Vision Going Deaf


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Date: 10 November 2005
Medium: Audacity

      This piece is constructed with the idea that the imagination is vision without seeing, hearing without listening, and feeling without touching. The idea is not to narrate or dictate but rather to stimulate the senses and to allow the listener to paint a mental picture of whatever they desire that follows along the ebb and flow of the piece.
      Dissonance and discomfort are main themes in "Vision Going Deaf." The bass is composed of a few notes played on the organ. It alternates between single consonant sounds and dissonant sounds which cause unease in the listener as beats are produced by close frequencies played at the same time. The presence of the dissonance is sometimes subtle and should make the listener feel more aware of their senses. Discomfort then is raised, and reversed melodic components, especially the harpsichord, have ethereal and omnimous feel to them. The goal is for the listener feel around the piece and to create their own image of what may be occuring with the abstract palette of colors and moods by hearing the sounds, although not being able to consciously listen to everything present.
      The title, "Vision Going Deaf," suggests a world where impossibilities are possible, which in turn reflects a sense of confusion if applied to the real world. In a sense, going deaf can be interpreted as simply the loss of one's faculty of hearing, then if vision is lost in the world of audio, perhaps the result would be faded images of darkness and lack of clarity which may lead to getting lost in time and space. The high pitched bell noises are meant to mimic the sound of the ringing in one's ears even when there is no noise, sometimes leading the person to think they are "hearing things."
      With that being said, I'll express my interpretation of the piece. The surroundings imagined may as well range from a submarine to a haunted house, but my own thoughts are more directed towards my working process than any real world location. When I was planning this out (image of the growth of work below this section), I was stressed out about two upcoming midterms. As a result, the progression of my piece became focused on the idea that one is losing their senses. Noises come in and build on each other, causing distress, and the melodic components don't make sense. The only thing that stands out and remains constant is the distracting ringing and high pitched noises that heightens my hearing sensitivity. As I'm prone to hear ringing noises, after listening to this for a while, it seemed like the ringing noise never stopped even when the music was turned off. The piece begins with what sounds like an alarm clock appearing in a sleeping person's dream sequence, and by not turning off the alarm clock (until it stops by itself), it morphs into different variations of ringing as the dreamer internalizes the sound as part of their dreams. The agitated rumblings is as if the listener is unconsciously experiencing dissonance about whether to wake up or keep sleeping. The melodic bits are the remaining portions of the person's dream as well as their conscious memory of what bits of their dreams will remain upon waking up. The sound elements accumulate at the end but dwindles to a close as the person wakes up feeling delirious and tired with some lingering memory of what their dreams were.

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