Monday, September 6, 2010
Is there too much noise inherent to contemporary culture, be it from television commercials or a what we like to call "popular music"? In the electronics field, noise is defined as "a random or quasi-random sound made up of many frequencies, perceived by the ear as hiss". This is often called pink noise or white noise depending on its place on the frequency spectrum. What may at first appear random is in actuality a complex aural event. We presently live in a world that has attuned itself to some noises that were once considered disturbances, in direct contrast to what was understood as "music" or "organized sound". That we now feel free to sculpt sound using various means, both analogue and digital, has made these sonic events viable beyond notions of good or bad, aesthetic considerations, or musical composition. Now many of us create "sound art" based on ideas such as dynamics, textures, and tonal coloration. What was once heard as static or noise may now be perceived in terms of the above qualities, and perhaps the idea of "beauty" may apply as well. Troppo Rumore? No! The tyranny of form? Yes, but to a lesser degree than before.