First, the wind would rumble in the distance like an approaching river, then he would see grass bend, pressed by a great invisible hand. The dull rumble would rise in pitch to a swishing, lashing exultation, causing stalks to lie flat against the ground while the tougher branches of shrubs held themselves up and shrieked their defiance in the gusts. Then the first drops, cold and heavy, would plummet from the sky and burst on the ground.
Carl sat musing until the sun leaped above the prairie, and in the grass about him all the small creatures of day began to tune their tiny instruments. Birds and insects without number began to chirp, to twitter, to snap and whistle, to make all manner of fresh shrill noises. The pasture was flooded with light; every clump of ironweed and snow-on-the-mountain threw a long shadow, and the golden light seemed to be rippling through the curly grass like the tide racing in.
Birds scream at the top of their lungs in horrified hellish rage every morning at daybreak to warn us all of the truth. They know the truth. Screaming bloody murder all over the world in our ears, but sadly we don’t speak bird.
― Kurt Cobain
Did you know trees make noise when they get thirsty? Bioacoustician Bernie Krause has amplified and recorded these sounds, which are generally inaudible to human ears. You can read and listen here. Even more interesting is his work dealing with biophony and the idea that each component in an ecosystem makes sound within its own particular pitch range.
There is an informative video about French research into the subject of vascular tree noise here.
This is a beautiful ethereal video called Noise, which shows electronic musician Nicolas Jaar in deep water to the strains of his Balance Her in Between Your Eyes. Lovely. There is a a fascinating interview with Nicolas Jaar from the Avant/Garde Diaries which can be found here. This young man does quite a bit of deep thinking which shapes his creative process.
Lyrics to Balance Her In Between Your Eyes :
You can try to find the star that made you – you can try to find that speck of light in your eye – you can look into and see the eye that made you – the light that made you – but you might as well make yourself at home balance at home – put both feet in the thin line of light – and look into the eye that made you – tell her you see her – balance her in between your eyes.
Directed by Richard Parks / Produced by Callie Barlow & Bennett Barbakow / Director of Photography: Ian Takahashi / Gaffer: Josh Liberman / Production Assistance by Zoe Rüiz, Nick Lentz, & Jake Wolf Braitman / Edited by Bennett Barbakow / “Balance Her In Between Your Eyes” by Nicolas Jaar / Interview by Callie Barlow / Special thanks to Zuza Mazur & Simon Moore
Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation… tooting, howling, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and trilling bolster his ego. His anxiety subsides. His inhuman void spreads monstrously like a gray vegetation.
― Jean Arp
Conatus: La Nuit du Danseur, or in English, Conatus: The Night of the Dancer, is an intriguing video by French multi-media artist Boris Achour. A tap dancer wearing a luminous mask moves alone by night through the exhibition The Power of Art at the Grand Palais in Paris. This is part of Achour’s Conatus series, which explores the driving force or effort of a thing to continue to exist and enhance itself, known as conatus. Fascinating!
Réalisateur : Boris Achour
Chef Opérateur : Olivier Guéneau, assistant caméra : Thomas Cousin, ingénieur du son : Raphael Naquet, chef électro : Olivier Barré, électro : Mathis Barré, montage et étalonnage : Gwenaël Giard, mixage : Julien Alves.
Production : Eva Albarran, Antoine Cochain, Marguerite Vial.
I just managed to convince my grandmother that it was a worth while [thing], that [it] was something to do, you know, and when I did finally get the guitar, it didn’t seem that difficult to me, to be able to make a good noise out of it.