Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sonic reducer

My eyesight is poor, historically awful sans glasses. Some would say, given my musical choices, my hearing is equally poor. To those of you who harbor such offense, silently or no, I humbly retort with the immortal words of a legendary monster of screenland

"A low-carb diet of third world children keeps me fit & trim."

& now that we're all friends again, a particular, too familiar, passage from a tome I'm currently reading on the wheelie bus to & from work caught my ever-vanishing vision:
In the end, wearing spectacles is really not so difficult. Without them, life is a blur. My field of vision is restricted in all directions by the frames of my glasses; in low light levels I find it increasingly hard to read; swimming in the sea is a form of sensory deprivation. A rock might be a shark for all I know. This inability to see objects in focus unaided, or really understand subtle fluctuations of light, must accentuate the other senses and reconfigure an imbalance in the socially constructed hierarchy of the senses. In certain circumstances it can heighten feelings of interpersonal distance. Over time, I believe this has sharpened my sonic focus.

-- David Toop, Sinister Resonance 
I suppose that one could classify it as mere variation on a (cliché) theme -- other senses compensating for the weakening or loss of another -- but given the book's argument of hearing being of more relational & experiential importance than the place given it by society, I feel it's more a deepening of an already inherent predisposition towards this sense in contrast to the dominant visualcentric norm, the way one, after discovering an affinity for working with his or her hands, becomes a potter or a carpenter, or those who get a kick out of number crunching become math teachers, technocracy cubicle jockeys or professional fantasy baseball players, all low-paying gigs.

Tune in to next week's episode of Obvious Theatre where Randal discovers his enjoyment of a musical poetry, flush with assonance & scattered rhyme in contrast to those composed in heavily discordant tones. The point of all this is, looking back on stuff I've written, stuff I'm writing & stuff still on the drawing board that's tucked away in some dusty corner of my skull, vast gobs (i.e. 98.6% of it, +/- 3% error rate) are made of this. I've tried varying styles simply to see if anything sticks, but finding I've less facility there than I do here, dropped it like a hot baked potato with butter, sour cream, bacon bits & chives.

Thus, the actual actual point: is message (too global kumbayah, I hate people) sentiment (too sappy, but probably what I'm guiltiest of) content (now there's a nice, normal, vaguely critical term) being sacrificed, consciously or subconsciously, for a journey into sound?

A word in or out of context; the way it's voiced; that way to which person; in each case, a tiny variation in the aural quality of the recited letters can convey a subtly different meaning, especially if the out-loud reader isn't the original alchemist. Think sarcasm on a micro scale, minus the sarcasm.

Is there a 'danger' -- define that -- in taking it too far, a mirror image of an obscure, Mallarmé-styled hermeneutics -- which is only one way of reading him, especially since he's often sonically alluring -- that's nothing but presumably attractive sound structures poorly mimicking song?

If so, so what, as long as it's good. Now I just gotta get good.
Payday's Friday, hope good's not too expensive.


darkblack said...

Doesn't Dick look, fit?


Anonymous said...

With all that people-hating you do, it must've been tough when you signed the producer, Stiv.

Anonymous said...

That picture is Cheney? Man, I would love to go hunting with him. With him as the prey!

Randal Graves said...

darkblack, if they ever decide to bring back Tales from the Crypt, he's got a gig lined up.

charles, it was the fault of that damn taxi driver!

He wouldn't be as sprightly a prey as a quail, but man, bet he's got the resilience of a smart-mouthed zombie.

Tom Harper said...

"A low-carb diet of third world children" -- mmm, tastes like chicken.

Susan Tiner said...

"Think sarcasm on a micro scale, minus the sarcasm."

I recently read an audible book in which the narrator managed to do something similar. In reading it again to myself I discovered a completely different book.

susan said...

Does this mean you have a new job recording 'The Raven' en Francais? I would most definitely purchase a copy of that.

Liberality said...

As for that picture of Cheney, that asshole should not have the money to buy a new heart when he never had one to begin with.

As the the senses, my hearing is still good but the eyes are not as good as they were in my youth. In other words, I need new glasses. I think if you enjoy your music then enjoy the hell out of it and to hell with what anybody else thinks! ;~D

okjimm said...

I'm still working on 'sonic reducer' like... is it for hips, thighs or fat heads or what.....? Does Ronco sell ' many triple a's do they take....let me know..xmas is coming

Beach Bum said...

...but given the book's argument of hearing being of more relational & experiential importance than the place given it by society...

I apologize if I have again gone on one of my mindless tangents but I think I understand what the passage means. But given the nature of people to make up their minds without one shred of real evidence even hearing the truth is very often ignored. My best point are the people to this day that swear up and down Obama is a Muslim out to enslave white folk.

As for Cheney how can one "man" look like Voldemort, Darth Sidious, and the freaking Crypt Keeper at one time?

Chef Cthulhu said...

"is content being sacrificed, consciously or subconsciously, for a journey into sound?"

I'll answer that: Yes. Errr, no. Wait. Can you say that again in a Donald Duck voice?

Demeur said...

I'm sure the Dick of Cheney has been dead for years, it's just that those around him are too afraid to tell him.

La Belette Rouge said...

Could you, perhaps, write a poem about a man who was blinded by a hot potato when he gave up eating third world children? Peraps you could do it in upbeat iambic rhyme in which you manage to hate people whie writing a metallic version of "The wheels on the bus go round and round" that is sarcastic free and which will get you paid lots and lots of money? Just asking.

S.W. Anderson said...

I sense in this post overcompensation for a certain nagging sense of culpability regarding the No. 2 among top-10 complaints of wives everywhere: "You're not listening to me; you don't hear half of what I say; you tune me out for days at a time; you'd rather listen to (insert name of TV, movie, sports or music personality) than me," and so on.

Randal Graves said...

tom, just think, in time, that will be replaced with "tastes like children."

susan t, now *that's* sarcasm!

susan, can you give me some time to work on my pronunskiation?

liberality, someone doesn't have a heart around here!

okjimm, someone should do a cover of that song with Ron Popeil on vocals.

BB, everyone knows he's an alien plant from the civilization that taught the Egyptians how to build the pyramids. Duh.

chef, a difficult task. Doing the voice isn't that hard, but doing the voice while speaking English? There should be a grad program for that.

demeur, why do you think the government secretly collects everyone's bodily fluids?

LBR, ask and ye shall receive.

SWA, oh hell, my wife and I long ago reached an understanding to calmly avoid each other as much as humanly possible.