The noisiest of them all.
By Dave Skipper
This is a summary version of the original articles The Ultimate Noisician.
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Music and Noise as Human Activity
- Music/noise-making: the arrangement of sounds through time: structuring, layering, transitioning, performing.
- Some functions of music/noise include:
- communicating a message or feeling or outlook from the artist;
- evoking an emotion or memory or response from the listener;
- providing a unique audio experience not available elsewhere;
- conveying meaning: a declaration of truth, a celebration of life, an expression of despair, a raising of questions.
- Vocal sounds (sounds generated by the human voice)
- Words and speech: talking, whispering, shouting, screaming, etc
- Melody and song: singing, humming, whistling, etc
- Vocal noise: screaming, coughing, sneezing, wheezing, clicking, blowing, sighing, spitting, burping, ululating, wailing, making animal sounds, etc
- Vocal noise is perhaps the primary, most instinctive mode of noise-making.
- Action sounds (sounds generated by the human body acting on/with objects)
- Striking, hitting, slapping, scraping, smashing, rubbing, dropping, flicking, plucking, stomping, kicking, squashing, etc
- Noise-making equipment (sounds generated by human-made instruments and technology)
- Acoustic instruments, electronic instruments, handmade instruments, computer instruments. Resonators, oscillators, filters, effects, strings, membranes, springs, pipes, amplifiers, circuitry, cables, knobs, switches, buttons, interfaces, sensors, fretboards, keyboards, contraptions, gadgets, machines, microphones, speakers, mixers, etc
- Sampled sounds (sounds recorded/sampled by humans)
- Field recordings, urban sounds, industrial sounds, organic sounds, natural sounds, weather sounds, animal sounds, found sounds, everyday sounds, manipulated sounds, any sounds.
- Silence is a powerful tool for the noisician.
- Vocal sounds
- There are many instances in the Bible where God spoke audibly.
- In some cases the timbral characteristics of his voice are mentioned.
- There are also many examples in the Bible of God’s words and actions being described in human terms.
- These metaphors help us understand the character of God who is infinite, uncreated spirit.
- Action sounds, noise-making equipment, sampled sounds
- In the Bible, God’s activity and purposes are sometimes intertwined with the noises and forces of nature.
- This world is a dynamic, organic ‘machine’ comprised of diverse elements, natural processes, material interactions, creatures, movement, collisions, reactions, energy, vibrations.
- So-called natural noises are actually overseen and orchestrated by God.
- The universe is God’s own hand-made noise-making instrument!
- The Bible clearly and repeatedly portrays God as the intensely personal, hands-on protagonist of history, not as a passive deity watching the universe from afar.
- Most of the time God is sonically silent, yet he speaks through his silence too.
- God’s noise-making is awe-inspiring, beautiful, visceral, intense, fascinating, terrifying, inspiring, challenging.
- God’s noise-making is never abstract but invariably communicates his character and his truth.
- Descriptions of God’s noise-making give us representative models for the form, structure, flow, dynamics, sound categories, functions, etc of noise-making.
- Tapping into the intensity, power, and diversity of noise as an art form, through generating and manipulating noises, we find an opportunity to glimpse aspects of God’s creative processes and character.
In this series I will:
- study some of the key Bible passages that describe ‘the noisiness of God’;
- summarise the attributes of God that are expressed through his noise-making;
- look for patterns and structures and concepts that help to elucidate the noise-making process;
- muse about how God’s noisicianship can inspire and inform my own noise-making.
God’s noise: Ultimate. Inspirational. Archetypal. Beyond comparison.