Public places in the crowded streets of Shinjuku in Tokyo are usually filled with movement, talking and the sounds emanating from shops. Whilst walking through West Shinjuku, I was minding my business walking to my destination. I stopped when I saw a sea of people standing outside Yodabashi camera. There...>>
This is a reflection on a problem that technology brings to the study of sound. The technology itself is sounded. Here is a wonderful example of this. The pine and the sounds of the windy landscape speak to the stories we've already told here about the desolation of a landscape after the triple disasters of 3/11. But the sounds are also ever partial, are captured and at the same time elaborated upon by technology. The wind produces a particular and familiar sound when it whooshes over a microphone. Without the microphone what would we hear? But in asking this are we not assuming that there is some 'natural' and perhaps then universal sound that a landscape produces that is then amplified and distorted by technology. However, perhaps all sound is to some extent distorted by the technology that is the individual ear! I think of this as a person with a hearing aide in one ear. The technology is fabulous, but the aide picks up noises - it squeaks when touched, it whistles when wind hits it at a particular angle. But if I remove the aide, the environment I'm in can sometimes become additionally sounded by a ringing in my right ear that only I can hear - that emanates from the body .... So there is something unique about each person's bodily capacity and awareness in their the processing of any sensory environment.