I have been a long time away from this blog. Not because I grew tired of adding my own ramblings to the noise of the internet, but because I was in a state of transition. I felt too ungrounded to articulate much beyond a sense of loss-ness. There was no reason to ask for a reader's time. But now I again feel compelled to attempt a dialogue with an unknown audience.
A week ago:
I find myself alone on a cold beach in the early morning. A dense fog fills my ears and mouth and nose and everything is muted by heavy air. The thickness of it folds around me and coalesces in droplets on my skin. This is submersion. An angry ocean is smothered by the brume and the violence of its sound is nearly swallowed. I am swallowed. A feeling of euphoria builds in me, and behind it/beyond, a growing anxiety that I am utterly alone with this sensation. I'll never find the words to translate this moment. And never the sound, either.
It seems so difficult to get an audience to experience this sensation of submersion. Even when surrounded by thick, rich sounds, those phenomena have an inception. Some catalyst that starts the compression of air into waves. The origin has a knowable and causal relationship with sound that localizes the latter--we hear music as coming from instruments and speakers, noise from machines. Sound is from, never at. We are not consumed by aural phenomena.
Visual art installations are able to physically surround their audiences, they often become impermanent worlds. They can give one a sense of entering a space, something so difficult for sound (even through the waves of sound are always pressing against our bodies, invading our ears and the visual art is occupying discrete geographical space). The physics of the work don't matter, it is the sensation, the reception, that is important for either medium. How it resonates in/with the observing body.
I want to consume the listener. How can I immerse one in thick, rich, expansive, unknowable sound? How to share this beauty?
Perhaps I am still only conveying a sense of loss-ness...