A U D I B L E


(t h e A U D I B L E) looked at how sounds help to define the city of Bristol and how we can shift the way we see the city through listening to its soundtrack. We often talk about the supremecy the eye has over the other senses – we care for example, much more about our appearance rather than say, how we sound. With this in mind we questioned whether 'sounds are as fundamental for understanding the world as things visible...' As we explored the area in and around the hospital we listened for the hidden sounds, attempted to categorise noise by tuning in and out of certain frequencies and we created an orchestra composed entirely of ‘found’ sounds.


When I walk along the seashore, my perception of

‘the great noise of the sea’ is clear; that is, it is fully

and powerfully audible. But it is also confused, since

I hear this sound as a mass and don’t distinguish its

elements – the individual waves – which remain

obscure. Yet I must in some sense hear the individual

waves, otherwise I could not hear the aggregate.

Hence the sound of each individual wave must be

distinct for me, though in an unconscious and, hence,

obscure sense. What is clear, then, is also confused,

and what is distinct is also obscure. (Christopher Cox)


'1. NOISE
Background noise [le bruit de fond] is the ground of our perception, absolutely uninterrupted, it is our perennial sustenance, the element of the software of all our logic. It is the residue and cesspool of our messages [...] It is to the logos what matter used to be to form. Noise is the background of information, the material of that form [...] Background noise may well be the ground of our being. It may be that our being is not at rest [...] The background noise never ceases; it is limitless, continuous, unending, unchanging. (Serres)


Wherever we are, what we hear is mostly noise. When we ignore it, it disturbs us. When we listen to it, we find it fascinating. The sound of a truck at 50 m.p.h. Static between the stations. Rain. We want to capture and control these sounds, to use them, not as sound effects, but as musical instruments. (Cage)