(I can’t figure out why I can’t shake this trend of using song names as the title of all my posts, no matter how strained the connection. I do believe I got it from Ivan, though. I don’t even like the album referenced above! But it’s a pretty title.)
I didn’t realize until yesterday that I am really into listening to the machines in my house.
At night in the summertime I often hear the cows across the street and the tinkling stream that I love so much, and I always hear the birds and the cicadas and the cars cars cars, but what I really listen to are the machines.
Though my partner is a fancypants sound engineer, our home stereo often buzzes until I fiddle with the wires (I just pick them up and drop them until they hit something that makes the whole thing go quiet – the sound engineer’s partner never learned how to fix a stereo buzz), and sometimes I get gigantic shocks when I touch the vintage light that is not quite grounded immediately adjacent to the stereo, especially if my hands are wet, which they are rather more than they should be. So, because I am afraid of getting shocked, I mostly just listen to the buzz when it mysteriously appears.
Sometimes my home phone and cell phone and computer are all in close proximity and they all have a little buzzy conversation, which is strange and pleasant to me, especially when I’m on the phone. Fully one quarter of the time my home phone decides to make weird beeps and/or not work altogether, and this doesn’t really bother me. I’m not much of a phone person, and the beeps are interesting – I always try to spice up my conversation in case my phone is tapped.
But my absolute favorite house sound is the loop I make when I forward the home phone to my cell phone, which I do every day so I can always know whose calls I am not picking up. I just press *72 and dial my cell phone, then wait for it to pick up. Then I spend a minute (or two or three) talking to it and holding the two phones close and moving them apart.
It has been pointed out to me that the aforementioned partner as well as bff Than store astonishing quantities of amazing vintage instruments and toys in the basement
that have the ability to make far more interesting loops, but the phones work just fine for me.
So this week’s This American Life segment on a dude who “mapped the ambient sounds in his world” sort of blew me away.