The Word On Noise (series: The Word On Noise, part 1)

Introducing this blog.

by Dave Skipper

Introduction

Welcome to my weekly blog!

What is noise? What is the difference between sound, noise, noise music, and music? Can noise be music? What is noise music anyway? And why do people make and enjoy noise music?

Does noise communicate anything, does it have any meaning? Is there any distinction between good noise and bad noise?

How do religion and philosophy relate to noise and noise music? Does the Bible possibly have anything at all to say about noise?

Is analysing noise and noise music of any practical use? Is there any value in studying these questions?

My writings on this blog attempt to go some way to unravelling these questions from a unique perspective.

Noise musicians are quite unusual creatures in the world of music as it is, but being a noise musician who is also a Christian seems to be an especially rare combination.

My remit is to contemplate, study, and explore the connections between the Bible (and by extension a Christian understanding of God, humanity, and the world we live in) and noise and noise music. As one of my friends expressed it, I am writing about “noise and Christ things.”

You may well ask, “What does God have to do with noise?” Well, the answer is, “Far more than you can possibly imagine!”

Article Series

I am writing articles under various series headings. Here is a brief overview of some of the series that I am working on:

/ The Word on Noise

Introductory series laying down some of the basic foundations of my approach to noise and the Bible.

/ The Ultimate Noisician

How experiencing and appreciating noise and noise music can help us to know God’s nature and character better, and vice versa.

/ A Brief History of Noise

I take a new and original look at the origins, progress, and destination of noise from eternity past to eternity future.

/ Elemental Noises – Creaturely Noises – Man-Made Noises

Three related series looking at the different realms and categories of noisy sounds, and what symbolism and meaning the Bible associates with them.

/ Desire for Noise

Why do people (including me) love noise music? What motivates a noise artist? I explore many different reasons along with what they teach us about our relationship to God and the world.

/ The Noisician

Understanding the heart and purposes and possibilities of the noise artist to enrich (or otherwise) the world around us.

/ Noise Tools

Examining the value and function of such weapons in the noisician’s arsenal as distortion, feedback, improvisation, silence, and more.

/ Effects of Noise

Considering different modes of listening and investigating the relationship of noise to the senses, the emotions, physiology, and community.

/ Music in the Bible

Looking at references to music in the Bible and what they tell us about the functions of music and the its interplay with culture, religion, politics, and worldview.

/ Words for the Artist

Studies in Bible passages and what they can teach artists in general (and noise artists in particular) about understanding this world and the artist’s role in it.

/ Beauty in Noise

Parables and parallels: contemplating how various forms of beauty in everyday life and in the natural world find expression and similarities in the world of noise.

/ Noise Figures

Interacting with influential theories, writings, and perspectives from Luigi Russolo, John Cage, Pierre Schaeffer, Zbigniew Karkowski, Japanese noise artists, and more.

/ Noise Interviews
Transcripts of interviews I am undertaking with contemporary noise artists who are my friends and inspiration. The purpose is to discover and share their own unique philosophies of noise: what noise means to them and why they make it.

/ Listen Here!
Noise compositions (usually mine) for you to listen to, with comments and background notes on my thinking and creative processes.

/ Noise. Life. Death.

A deeper philosophical analysis of noise as it relates to themes of power, resurrection and eternity, randomness and chaos, nihilism and suicide, and more!

/ Book Reviews

Self-explanatory. I reckon I should aim to write something in the region of 50 book reviews in order to establish some kind of legitimacy as a specialist in noise-related topics.

/ Scripture Sonics

A series of word studies surveying Hebrew and Greek terms relating to sound and noise found in the Bible’s original languages (Hebrew Old Testament and Greek New Testament).

/ Noise Church

Ideas for interfacing noise and noise music with such areas as Christian and church life as preaching and teaching, the sacraments (baptism and communion), discipleship and service, creeds and confessions, etc.

You and Me

I have enabled comments on the blog, and I welcome constructive feedback and dialogue either directly on this site or via email at: reppiks(at)gmail(dot)com

Here are some good reasons why you may want to write something:

/ Corrections and questions for clarification

Did you spot a grammatical or factual error? Is something I’ve written too ambiguous or too jargon-filled? I will be very happy to improve my writing and content, so don’t hesitate to provide this kind of feedback.

/ Ideas and suggestions

Have you thought of a relevant topic I should write about? Are you intrigued to know my thoughts on a particular subject? It never hurts to ask! I may have it on my list of future topics already, or it may be a great one I hadn’t thought of.

/ Useful links and resources

Have you read a good book that I should read (it must relate to the blog somehow of course)? Or have you found a useful website or a good noise artist interview I should check out? Please let me know! I want to continue to study, research, and learn widely and deeply. I can’t read everything, but there is a lot out of there that is worth discovering.

/ Critiques of my ideas and content

Have you spotted some flaws or holes in my reasoning? Do you think I should interact with what writer X or artist Y or philosopher Z has got to say? Have you got an idea that improves what I say, or an argument that demolishes my conclusions?

Conclusion

And so I offer the articles on this blog as starting-points for further discussion and research. They are not the final word, but are simply some initial explorations into this unusual field. I plan to dedicate a large portion of my time and efforts over the coming years to developing the groundwork for a comprehensive analysis of every aspect I can think of that connects the Bible to noise. I hope you will find plenty to stimulate you here in the years ahead!

He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

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