white noise

white noise via Darran Anderson

Jussara Almeida (@juss_almeida) tweeted at 2:10 PM on Fri, Apr 28, 2017:
“The difficulty is how to deal with noise without locking ourselves away in sterile environments.”

https://t.co/5qcevDIwPM https://t.co/zH88GDPQEf
(https://twitter.com/juss_almeida/status/858050869316788224?s=03)

Noise complaints are as old as cities. Yet from Seneca’s complaint about “sound that can make one weary of one’s years” to the nightclubs shut down today, history hints that the yearning for silence may be more about control than decibels.

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It moved easily because it expressed a universal desire. As tempted as we are to place a curse on inconsiderate neighbours, the distractions reveal how architecture sometimes fails in its attempts to create autonomous rooms of our own. Thin walls and floors, unsealed windows and doors, pipes and vents, and shoddy building materials let the sound of the outside world seep in. The difficulty is how to deal with noise without locking ourselves away in sterile environments.

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Consider how enraged we can get if someone breaks a minute’s silence, talks loudly on the phone on a train, wolf-whistles from above, beeps their car horn unnecessarily, begins building work before eight in the morning or plays tinny music loud on a public bus. It feels in each case like a gross intrusion into personal space. They imply disrespect. They break the implicit social contract that keeps the organised chaos of cities from malfunctioning; the message is this person doesn’t care about you or anyone else. This feeling is at the heart of our problems with urban volume. It is not necessarily a matter of loud and quiet as it is often posed, but rather a question of voluntary and involuntary exposure.

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Living next to a busy roads, railway lines and especially below flight paths have been cited as increasing stress, disturbing sleep, and diminishing memory recall and concentration ability. Studies have suggested that increases in hormones in response to continual noise, where the body at rest is continually set on edge, increases blood pressure and the chance of a heart attack.

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Things are more complicated than that.

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Architects have a crucial role, then, in containing sound. Some sculpt with it in mind. Louis Kahn placed silence “with its desire to be” right at the core of his architecture

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Holocaust Tower where sound and light channel in from a distance, transforming the everyday outside into something profoundly haunting and disturbing. You feel like you are somehow in the terrible presence of absence.

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there is no such thing as pure silence. ..In anechoic chambers designed to absorb sound, the quietest places on earth, people are startled to hear not total silence but the blood circulating through their body.

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Sound and silence are other words for society and solitude. We continually try to find a healthy balance between the consuming extremes of the mob and isolation

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John Cage’s 4′33″, ..often interpreted as being about silence, when it’s more about the impossibility of silence. Throughout the duration of the performance, you are drawn to listen to the quiet: the shuffles, the coughs, the background noise, the breathing. It is a tuning of the senses. … it turns our attention to our own existence. I find myself listening to my own being.” This encourages perhaps a different way of listening, a different focus or intensity. Even noise, where we feel subjected to and overwhelmed by outside forces, does not have to necessitate an entirely passive response. “Wherever we are, what we hear is mostly noise,”

Cage wrote, “When we ignore it, it disturbs us. When we listen to it, we find it fascinating.” It seems then that it is not silence or a shutting away that we are seeking but clarity, knowing that we are hearing and contributing to what ultimately is the soundtrack to a life we can call our own.

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John Cage

silence

noise

quiet enough

echochamberness

snowden private in public law

quiet in room

pascal quiet law

still ness

never nothing going on ness..