Friday, 24 November 2017

We are the World Blogfest ... # 9 - Sound rather than Sight ...



The University of Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia has a new course: The Anthropology of Sound - reading the article I noted that most of us do not use all our senses to their maximum ... 
Latin jazz clave percussion
sticks


... here in the article below Professor Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier asks students to write down what they've seen since waking up ...= lots of things their eyes have absorbed ... 


... then what they've heard ... = few - traffic noise, chatter, bird song (perhaps) ...



Breughel (1618): Taste, Hearing and Touch

The article should be thought provoking for us, who are all enabled in most ways ... I know I don't utilise my faculties (perceptive and cognitive), as much as I, a human, am enabled to do ... please read:


Listen up: There's nothing like a sound education. 



Imagine feeling: The Dying Galation -
a 3rd century BC work of art


Damyanti in her WATWB post this month has highlighted Siddhant Shah, a Heritage Architect and Access Consultant, and his work with the visually impaired experiencing art ... another way of looking at how under-utilised we use our abilities ... 




Take some time out and smell the roses (not the right season in this hemisphere - I know!), stop and step aside to listen to the bird song, experience our food ... taste what's in each mouthful, look at our natural world and realise each part makes the whole of this bountiful earth, then that feel ... how often we reach out for a hug, a friendly touch ... unplug, relax and experience all the things we were born with ... 





Remember in our wonderful mind: all our senses ... and help all those not so enabled to experience them too ...





We Are The World - In Darkness, Be Light ... 
in our day to day life let us help others experience senses we take so much for granted ...

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories






53 comments:

sage said...

Anthropology of Sound--what an interesting course. I would be looking into taking it if I lived in Vancouver.

Chatty Crone said...

This goes a long with stop and smell the roses - to all of life!

Annalisa Crawford said...

I think I'm actually quite good at listening. When I walk my dog, the main sounds are birdsong and the wind, and the occassional gunfire from the relatively nearby army training camp, and if the wind is in the right direction the metallic sounds of the dockyard...

Elephant's Child said...

I listen, I watch and KNOW that I miss lots. And am so very grateful for the abilities I have.
Living in a world without sight or sound would be so very difficult...Another thought provoking post Hilary. Thank you.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

That sounds like a fascinating course. No matter how hard we try to be fully aware and appreciative of our surroundings as experienced by our senses, we sometimes tend to grow numb to the smorgasbord of sensory delights around us. Thanks for the reminder.

Have a super weekend!

Joanne said...

that course title makes you think. I do truly try to listen - tune out extraneous stuff and really hear nature. I'm not as good with the nose - too clogged in TX due to allergy. Happy Weekend to you

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sage - I thought exactly the same ... I'd love to take the course - and certainly to hear the professor talk about it ...

@ Sandie - yes it does ... all life as we journey our way through ...

@ Annalisa - being out with dogs on the Sussex Downs on one's own .. just the whistling wind, perhaps the odd train blast, but lots of bird noises, rustles off etc ... perhaps a cricket match being played below in the village ... I don't take music with me as I walk ...

@ EC - Yes, all the time I remind myself to remember how lucky I am. As I was leaving Eastbourne a lady, who was losing her sight, had joined one of the groups I used to belong to ...she was really struggling to come to terms with it - especially as this year she'd lost her husband ... so difficult. We need to do what we can to remember ...

@ Susan - I agree ... I'd love to take the course ... and get to grips with some of the finer details set out for students. You're right about the smorgasbord of sensory input all around us in so many ways.

@ Joanne - that's good as I didn't use the newspaper's title .. it's in the link though. Tuning out is so challenging so much going on - now (as I type this) a siren going down the highway!!

Allegies are so difficult - I feel for you with your blocked nose closing down your nose receptors ..

Thanks for coming over - now we just need to remember to pay more attention: as often as we can remember to do so ... cheers Hilary

Ally Bean said...

I want to take this course! What an intriguing way to examine the world around you. I'm a good listener when it comes to what people say, but routinely tune out the extraneous noise. Probably should rethink that, eh?

DMS said...

Sounds like an interesting course! Definitely important to stop, listen, and soak in the world around us. With all the rushing most of us do we don't take the time to stop and just be with the world. Thanks for the reminder to slow down and use all my senses. :)

Have a great weekend!
~Jess

Fil said...

I love this story Hilary - we really do take an awful lot for granted. Thanks for the reminder. Fil x

Theresa Milstein said...

