As the year continues, many of these posts will be philosophical in nature. Some will be in contradiction to previous postings. These are not intended as truths or assertions, they’re merely thoughts…ideas. Think of this as stream of consciousness over a wide span…
In a previous post, I posited that perhaps hearing is a specialized function of touch. An experience I had on my recent vacation made me think of this idea again in a different light…hearing through touch.
I was on a boat traveling between islands, and I had ear plugs in (the engine was pretty loud). I reached down to press against the hard seat, and noticed a bump in my perception of the low end of the spectrum. I took my hand away, the bump left. I stood up from the seat briefly, but didn’t notice any significant change in the spectrum. Sat back down, and placed my hand on the seat again. That boost in the low end was very pronounced. I don’t know why contact with my hand had such a dramatic impact over the fact that I was sitting on the seat…maybe because the vibrations in my hand/arm had less muscle and fat to attenuate them when traveling through the skeletal structure to reach my head? Regardless, I heard the engine differently when I place my hand on a surface that was vibrating in sympathy with it.
That’s an interesting angle from which to explore subjectivity of perspective in a story. Not something that can be used in just any circumstance, but it’s one more tool in the bag for putting the viewer in the mind/space of a character.
Tom Blakemore says
This post reminds me of a documentary from 2004 by the director Thomas Riedelsheimemer, “Touch the Sound: A Sound Journey With Evelyn Glennie”. Evelyn Glennie is a profoundly deaf professional percussionist, and the film examines her ability to “hear” sounds around her, including other instrumentalists, through the vibrations on her body. Well worth looking up and exposing other sound professionals to.
Shaun Farley says
That’s one of my favorite docs, Tom. Probably for obvious reasons. ;)