The theme of the readings seems to be about musicality and the sense of hearing. I, for one, am not what you would call a musically inclined person. I do not play any instrument nor am I able to read notes. That is why it was particularly impressive when the professor made the class listen to sounds derived from taxi cabs and the Gamelatron. Listening to the Taximan, which Wayne has put together, was unbelievable. I would never have thought that sounds from such an ordinary experience, such as that of riding a taxi, can create music. I may not be an expert, but the meticulousness and patience that have been put into this is just impressive. The same goes for the Gamelatron. These different sounds from different instruments are put together and it is done for everyone’s enjoyment. The whole class experienced firsthand how the sounds of the Gamelatron are created. The class was divided into four groups and each group was asked to produce sounds which differ not only by speech, but also in speed. We were not quite successful in creating the definite sound for not everyone had the kind of training needed. However, the class was then able to listen to a performance from which our activity was derived. After listening to it, not only did I get goose bumps, but I also realized that this kind of music that the Gamelatron produces cannot be created without the kind of meticulousness and patience like Wayne and, I am sure, every other great artist creating great music have.
In the article by Helmreich, he discusses his experience in the submersible, Alvin, the sounds heard, and the different meanings of immersion. However, as I was reading this article, it became too scientific, in my opinion, that I started to get somewhat bored and focus rather on the most interesting part of it which was the sounds underwater. I assume that the sounds underwater come from either the flow of the water or the bubbles that form and pop in the process. Since this reading was mostly about science and the like, I then remember my former teacher saying something that somewhat relates to what Helmreich wrote about sounds. My former teacher said that the crack that we hear when we crack our knuckles and other parts of our body is actually bubbles or gas that burst in the fluids of joints. This then brings me to the thought that air is always needed to create a certain sound even underwater. Helmreich says, “Submerging into the ocean almost seamlessly merges with a sense of submerging into sound—and into a distinctively watery soundscape” (Helmreich, 2007, page 1).To me, immersion means deep involvement. I think the ultimate immersion in the experience of Helmreich and his two other companions is the fact that they were submerged underwater with no choice but to hear the sounds that surrounded them. They were, in a sense, locked up inside this submersible to analyze the sounsdscape underwater which creates a sense of immersion.
The article by Schwartz discusses the impact of both noise and silence. Schwartz brought to mind that today noise is less valued, in the sense of commodity, than silence. For instance, as Schwartz said people are more eager to buy “quiet cars, quiet dishwashers..” (Schwartz, 1995, page 2). This is interesting because most of us would think that noise should be valued more. For instance, people pay for concerts, go to clubs, and watch movies expecting to hear different kinds of noise. Maybe it is because people experience too much of noise that they seek an escape from it? For instance, people tend to now go on holidays or honeymoons to remote places such as islands or small towns. It is because now they tend to look for quiet and peace. Schwartz also discusses the days when people only had to worry about the church bells. Schwartz says that in certain European cities, ringing the bell is actually prohibited. This is apparently because “it is out of place in a modern city” (Schwartz, 1995, page 3). I wonder why even then people think of silence as more socially acceptable. Would it not make more sense if people use noise and make something out of it? An example of this would be Wayne’s Taximan. Some people, including me, would never have appreciated the sounds the taxis made, if someone like Wayne did not value noise more than silence.
The article by Felicia Hughes- Freeland discusses the importance of dance in the Javanese theory. The article says dancing is “spritiual rather than for entertainment and pleasure” (Hugh-Freeland, page 56). It also says that dancing is “cultural consciousness” (Hugh-Freeland, page 56). I agree with these statements because although I most of the dancers that I know may not be familiar with the Javanese theory, I see the passion that they put into their craft. I also know that they do not simply dance for entertainment, but rather it goes deeper than that. It can be a spiritual experience for them. Also, they have a way of carrying themselves in public. They have a certain finesse in them that other people do not have. This is what I interpret when Hugh- Freeland discusses about consciousness. The Javanese gives a lot of value to dance. It is because the theory is that it can shape one’s lifestyle. I agree with this because dance can really teach someone about social consciousness which is important in becoming a part of a culture.