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Then again, cars themselves are loud

yes!  though I suppose horses were loud prior to cars, and people in aggregate are loud regardless--

Still, cars (and buses) are a constant background hum--the sound of modern life in the West, I suppose.  So people get away from it all in the country, in quiet spots.  I found a great quote about this, relating to 4'33:

The origin of the concept of 4'33", i.e., a silent frame filled with non-intentional environmental sounds, is debatable. But when Cage was a Fellow at Wesleyan's Center of Advanced Studies (1960-61), he was asked to compile a list of books having the greatest influence on his thought. One of these was Luigi Russolo's , the Italian Futurist, The Art of Noises (1916). Cage referred to The Art of Noises in his 1948 lecture at Vassar. In this book there is a chapter that presages 4'33", i.e.,"The Noises of Nature and Life". Russolo begins by poetically describing many of the sounds of nature. Then comes a remarkable statement:

And here it can be demonstrated that the much poeticized silences with which the country restores nerves shaken by city life are made up of an infinity of noises, and that these noises have their own timbres, their own rhythms, and a scale that is very delicately enharmonic in its pitches. It has been neither said nor proven that these noises are not a very important part (or in many cases the most important part) of the emotions that accompany the beauty of certain panoramas, the smile of certain countrysides!

But let us leave nature and the country (which would be a tomb without noises) and enter a noisy modern city. Here, with machines, life has created the most immense, the most varied sources of noise. But if the noises of the country are few, small, and pleasing, then those of the city ... Oh! To have to listen to noises from dawn to dusk, eternal noise!

http://solomonsmusic.net/4min33se.htm



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed May 7th, 2008 at 10:49:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know if you've ever been in an anechoic chamber, but utter silence reveals itself to be a lack of reflections. An echoic silence is filled with sound, but not with noise.

Not only that but your neural networks are chattering away all the time even where there is no stimulus. It's what neurons do when they're at home. So when 'nothing' is happening, the low-level neural chatter comes into consciousness. ie the Noise becomes Signal.

One can study this effect by lying in a bath of body temperature water in a totally black bathroom when noone else is in the house. It is not the isolation tank of Dr John Lilley or Michael Jacksob, but it will be effectively spooky.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed May 7th, 2008 at 11:38:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
sat leaning against a table one night , to the light of a single overhead bulb, all the doors were locked as it was a really rough estate, everyone was out, when all of a sudden, everything went black ,and someone tapped me on the shoulder. I screamed, dropped the book and flicked the light switch, nothing happened, panic ensued, till i managed to turn the kitchen light on. It turned out that the lightbulb hadn't been put in properly, and its bayonet fitting had disengaged, and it had fallen directly onto my shoulder.

Always check you've put your light bulbs in properly or it will come back to haunt you

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed May 7th, 2008 at 11:57:56 AM EST
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