian friends speaking in Portuguese to each other; a young (and, seemingly, already unhappily-married) couple--the man asking, "Should I sit here?" (next to her), the woman replying with annoyance in her voice, "Whatever you want."

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