Action Potentials

“There is no such thing as an empty space or an empty time. There is always something to see, something to hear. In fact, try as we may to make a silence, we cannot”

John Cage

It may seem a bit counter intuitive to approach a project in sound without any audio. I would say most of the time we experience sound without a corresponding visual reference. Additionally it is not often that we experience visual stimuli without at least some kind of sound happening somewhere.  Simply, sound is everywhere.  It is no wonder that our brains are more active when we hear sound or music, than with any other activity we do, as our brains have evolved to experience a world of sound. Our audible experience is nothing short of layer upon layer of sounds, framing the visual world we walk through in a disconnected way.

When we actively listen, I think connections are formed, and disconnections become much more apparent. When we actively listen we listen with the highly evolved human listening brain that allows us to detect the subtleties of timbre, pitch, tonal qualities, that help us orient sounds and thus better place them in relationship to ourselves.

What is the nature of active listening? After the physical pressure of a sound reaches the ear and affects the inner ear, the principles of psychoacoustics and action potentials is employed in our listening process. It is here through the composition of our brain functions that there is active listening, and seeing, It has nothing to do with our eyes and ears. Human perception is of course a highly evolved function of the brain as well. We most likely never really see or hear what we actually see or hear, as our brains interpret through the filters of memory and emotion.

Perception allows us to see without seeing, and to hear without hearing. It allows us to orient ourselves with the audio visual world in a way that we can explore it if we employ this active listening and seeing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s