Submitting to Sound

September 16, 2011 § 1 Comment

Earlier this week I commented on language and sound, so I thought that today I might feature recorded voices reading out loud. It is perhaps just me and the sites I frequent, but this does not seem very common. We today seem to require more often visuals than we do sound. A text we can skim or a video we can see. This likely has much to do with the general attention we’re willing to devote something we happen across online. To listen to a recording (especially of a voice speaking) requires a certain submission of one’s senses and attention that texts and video do not. I can read quickly or slowly, if I choose, eyes jumping over every other word or paragraph, etc.; I can mute audio and watch only the moving images, if I wish, or even move away from the video and listen only to the audio. A vocal recording, though, that seems in a way (though not totally) different. One can skip ahead, of course, or listen only to “just enough” to get the gist, so the sensory submission it requires is not total. And yet, even to listen partially requires a commitment of time that for some reason seems of a different sort. In those moments, as fleeting as one’s attention or interest allow, one accepts the fullness of the medium in a way that one need not with the written word or video.

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§ One Response to Submitting to Sound

  • Robert Minto says:

    Just want to say that I really enjoyed each of the recordings you posted. I like this. I’m tempted to try it myself in some way. It seems, from the perspective of clarity in the largest sense, to make real and apparent some of the attractions of a piece of prose that might otherwise — unavailable, esoteric, in the thickets of the text — escape a reader.

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