(Obviously we were near a playground.)
This was a shorter session, but it was still crazy how much my listening “developed” during it. For example, the playground originally sounded like just a bunch of noise (screaming children), but after a few minutes, it became clear that there were two main “tone clusters”: the higher-pitched register of children and the lower register of parents/adults. Given enough time, I’m sure these broad categories could be subdivided even further into more distinct sounds.
Also, it turns out that different tennis rackets make different pitches when hitting a tennis ball. This makes sense (and I’m assuming it has to do with the tension of the racket strings #physics), but I had never thought about the actual sound of hitting a tennis ball before. Now I want someone to write a piece for intentionally tuned tennis rackets and the tennis match is the performance…
I realized the sounds were also very easy to categorize based on location. The tennis courts were straight ahead. Playground to the left. Road to the right. Little train behind and to the left. I definitely have a tendency to focus on sounds closest to me, so striving to hear further than my immediate surroundings would have been my next step.
This listening round made it obvious that I rely on my eyes A TON when there’s a lot going on. I recently read an article claiming scientists have discovered a physical connection between eye movement and eardrum movement (though the implications of this discovery weren’t really discussed), so maybe my ears are still getting a workout with my eyes, but it is much easier for me to focus on sounds with my eyes closed. Good to know going forward (though I’m not literally moving forward with my eyes closed unless I have a guide).
February 3, 2018
10:25 - 10:40am (ish)
Temperature in the 60s, sunny
Until next time!