Day 2: The Art We Hear


It took me quite a moment before I went for the second day. That basically led me to a loss of time, but I had no option. I had to measure and distribute time for the new things I have to handle in my new semester. Nonetheless I hope I’ll be able to manage.


Disclaimer: All the things written here, only describes what I perceived or understood, I may be absolutely wrong in many instances. As a human being, I have my flaws and I make errors. Please pardon me if there any.


This time, it was art again. The book caught my eyes when I was strolling through the library. It was about an entirely different art form, one I did not know about. The book was The Fundamentals of Sonic Art and Sound Design, by Tony Gibbs. (Weirdly the name of the writer has name of two prominent characters from the TV series NCIS!) This book was a gem! An beautifully illustrated and well written one. I have seldom seen any book designed such beautifully. The designer Karen Wilks, deserves to be praised.


Art Unseen

What is sonic art? It was described as a budding form of art using sounds, in both harmonized or noized formsm as the core medium. But as a new form of art, the definition might not subtle enough to give a good introduction it needs. Rather, keep it to this part that, any art form or creative work using sounds as the primary source for it, is included in the category of Sonic Art. It’s not music, but music and more to it. It can be just random clicks and pops or just white noises! All the musics are part of Sonic Art, but not all the Sonic Arts are musics.


The Opening Tunes

The earlier days of Sonic Art had an amazing person contributing, Raymond Scott, the composer who was the pioneer of electronic music. Not familiar with his works? Perhaps, you are. His works were adopted to the Looney Tunes and Merry Melodies cartoons. You can get other amazing works of his, here.

And then there was rise of Radiophonics. In BBC Radiophonics Lab founded in 1958, used general recordings of everyday sound like voices, street noises etc. to be mended and twisted using electronic instruments and turned them into audible artworks. And one of those amazing works, there was Dr. Who’s original theme song and scores.


Open Your Ears

Even though highly overlooked, but we do associate sounds to places. And that fact made it possible as to draw places using sounds, it’s the landscape using sound, named Soundscape.

Annea Lockwood, an amazing sound artist created an aural map of Danube, Europe’s 2nd largest river.

Open Your Eyes Too

Now as with every art form, sonic art has also went through numerous improvisations. Many of the most astounding combinations of visual and sound arts where both of them play major roles were created by Max Eastley, an English Artist.


A Long Harmony

In the early days of distributed music, there were Long Play vinyl records, playing 22 minutes per side. The sonic art projects took the term “Long Play” to a new definition. In 1999, using a 22 minutes 20 seconds composition of English musician Jem Finer,Longplayer was created and started playing, where computer algorithm shaping the composition into new composition and will be playing without repeating for estimated 1000 years.

You can hear Longplayer in the live-stream here: http://longplayer.org/stream/


Ending Notes

There more to the noises we hear. A careful supervision, and beautiful art can emerge from what apparently used to be perceived as noise. There are so many things we do not see, so many things we do not hear. The thought of, sounds telling us something more than what we can hear, is as astounding as a new discovery. A discovery of hidden sonata behind the buzzing noise of the cities, may be?


This piece was written for the Hundred Days at Library project. The previous note can be found here: Day 1: An Artistic Prism.


That was a selective summary of the thoughts I picked up from my visit to the library. Any thought on the project or about my thoughts, as discussion, comments etc., is welcomed. Spread it, share it and recommend it if you found something valuable.

Thank You for Reading

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