Saturday, October 10, 2009


Today, for some yet to be determined reason, our entire neighborhood lost power for about an hour or so. I was at home alone for much of that time and heard something that I haven't heard in a long time: silence, pure electronic devices and electronic systems free silence. It really is unique. Even now as I sit here alone and write this, these are the sounds that I hear:

1. My fingers typing on the keys
2. The hum of the air conditioning/ heating system
3. The hum of the refrigerator
4. The tiny fan whirring in my computer
5. The high pitched waves from a t.v. on mute in the next room
6. Some other high pitched electronic waves whose source is unidentifiable

It's like my ears are being subtly bombarded by electronic background noise. I wonder what it was like before electricity. I wonder if people's aural relationship with the world was different. I wonder if being exposed to electronic noise, no matter how subtle, has any long term effects on our minds. Maybe subtle background frequencies from electronic devices slowly drive us insane.

Today, when the power went off, it was like the air had been purified. The only sound I could hear (and feel) as I lay stretched out on the living room couch was the sound of my own heartbeat. Everything else was beautiful, wonderful, almost tasty, silence.

I'll try to engage the few readers I have. Pause for a moment (don't worry, unless you have a bad Internet connection, my blog isn't going anywhere) Sit back and just listen. What can you hear at this very moment?


  1. Do you ever go outside and just listen? Aside from the zapping sounds of power lines (which thank God I can't hear from my house), and maybe cars that drive by, I think it's fairly free of electronic noise. Love it.

    Noises I hear now:
    -The tapping of the keyboard as I type
    -My mom rustling around in the kitchen
    -The TV on in the living room (across the house)
    -My dad walking around upstairs
    -The whir of my computer
    -The hum of the heat going on and off. (Sad that we had to turn the heat on!)

  2. Right now I hear...
    -Laughter that belongs to my mother.
    -My step dad talking.
    -Mary Poppins....
    -Talk about the movie Nightmare Before Christmas.
    -My cat's meows.
    -And the click and clack of the computer.

    That's about it. :)

  3. ooo! that's a very random number....

  4. Hmmm, listening outdoors... I do love the sounds of the forest, and I'm not talking about one of those nature CDs.

  5. Aww man! I have been discovered. Is it that obvious? ;P
    (yay! you like the trench coat!)

  6. Click clack of my typing

  7. Do you live in a bird sanctuary, Brittany? Just kidding (unless you really do, then I apologize). Everyone hears the clickty-clack of their fingers on the keyboard; what a uniquely modern sound...!

  8. George Gobel (or did I get the name wrong?) once said,

    "If it weren't for electricity, we'd all be watching television by candlelight."

    Brilliant man, that George.