I love the idea of the anthropology of sound. We find all these relics, but what their experiences were with all five senses is lost to us in many ways.

I'm sorry I haven't been visiting. A lot going on in my personal and professional life. I think I've finally got a breather (I hope)!

Liz A. said...

Yes, we definitely favor our eyes over our ears. Most of us, anyway.

Jo said...

I have just read the book The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night and the storyteller, a 15 year old autistic boy, does just this. He experiences everything and describes what we would see and hear and what he sees and hears of course. Also, the Eastern philosophies of mindfulness subscribe to paying more attention to such things. Most of us are in too much of a hurry to experience the world we live in. Will follow your link later Hilary.

Hope you are enjoying BC.

Lenny Lee said...

hi Grandblogmom.

Wow...sounds like a really interesting course. wonder if it's online. for sure we need to be more aware of our senses and appreciate them.

for some reason your post reminded me of when i got an MRI of my brain. the machine makes all kinds of strange and very loud noises. to help myself get through it, for each noise, i imagined a real sound id heard...a woodpecker pecking on a metal drain pipe...a jackhammer breaking up cement...a motorcycle idling...a car engine piston slapping and the best of all a William Tell drum solo.

video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3vLQ7iCz94

Thanks for another cool and interesting post.

D.G. Hudson said...

Sound is all around us, but we tune out much of the time. I wrote a post a couple of years ago trying to show my five senses and how they perceived Paris. I had fun doing that, using notes I had made and writing it soon after I returned. Hope you get to visit the Royal British Columbia museum. It's always been one of my favorite places in Victoria, along with the Empress Hotel.

Keith's Ramblings said...

In troubled times it's too easy to focus on the negative and turn a blind eye to all we blessed are with. A thought-provoking piece indeed Hilary.

Susan Scott said...

'Toorenburgh said it reminded her of what she has been told by First Nations elders'. Lovely post Hilary thank you. We take our senses so much for granted. Who can not fail to be moved by the sound of falling rain on parched soil, or the song of the rain bird - and much more of course!

Vallypee said...

I think I’m quite a listening person. I’m constantly aware of sounds and I think that comes from having changed my environment so often, e.g moving from London to the country, then to South Africa and then to a boat. The sounds I’ve had to adjust to have become very meaningful to me and I’m very bothered by conflicting sounds in my immediate space. I’d love to hear a talk about this too...maybe YouTube has something! I shall look! So glad you are having a good time there, Hilary!

Out on the prairie said...

I do my best to stop and smell those roses.

Debby Gies said...

Hi Hilary! Finally! I've been leaving you messages that I could not comment on your blog. I'm following it for over a month now, with no ability to share or leave a comment. I just wangled my way into this comment box! And a most lovely contribution to the #WATWB. We often take for granted the gifts of having all of our senses. This is beautiful. :) x

Deborah Barker said...

The idea of listening to every sound tickled me, Hilary. I have been doing just that this week, in the wee small hours as I lay awake in hospital or home. Every creak, every sigh (mine) magnified by the silence. Post operation, my legs were encased in self inflatable wraps to aid circulation and a blood pressure sleeve sat on my arm. That first night, I would just be drifting off when one of the leg wraps would 'pop' inflate and deflate. It sounded like a growling dog. No sooner had it settled then the other leg would be treated to the same. This happened continuously. In addition, every two hours, the blood pressure sleeve inflated and dragged me from whatever half sleep I was in. Rather than hear everything that night, I would have loved to have had earplugs. A friend bought some for me but the next night was quiet. So happy for you over there, enjoying the sights. Keep well, love Debbie X

bazza said...

Hi Hilary. Mindfulness, the current buzzword in counselling and psychology, is a practise that helps one listen more closely to one's surroundings!
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s comely Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Michelle Wallace said...

Hilary, the idea of a course that deals with The Anthropology of Sound, has captured my imagination! I'm sure it has to do with being "in the moment" and appreciating that moment as a fulfilling and enriching auditory experience and not only favouring the visual sense (which we tend to do)
I'm off to read the article!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Ally - it does sound so interesting doesn't it; I'm sure I hear more than most people and try and be aware ... but that constant 'life noise' is always around - usually ... it's trying to listen beyond our human noise ... to what's going on in nature around us ...

