This post presents essays by students currently taking my Sound Studies course. I thought it would be interesting to share (with their permission) some of their experiences and views on sound, memory, technology, and space.
Students were asked to briefly discuss one of the following topics:
a) My piece of technology: write about a sound/audio device (bass amplifier, guitar, iPod, magnetic tape, synthesizer, MP3, sound meter, car audio, microphone, etc.). Investigate the history of this piece of technology and describe how/why/when you use it.
b) Acoustic memory: some places (bedroom, house) and spaces (our neighborhood) tend to leave a strong sensory mark on us. Recollect and discuss some of the sounds and listening habits of your past. How do they relate with some of the topics discussed in this course?
c) My sonic environment in 3 days: in 3 days make a list of sounds you encounter daily according to type of sound, place (house, office, bar, restaurant, school, street, etc.), space (e.g., Nuences St. & San Jacinto), period (dawn, morning, lunchtime, afternoon, evening, and night), loudness (10 for extremely loud, 0 to almost soundless), and nuisance level (10 for extremely pleasant, 0 to extremely unpleasant). Briefly relate 2 sound sources with topics discussed in the course materials.
My personal anamnesis is related to signal sounds taken place in the comfort of my own home growing up. Weekends as a child were a time to sleep in and wake up with a big bowl of cereal to watch Saturday morning cartoons. There was only one factor that was in my way that would determine my plans for my Saturday and that was my mom. Being older now signifies more responsibilities and more work which during the week we are busy and the weekend signifies a time for rest and a chance to catch up with the chores that were left aside from the busy week. While I was thinking as a kid I’m going to watch cartoons and go out to play with friends, my mom was thinking laundry, moping, dusting, etc…; cleaning was what weekends were for according to my mom. Depending on the type of week my mom had and how tired she was on Friday was kind of an indicator of what to expect the next morning, but there was always one reassurance that would drive me crazy and not want to get out of bed, the sound of dishes being washed and clanking with each other in the morning. (more…)