Ear Never Sleeps

Why is that? There is no such thing as eyelids for ears that could just cut you off the sound. Researchers at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, have found that while you are asleep, the only body part that remains active is the ear.
See more: Perception of Sound — Ear Never Sleeps

This website is a subjective, audiovisual essay about our sonic perception and issues connected with hearing. It is a place on the web bringing your attention towards the soundscape and the auditory perception marginalised in the oculocentric reality of visual culture.
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Acoustic ecology

Acoustic ecology
Sound studies
Silence & noise
Noise pollution
Deep listening

As you listen, the particles of sound decide to be heard. Listening affects what is sounding. It is a symbiotic relationship. As you listen, the environment is enlivened. This is the listening effect.

Pauline Oliveros, Quantum Listening

When silence is conceived as the rejection of the human personality, the ultimate silence is death. Then man likes to surround himself with sounds in order to nourish his fantasy of perpetual life. In Western society silence is negative, an embarrassment, a vacuum. Silence for Western man equals communication hang-up. If one does not speak, the other will speak.

The Music of The Environment, R. Murray Schafer in: Audio Culture

British Anti-Noise League chose these illustrations for their magazine’s covers because they alluded to the antinoise activists’ love of silence, to a serene and still life. The Arcadian mill was the perfect icon of a restful Eden on earth. Today the windmill remains a symbol of a peaceful life. However, its symbolism bears no relationship to how the sounds of wind and water mills have been valued in the past. In early modern towns, these mills were common objects of noise abatement (Poulussen 1987). The fact that we now consider mills a symbol of serenity is a consequence of viewing preindustrial society as a quiet compared to industrial and postindustrial societies.

Mechanical Sound: Technology, Culture, and Public Problems of Noise in the Twentieth Century, Karin Bijsterveld

NOISE: Etymologically the word can be traced back to Old French (noyse) and to eleventh-century Provençal (noysa, nosa, nausa), but its origin is uncertain. It has a variety of meanings and shadings of meaning, the most important of which are the following:

Unwanted sound. The Oxford English Dictionary contains references to noise as unwanted sound dating back as far as 1225.
Unmusical sound. The nineteenth-century physicist Hermann Helmholtz employed the expression noise to describe sound composed of nonperiodic vibrations (the rustling of leaves), by comparison with musical sounds, which consist of periodic vibrations. Noise is still used in this sense in expressions such as white noise or Gaussian noise.
Any loud sound. In general usage today, noise often refers to particularly loud sounds. In this sense a noise abatement by-law prohibits certain loud sounds or establishes their permissible limits in decibels.
Disturbance in any signaling system. In electronics and engineering, noise refers to any disturbances which do not represent part of the signal, such as static on a telephone or snow on a television screen.
The most satisfactory definition of noise for general usage is still
„unwanted sound.” This makes noise a subjective term. One man’s music may be another man’s noise. But it holds open the possibility that in a given society there will be more agreement than disagreement as to which sounds constitute unwanted interruptions. It should be noted that each language preserves unique nuances of meaning for words representing noise. Thus in French one speaks of the bruit of a jet but also the bruit of the birds or the bruit of the waves.

The Soundscape, Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World, R. Murray Schafer

Deep Listening is listening in every possible way to everything possible to hear no matter what you are doing. Such intense listening includes the sounds of daily life, of nature, or one’s own thoughts as well as musical sounds. Deep Listening represents a heightened state of awarness and connects to all that there is. As a composer I make my music through Deep Listening.

Pauline Oliveros

As you listen, the particles of sound decide to be heard. Listening affects what is sounding. It is a symbiotic relationship. As you listen, the environment is enlivened. This is the listening effect.

Quantum Listening, Pauline Oliveros

Take a walk at night. Walk so silently that the bottoms of your feet become ears.

Quantum Listening, Pauline Oliveros
New York’s War on Noise, The New York Times Archive
New York City’s Environmental Protection Administrator Jerome Kretchmer and a van for measuring city noise levels in July, 1971 / Neal Boenzi / The New York Times
Citizens for a Quieter City records, Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library
Sound Studies: What Is It, Who Does It, and Why Do We Care?
Front page of the magazine Quiet 1 issued by British Anti-Noise League
The most common sources are detailed on the inside cover of the book / The New York Times Archive
Bell Telephone Laboratories and the Johns-Manville Company outfit the Noise Abatement Commission’s truck with machines that measure loudness and intensity of sound / The New York Times Archive
Infomation on the noise level of construction sites in Tokyo, Japan
A 1980s subway advertisement announcing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s plans to dampen the din / The New York Times
Measuring the noise in Times Square, 1929 / The New York Times Archive
The New Yorke Times Archive
The mayor’s Committee for a Quiet City created signage for an anti-noise campaign in 1956
Using data from the New York Police Department, the League for Less Noise creates a chart that shows the surge in noise violations from January to December, 1952
Pauline Oliveros with additional design by Lawton Hall, Wind Horse, 1990, text score
Pauline Oliveros, Photograph Courtesy The Center For Contemporary Music Archives, Mills College
The difference between hearing and listening / Pauline Oliveros