@ Jess - so many rush around often with a phone leading the way, and with ear-phones in too ... definitely taking a detour via a park or quieter area might bring us (I'm sure many of us bloggers are aware) more back to earth ...

@ Fil - yes we do take our surroundings for granted ... forgetting the natural sounds of our world where-ever we are ...

@ Theresa - yes relating back in time to how the ancient relics and bones were used is still being worked out and thought about ... and how our senses developed over the aeons ...

No worries - re the visiting ... we can understand others' lives to a point - even though the connection is through blogging - just happy to see you occasionally ...

@ Liz - it's so true and your students show you that too ...

@ Jo - I noted you'd just read Mark Haddon's book - it's good isn't it ... Mindfulness has come to the fore in recent years ...

@ Lenny - excellent to see you ... I thought that about the course - something really interesting to know about.

Fascinating to hear your experience of an MRI scan ... and how you dealt with all the noises from the machine ... that William Tell drum solo by the Italian Andrea Vadrum is certainly worth knowing about ... thanks for letting us know about him ...

I'm so glad you enjoyed the post ...

@ DG - your post must have been interesting to write and to remember your feelings and the senses triggered as you perceived Paris - excellent memories too. I'll try and remember to come over and find it at some stage - to read it again ...

I'm sure I will get down to Victoria at some stage .. possibly not til the Spring ... as it sounds an interesting and fascinating Musuem, as too the Empress Hotel - I shall pop in and look at ...

@ Keith - us humans do seem to have a habit of occupying the negative mode ... we, particularly in the first and second worlds, are really blessed.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Susan - Lydia Toorenburgh's thoughts are so interesting aren't they ... we don't acknowledge others' ways of life ... we assume they have 'no meaning' - yet there's so much to learn from them - and in today's age we really should learn.

@ Val - in teaching ... you'd be aware of the need to listen properly. We should do more of that and encourage others to do it in other work-worlds. I can believe you've learnt so much ... I'm sure I have too ... different cultures, different sounds ...

Let us know if you find a talk on YouTube ...

@ Steve - you're very aware of what's going on around you in your prairie ...

@ Debby - oh thank you for pursuing the way to get over not being able to comment ... sometimes I don't understand - and keep trying, then give up and start again ... these things (whatever they are!) seem to have a mind of their own. Welcome though!!

We do take for granted that we can all see, hear, feel etc etc ... but need to learn from those who don't have all their senses, how we can adjust - also to learn from other cultures ...

@ Debbie - oh gosh! having leg-stockings on after my hip was bad enough ... your experiences sound much worse: I definitely would have been ratty - without much sleep.

You'd obviously improved - if there was less noise the following night - keep well and be peaceful as you heal ...

@ Bazza - Mindfulness is the current buzzword isn't it ... we really should be aware of others and their feelings most of the time anyway - but seem not to ... let's hope that mindfulness becomes more apparent in our world ...

@ Michelle - that's great ... the article is really interesting and if I can catch the professor speak at some stage- I'll endeavour to get down to Victoria to hear her. Enjoy the article ...

More of us are taking on board Mindfulness and Being in the Moment - all good aims for us to each do regularly ...

Cheers to you all and thanks for visiting ... it's great so many of you were interested to read about this course here in Victoria, British Columbia ... enjoy what's left of your weekend - Hilary

Jacqui Murray said...

I think a lot about where music started and what is it, really, because of my upcoming novel. It's amazing innit that these sounds, strung together in clever ways, bring such joy and peace to people.

Nilanjana Bose said...

My nose fails often, so I am very grateful for the rest of what's still there. Anthropology of sound should be a riveting course, I'd take it if I had the chance.

Happy weekend, Hilary.

Botanist said...

That was a thought-provoking experiment. I'm suddenly more aware of sounds around me right now that I take for granted, but I realize I'd be hard-pressed to remember the sounds I heard if put on the spot. I think the reason is I can visualize and recreate my day, but the memories are mostly visual. I can picture the house, the road to work, my office, but other senses just don't get "saved" to the same extent.

troutbirder said...

Indeed! As a deer hunter remaining still and quiet helps. And birding listening carefully. And walking my dog in the woods. And I hate bright lights and busy big cities. And... well you get the idea. And I forgot to mention I listened very carefully to my students and other and looked into their eyes to hear their innermost thoughts. Of course nowadays I need to make sure my hearing aid works because.....:)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jacqui - seeing the wing-feather of a bird 40,000 years old at an exhibition at the British Museum on Ice Age Art - brought home to me how music has always been with us ... it'd be interesting to know what you found out ... read the book: I guess and I'll know!! Music is wonderfully therapeutic ...

