Blaugust Day 29 – The Sound of an Empty Office

Full confession – the ‘strange post’ that I referred to in yesterday’s blog… Is not this one. I had much of that one written up, then as soon as I posted Friday’s blog and was about to go back to finish today’s… I decided that I didn’t like it. Moreover, I felt I had a better topic, and immediately decided to roll with that instead. 

I used to wrote quite a lot about sound and acoustics on this blog, since I did study audio for a long time. But the less I was was involved in audio, the less I wrote, and eventually those kind of posts petered put altogether.

Alongside this I had another realisation – I don’t listen in the same way any more either. A few years ago, picking sounds out my environment, isolating them in my mind, analysing them and even considering how they might be reproduced, or altered in  studio environment, was almost second nature to me. 

This hit me today while I was at work, probably because, usually, there were hardly any people in our large open plan offices, and for long periods of time I was sitting there completely by myself. I found myself starting to pay attention once more to the background noises that I’ve quite unconsciously learned to tune out – road traffic, the food processor in the restaurant downstairs, people chatting under the window.

Back when I was studying film audio, knowing about these sounds was vital, because they are what part of what make a film seem real, even if the audience don’t fully realise it. Picking out those sounds and recognising their importance is a learned skill, and one I’ve realised I don’t want to lose, even if I’m no longer in that field. 

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