Luigi Russolo wrote “We find far more enjoyment in the combination of the noises of trams, backfiring motors, carriages and bawling crowds than in rehearsing, for example, the Eroica or the Pastoral” (from The Art of Noises 1913). In Steven Poole’s Gaurdian article, Prick Up your Ears. Poole explicates the quote as Russolo’s excitement for a side of the industrial age that we don’t normally consider. In history classes we often discuss the technological and cultural impacts of the many marvels of the industrial age. As millions of people around the world we’re exposed to the incredible power of the assembly line, the diesel engine, etc, it was not just the new triumph of efficiency that held people captive it was the sounds that came with them.
This struck me as i was reminded of what Mark said in our first meeting about historians returning to explore the audio landscapes of history. I enjoyed our discussions last night about overstimulation and taking for granted our auditory experiences. Having spent the majority of our lives focused on tactile and visual information I feel at a loss as to how to approach questions like: How are we listening? How are we making noise? How can we utilize sound to articulate our relationships to the world and to ourselves, to emotions and sensations? Now that I’ve written all this it seems a little redundant to our discussions and lacking in nuance. After our discussions last night though and reading some more articles this week I just wanted to write out some of my thoughts. The rest of the Gaurdian article is kind of an interesting commentary on how to make sense of sound art. Here’s the article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2001/nov/17/arts.highereducation1