@ Nila - I'm not the world's best with senses ... but would love to understand more ... and yes I'd go to this course if I had the chance ...

@ Ian - I guess you'll get the opportunity to attend this sort of event in Victoria. But I'm sure most of us are more visual than other senses ... perhaps something we should work on ...

@ Troutbirder - yes I can see the hunter needs to listen, as too bird watching or listening to their songs. We don't pay attention as much as we should ... being a teacher it's essential to listen and work out the student's thinking. Hearing aids make such a great difference to life don't they - I'm just so glad I don't need one ... but totally appreciate others' need.

Cheers to you four - thanks for coming by and commenting ... Hilary

Inger said...

I think I listen better to nature sounds than to people talking. I have recognized one individual coyote here because of his/her strange laughing hyena sound. I also have noticed that ravens have individual sounds. There are so many of them here and they are noisy birds, so not all that difficult to do.

bookworm said...

I majored in cultural anthropology - I would have loved to have taken a course like this. I have a small amount of hearing impairment, and if my vision wasn't correctable, I would be legally blind. I am fortunate enough to have correctable vision, and I do treasure my senses - just not enough. I could observe and enjoy a lot more. Perhaps we all should take this course. The Unknown Journey Ahead agingonthespectrum.blogspot.com

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Inger - I suspect I'm the same way - but fascinating to read you recognise one coyote from the others around ... laughing hyena sound - not so good - but amazing creatures. I haven't noticed birds with different sounds/songs .. but must listen out - once Spring comes along ...

@ Bookworm - we are lucky that we are abled to be helped with hearing and vision .. and I'm so glad you have those benefits. I suspect many of us would enjoy the course - I know I'd love to do it ...

Let's treasure our senses and make more use of them ... stopping at times to absorb our surroundings - cheers to you both and all who've commented. Hilary

cleemckenzie said...

You crack me up, Hilary. Sound education, indeed.

I've enjoyed reading several of the We are the World posts. They're very uplifting and we can always use some of that.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Hilary, Anthropology of Sound seems to be an interesting course.

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

C.D. Gallant-King said...

Neither my sight nor hearing are very good - I don't look forward to what they're going to be as I get older!

I did have a weird moment a few days ago though when a smell brought me back to childhood. I walked through a thrift score that was selling cheap plastic, musty Christmas decorations, the scent of which reminded me so vividly of those same decorations we used to sell at my father's store when I was a kid. I used to work in the stockroom there in the weeks leading up to Christmas, stocking shelves and smelling those same decorations. There's something about cheap plastic that's stored in cardboard boxes for 11 months out of the year. It's not a "good" smell, but it's a very familiar one.

Arlee Bird said...

Much of my day I have sound making devices (radio, TV, etc) turned off so I can have a certain degree of silence. The quiet is never quite possible during the day where I live--always traffic, jet planes, sirens, and passing people chatter--with on rare occasions the sound of birds. Life in the city. I tend to be acutely aware of sensory stimuli around me and tend to notice change when it occurs. Frequently I'll smell things like the neighbor's cooking or a wood fire somewhere nearby and when I mention it to my wife she says she doesn't even notice. My sense of hearing and smell are particularly good and I hope it stays that way for a good while to come.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lee - it was the clever take and thus title in the newspaper where I saw the article. I think the WAWTB posts are so interesting to see ideas from around the world put up by blogging friends ...

@ Rachna - it does sound a really interesting course - I'd love to do it ... or know more about it ...

@ CD - I'm lucky with my sight and hearing ... but quite understand your concern - having had relatives and friends struggle with these senses.

It's interesting how memories come back to one at certain times ... and I can imagine the musty smell you remember as you unpacked the boxes each Christmas time. Bet working in your father's store was interesting - lots going on and lots to do ...

@ Lee - I'm like you I don't have much noise going on - thankfully I've usually been lucky and have lived in relatively quiet places ... but human noise is usually around.

Also - I tend to be aware of noise and of scents when others tend not to notice ... and also hope these things stick around.

Cheers to you and thanks for your interesting comments - Hilary

Lynn said...

That course sounds fascinating! I don't have speakers that work on my computer here at work - will check that out later at home.

