The Little Birds Fly

Down to the Calico Sea

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The Nature of Dreams: Soundscapes
Image result for butterfly ball alan aldridge

Forgive me for stepping away from my student log, but I actually just want to write what the hell I like today.  Which brings me to the nature of dreams.

In my dream last night, I was watching a soundcheck, where people were trying to harmonise with a synthesiser and attune themselves with beats of a drum.  I was drawn specificaly to the 'human' sound, which is not dependent on words or texts that make sense.  I was initially drawn to the half-notes (very Gary Numan) and the beatbox sound (very Bjork), I was picking out a melody on the piano (Numan's 'If I Said' - due on his next album, excerpt HERE) with childrens' voices in the background.  It later progressed to some of the combinations sound like the beats to Tricky's and Massive Attack's stuff. I was understanding melodies from a voice that somehow predates textual language.  I then was drawn to my bedroom, aged about 8 years old, where I believe I received an * 'explosion' of language *

My dream was alerting to me of the importance I put on sound and its influence in music and text and voice.  The sounds that babies hear, the precursor to understanding and communication. The formation of words.  What makes the sound of Alan Rickman or Benedict Cumberbatch are like velvet to the ears, whereas other sound like creaks from an oil-less gate?  Euphonic versus Cacophonic sound.  The frictives of frustration, the plosive outbursts and the sibilent sound - hissing or soothing of sound. The susuration.  I believe it is the texture of sound, the soundscape, its richness that dominates my life.

I had always been a good reader, an avid writer and I wanted to know what causes people to be drawn to what brings them joy.  As a child, I remember practically living in the library, particularly drawn to the nonsense rhymes of Edward Lear - I mean, who can resist the charms of Jumblies, Calico Pie and The Owl and the Pussycat ? In my room, I was read to and would read to my younger sister.  I had moved away from beautifully-crafted books with several lines of text, to full-blown childrens books, albeit ones from the early-mid twentieth century.  I adored Beatrix Potter's Enid Blyton's Wishing Chair, P.L.Travers' Mary Poppins, Alf Proysen's Mrs Pepperpot, then later E. Nesbitt's The Railway Children and F. Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden.  Amongst other things, my treasured book was William Plomer's Butterfly Ball and Grasshopper's Feast (illustrated by sixties artist, Alan Aldridge).  Never a book so hallowed, never a book so revered.  A doorway to a party that your parents didn't know about, where squidgy snails hang out with swallowtails, where insects played cricket and a centipede plays a mean piano.

It is only recently I have been pondering on identity and sense of place.  Rooms have been important to me, because of how I have created or understood text and its impact on my inner world.   More of that another time.

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Interesting question. Why is it that one sound relaxes and another irritates? Much depends upon my mood and the feelings/memories that surround the sound. The more positive the memories, the more comforting the sound.

Great illustration - as always! :D

I think that both cacophonic and euphonic are important in life, because we use it to distinguish between safe and harmful influences in the environment. However, it is interesting to hear what one person considers as annoying, the other person can tune out. Prodigal 2 can't stand the sound of polystyrene rubbing together, Hubby hates the sound of ticking clocks. I am ok with both, but would be irritated with rain on a tin roof. Ultimate in water torture.

Picture is Alan Aldridge's work, used to design covers for The Beatles etc.

And I love the sound of rain in the roof. :D As we agree, it's all very personal.

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