Sonic Images – Pauline Oliveros

Sonic Images explores sound beyond the point of simply hearing it. The questions suggest certain sounds can have emotional weight and a visual representation in one’s mind. Pauline Oliveros assist the audience to further look into sound and link it to other senses. We constantly hear sounds every day, unfortunately we pass them off as whatever the source is. Oliveros encourages us to dissect the sounds we hear by consciously.responding to the 17 questions in the text.
Question 8 explores the way in which sounds hold emotional weight. “what sound is most familiar to you? Can you describe it without referring to the source? What is it’s effect upon you?”.
Sounds being most familiar are often the ones being ignored the most. Our minds ignore sounds like; the computer fan, the air conditioner, your roommate’s music playing down the hall etc… Sounds from our past can also bring up old memories and the emotions during that period in time, the biggest example is not just music but alarm clocks and school bells.
Oliveros has always been an advocate for deep listening and sonic awareness, particularly in her work on Sonic Meditations and also “teach yourself to fly”, mixing music and speech to truly understand sound.

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