I have so much noise around me most of the time - I live in the city and in a condominium complex and there is much noise at work. The only place I think seems completely silent is at my sister's farm in Florida. But then, if you really listen, there is beautiful wildlife noise.

Karen Lange said...

I agree, we use little of what we've been blessed with in the sense realm. The older I get, the more I strive to stop and smell those roses, listen to the birds, savor a good cup of tea, enjoy time with family, etc. Hope you are enjoying your new place. Have a good weekend! :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lynn - I thought the course sounded really interesting - and am glad you're going to listen to the clip.

Yes noise in city life is not easy to deal with ... but your sister's farm sounds idyllic ... and you're lucky you can get out there ...

@ Karen - we certainly seem to be losing some of our senses or not utilising to full effect - I must do more of stopping to enjoy the world around ... especially as I'm now on Vancouver Island with very different flora and fauna to enjoy ..

Cheers to you both - I'm settling in thanks Lynne - all the best - Hilary

Patsy said...

It's true that many of us take our sesnses for granted. I know I'm guilty.

H.R. Sinclair, Southpaw said...

Great message! One thing I love where I am now are all the birds chirping in the morning. There are a few different varieties.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

What a great course! I'd love to go back and do college all over again!

Unplugging...so important. And something I need desperately to do. Thanks for the nudge!

mail4rosey said...

A lovely reminder in your post, to be grateful for all things, and helpful when we can (there are so many ways we can rich out and help enrich the lives of others, even if for a minute!). The course sounds interesting too!

Victoria Marie Lees said...

To be able to stop and look around. To notice those who are near. The sounds of living, be it in nature or in a store or home. These are the pleasures of being human, of being truly alive. Thanks for all you do, Hilary, to remind your readers to take time to truly live.

All best to you, my dear. Enjoy your holidays!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Patsy - I know and think it's something I need to address before I get much older!

@ Holly - it does make a difference hearing the birds sing and chirping happily away ... I bet there are lots of different birds - a project to find out how many you can see ...?

@ Elizabeth - doesn't it sound wonderful ... I too would enjoy taking those studies. Unplugging now, tis not really the season ... hope you can get some time out ...

@ Rosey - we forget so often to be thoughtful to others ... even for a short, short time - all helps along the way. I'd enjoy the course ...

@ Victoria - as you say just sometimes one needs to step away and see what else is going on around us - and take pleasure in these times ...

Take time to truly live ... and give in ways that we all can ...

Cheers and thanks so much for visiting ... this time of year we need to be aware of others ... delighted to see you all - Hilary

Simon Falk said...

I’ve long been interested in anthroplogy and social science. This ‘sounds’ really good, Hilary. I hope it continues.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Simon - it did look to be a really interesting course ... and perhaps I'll get a chance to take a one day course at some stage - but regardless I was interested to read all about it ... 'sounds' good as you say! Cheers Hilary

Lynda Dietz said...

I'm not sure how I missed your #WATWB post a couple weeks ago, but better late than never! I've followed through email now, so that should take care of it.

I really enjoyed the article you linked. I remember, years ago, a local children's museum that had a special exhibit of Marc Chagall's paintings, and one particular painting, Green Violinist, had pushbuttons set in the frame, where children could choose which music they felt best fit the painting. Each music clip changed the painting's feel quite drastically; it was really neat.

Thank you for the reminder to not waste any of our senses so we can fully experience life.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Lynda - oh thanks for following via email. I've been slow re the last WAWTB posts .. but understandable I guess having switched continents.

That's great you enjoyed the article and course - I thought it looked like it would be really interesting ...

The Marc Chagall exhibition sounds really fascinating - oh and I'd have loved to visited - which museum did you see it?

Yes .. our senses are precious as so many of us find out as we age ... hearing, sight ... cheers and thanks for your fascinating comment - Hilary

Lynda Dietz said...

Hilary, the Marc Chagall exhibit was at a children's museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US. Our two oldest children were at the perfect age where they were fascinated by that particular display, so it helped us to pass the time while our youngest son was in the children's hospital in that city and we had to be away from home.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Lynda - thanks for letting me know about the Marc Chagall exhibition - it sounds fascinating and I enjoyed looking at some information on it ... I might write a post up - as it seems to encompass many aspects authors might like to think about ... and would be interesting to have the reference on the blog ...

I do hope all is now well with your son - it sounds a difficult time ... with thoughts - Hilary