In class last week we not only talked about heartbeat and noise frequencies, we also discussed scale. In class we talked about sound on a small scale and how it relates to life and vibration so for my assignment I decided to use sound on a larger scale. At first I tried to record the sounds I heard on a walk and my heart beat but I found that the recording qualities on my phone did not pick up the sounds I was hearing so I tried recording myself in my natural habitat. I recorded myself in my apartment building and I simply turned on the recording app on my phone and took a giant box from my apartment down into the garage to put it in the recycling bin.
When I finished recording I thought it was stupid and considered not submitting it for this weeks assignment but when I played back the recording I noticed a lot of things about myself. I noticed myself signing a lot and I noticed that how many times I press the elevator button because I am impatient. I also noticed how loud I am when I am just walking through the building
The sounds I recorded were on a larger scale and some of them were not the sounds of nature but the most interesting and beautiful sounds in that recording are the sounds of my sighing. I like how it's natural and not the loud sound of the box in my hands or the opening of the elevator.
After listening to my first recording I decided to make a second recording of my going on a second walk. I tried to record my heart beat during the walk but you can barely hear it. The second recording is much shorter but I like it more because the noises are natural.
I have a complex relationship with sound because I am easily distracted. I wear noise canceling headphones when I do my homework so that I can focus and not be distracted. I hate sounds when I need to concentrate but I also love to make sound. In high school I used to sing and belt out songs in musicals. I am also the noisiest of my roommates. I walk loud, slam doors, and yell on the phone but I am also respectful when they need silence so they can concentrate.
After making my two recordings I started to think about why I liked the natural sounds more than the sounds of me carrying a box and riding an elevator. Upon research I found that the sounds of nature relax humans and that they make us feel more connected to our surroundings. This rang true for me as I really enjoyed the natural sounds of my recordings and was less fascinated by the unnatural sounds of the elevator.
I then wondered if this had something to do with how my ear is biologically more adapted to the natural frequencies. This led me to a PBS article about sounds and the natural sounds that human ears cannot hear and the article focuses on sounds under water. I found this fascinating as I have always wondered what fish sound like when they glide through the water. It also made me wonder if the sounds underwater would irritate me in the same way the elevator sounds annoyed me or if due to their natural origin my ears and brain would be better adapted to receive those sounds.
Later today I am planning to go to the beach and I found an article during my research on natural sounds that claimed that the beach does a lot to your brain and that the repetitive sound of the waves crashing along the shore is relaxing and helps you fall into a relaxed trance. This made me extra excited to enjoy the sound of the beach but I am also probably going to sit in the sand wondering about all the noises that are happening under the water that I cannot hear. Like what does it sound like when a shark attacks a fish? Or when a jellyfish stings.
At first I did not take this assignment to record my surrounding supper seriously and I just put on my voice memos app and threw out my trash. However, after listening to that recording and concentrating on my feelings I realized the importance of natural sounds and the strength of my human connections to nature.