One thing that I learned about sound that I didn't realize before this unit is how much I ignore it automatically throughout the day. Going on sound walks has really helped me pay more attention to the things around me that I usually neglect to pay attention to. There are so many things that sound can do that other modes can't and a huge example of this was shown when we were talking about captioning videos and how just the words don't do the video justice. Without sound, there would be no tone or inferring that would need to happen during the movie. Without sound, there would be no music, no connection to the surroundings around me, or at least a not as strong connection. Although sound is a really broad and general subject, I can't really think of anything that we should have gone over more in this unit.
I feel like the recordings I made for this soundmap differ from what is advertised about the town and campus because I focused a lot on what things are like during the night time when classes are not in session and the decision making skills of so many students drastically change. The school always advertises what #1 educational programs and facilities are offered in their brochure and the night life on campus is never really talked about much. Although many people who live on campus don't drink or party, it is an enormous part of student life that nobody talks about. I feel like the university couldn't talk about it if they wanted to because that almost seems like encouraging the party and bar aspect of the university. Another element of this project was the awareness that I developed for the everyday sounds that are more often than not neglected. The main thing that stuck with me from the readings from this chapter is Ceraso's article when she talks about listening with the whole body. That definitely affected how I carried out completing this project.
While going on this soundwalk in class I noticed that I was really paying attention to every little noise around me because that was the sole purpose of the walk and my mind wasn't taken up by anything else. I think that my recording from now on will be having my phone out ready to record, but to go on walks mainly to pay attention to noise in order to complete this project. I could hear very small details during class today including the rustling of leaves in the trees and other people's breathing and footsteps. I really believe in the idea that humans have a deep unexplored connection to nature and the idea of not having technology while listening to the environment around me makes it easier for me to pick out which sounds are natural and which are man made. Ceraso's view on multimodal listening with the entire body is a way to appreciate nature and my immediate surroundings that go unnoticed on a day to day basis. I'm interested to see which method of recording is most effective for me and which one I will enjoy more, or whether or not those will end up being the same thing. My guess is that I'll probably try to record long snippets so I don't have to worry about my phone while going on these walks and picking the best parts of these recordings as opposed to me taking out my phone and quickly trying to record a sound before it ends.
So far I have been recording noises in Champaign for a couple of days now and so far there have been many positive and negative things about it. I guess my recording journey began the night before the assignment was assigned in class because while I was on my way back to my dorm last night, I heard several girls chanting and was very curious about where the sound was coming from and I realized there was a sorority that was practicing for rush this weekend. There were about thirty or so girls chanting and clapping around a the front door of their sorority house and I sound recorded it having this project in mind. When I finally reached the bus stop, there was a portion of the school's marching band outside another sorority house playing and dancing and shouting. I'm not sure what the occasion was, but I also recorded that having this project in mind because I wanted to have unique sound that didn't happen everyday in the project. Another instance when this occurred was Thursday afternoon. There was some sort of gathering or party happening in the center of all the ikenberry residence halls with tents and booths set up and the music playing through the speakers outside was so loud, it sounded like it was coming from inside of my dorm so I grabbed a recording of the music playing outside as well. I haven't really recorded many commonplace sound yet except for some traffic in the street outside my dorm and the unbelievably loud cicadas from the lobby of my dorm at night because all of the windows with screens are kept open because there is no AC in the lobby. Westerkamp's article states "Interestingly enough, aside from heightening aural perception, a soundwalk also alerts all other senses." What is interesting about this project is that the increase in my attention to my surroundings for this project has really been eye opening to what I would miss or ignore automatically on a daily basis just because I'm constantly worried about what I'm doing and everything only in my immediate surroundings. One really frustrating thing is when a noise occurs that I really want to include in my project, but it happens so quickly that it is impossible to get out my phone and catch it in time. The quiet American article states that "Many of my best recordings are good because of unexpected or serendipitous events." I'm not interested in recreating things that I have heard because I really care about how genuine my sounds are. Another thing that factors in is how long to record something in order to get the best part of the sound that is happening and timing things out to create the best product and organically I think is really hard to achieve both at the same time without compromising one or the other. But maybe I will find a happy medium because the few times I achieve a really interesting sound without it being planned is worth the dozens of recordings that aren't that great, but lead up to a successful sound walk in the end.