Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Grains of Sound

An exchange between two young men overheard while walking downtown: 

"What do you listen to?"*

*(Actually, what I think the inquisitor, who had a thick Russian accent, said was, "What do you listen?" which is a much different question & a much better one at that. I also suspect that he didn't know the person he was asking---just pulled up on his bicycle next to a stranger with headphones.)

He received the safe, evasive answer: "Oh, everything."

Well, yes. We hear everything. In a manner of speaking (listening), this is true.

We hear everything, though isolating only small pieces---clutching small handfuls of sand from the beach of ambiance, tones rescued or washed away by the waves---yet every grain of sound escapes our grip, to return to the cacophony where one grain means nothing but many encompass the shore. Our toes impress upon the soundscape, concretizing vibrations. Echoes.


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