Sunday, October 28, 2007

Soundscape audio influences

Assignment 4

This soundscape inspired much of what my partner, Jesse, and I conceived our idea from, or at least drove us in a similar direction.

Basically, the idea was very cultural. Without seeing the images that are floating about in the video as I type this, the sounds of the birds and different instruments introduce a very Asian/cultural feeling and evokes a sense of curiosity or intrigue for something our society is not exactly accustomed to hearing. Other compositions added to this feeling, because it was evident that each sound, instrument, or entire composition was trying to convey an emotion or a thought process more complicated than merely what is soothing to the ears. The sounds of nature are very enjoyable, and the leaps of tempo seem subconsciously invigorating, while the sounds of nature in the background are more soothing and are able to hold a balance. The idea of the softer sounds of nature was mainly inspired by that video, and of course, nature itself.

At the same time, however, another influence is this song, which means nothing to non-native speakers of Mandarin (including myself, though I am able to catch onto a few words here and there). Especially at the speed Jay Chou is singing, it can really sound like gibberish, and in contrast to his other works, it sounds almost nonsensical. As Duncan had shown in class, the most logical combination of words could be repeated or somehow distorted to sound nothing like natural language and lose its flow. Distortion may even bring language to, based on its natural rhythms and intonations associated with speech, sound just like music or noise or even "nothing" to some people, something that is totally tuned out because it doesn't bear any significance to them. I find it very interesting that an unknown language is just tuned out or seen as noise to people, and the differences in languages may create similarities that merge multiple languages that have nothing in common to create a benevolent sound.

Thus, it becomes very difficult to decipher a soundscape from music from logical language from "nothing". This makes the project a challenge, because how is one to know what defines music to one, from noise to another, from speech to the next person? I can personally listen to any gibberish and call it music. The "white noise" my space heater emits is, in itself, just as musical as my piano. My parents speaking, even arguing, and crossing language barriers by skipping from one language to another is just as musical as my birds squawking when the sun rises.

.... It's like, two in the morning. :((((((((

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