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What I've Been Reading This Past Week - 3

Another "week" later and I'm very much getting into the swing of these new pills. Definitely more numb than before, but manageable and capable of facing hard things. Been doing a lot of reading in the off time at work now that I'm back on board. Trains are nice places to sit back and let the world pass you by as you get lost in whatever it is you're reading. As for me, I've been continuing to read "Sonic Experience - A Guide To Everyday Sounds," and have found it an invaluable source of terminology. I am a true believer in linguistic relativity and that we require the language to describe things before we can perceive the differences and nuances between them. This book has been amazing for pointing out the different parts of sounds. In this brief report I will quickly go over a few that were more new to me, but firstly I will also mention why this book is important and why these terms came about. The terms "sound object" and "soundscape" had been present for some time before the writing of this book but they were perhaps only of use when looking at sound on the most microscopic and macroscopic of details respectively. The terminology developed and codified here is not a fully comprehensive list of terms, but rather a very strong starting point and a foundation of language that can cover much of the ground in between the two polar worlds.


Amnesis

"An effect of reminiscence in which a past situation or atmosphere is brought back to the listener’s consciousness, provoked by a particular signal or sonic context. Anamnesis, a semiotic effect, is the often involuntary revival of memory caused by listening and the evocative power of sounds." (p.21)


Cocktail Party

This is the ability to focus attention on one sound source among several other similar ones. This is exemplified by the idea of being at a busy gathering where many people are talking and being able to focus your concentration on the one person/voice that is speaking to you.


Deburau

When the listener is trying to hear a sound that is inaudible. Named after Jean-Baptiste Deburau who was a famous mime whose trial attracted the whole of Paris, curious to hear his voice. The effect and all interest was lost once a sound is heard.


Imitation

Imitation is different from repetition in that it requires a conscious attempt to imitate as opposed to simply reflecting the initial sound. It implies the use of a cultural code, mutual understanding by the sound producer and listener of the reference and meanings, and further solidifies the sense that both parties share a common culture. Imitation is important when showing that we are "in" on the shared culture and is therefore ubiquitous in society as a whole.


Mask

When the presence of a sound partially or completely covers the presence of another sound. This can commonly occur with volume, but can also be achieved with other aspects of sound including pitch and rhythm.


Perdition

"This effect is linked to a feeling of perdition, in the double sense of a soul in distress and the dissipation of a sound motif. The sound seems to be emitted for nothing, for everyone to hear but requiring no answer. It is a sound without destination, absurd in the etymological sense; its entire expression is simply a sign of powerlessness. Often characteristic of extreme suffering constituted principally of tears and moans, this effect accompanies life situations that are violent or painful." (p.84)


Phonomnesis

A sound that is imagined but not actually heard. A mental activity that requires internal listening, whether from memory, pure imagination, or anywhere in between.


Phonotonie The feeling of euphoria brought on by a sound perception. Sometimes it induces a behaviour directly.


Remanence

A continuation of a sound that is no longer heard. After the sound has fully dissipated it can give the sense of still remaining "in the ear." It does not involve deep memory that would result in phonomnesis, nor is it imagined. It is just a trace of a recently subsided signal.


I have a little bit more to read (from S onwards) then I will draw up some easily referable notes for myself and move onto something else. As for what I read after that, I will figure that out at the time.



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