Abstract: Despite the apparent occurrence and development of culturally attuned ears coping with contemporary urban and digital soundscapes, there remains within this environment unwanted and personally obtrusive noises. Aural preferences that are subconscious or conditioned are both difficult and timely to achieve, but a quick fix to aural disturbances are only ever temporary. Just as Russolo embraced the potential musicality of noise and Satie offered us furniture music to bed other sounds, so too can traditional tonalities and harmonies incorporate the shrill voice of the spruiker, the tram commuter’s headphones hum or even that website’s low-quality MIDI file. Muzak in public domains as we now know it could give way to recorded soundscapes that move further away from the typical idea of music and instead favour and perhaps romanticise the sound of [physically absent] traffic.
Author: Sandra O’Connor