Saturday, July 23, 2016

From Sight Comes Sound?

A few minutes ago I placed a 7 inch onto my turntable. As I watched the vinyl spin around, it struck me how odd it is that sound can be projected from a visual. I realize that there exists some explanation for how this works, though such an explanation lays beyond my interest. At any rate, and more generally speaking, it's quite bewildering how sound is commonly rendered from visual sources; and not only that, but it is objective sound that is rendered from these sources. Of course, I do believe that there is some degree of interpretation that goes on in the relation process of individual and sound, but there is a static quality to sound being projected at a certain moment in time. Imagine that Bach performs "Orchestral Suite #3 In D, BWV 1068 - Gigue" at time T. Only one performance happened at T and it would be ludicrous to infer that many Bach performances happened simultaneously. There is no debate as to how long the piece of music lasted or the dynamic articulation, for instance.

But can the same be said about our opposite encounter, that is, visuals being rendered from sound? It seems unlikely. Suppose that numerous AM radio listeners spread among some rural territory are dialed into the same station at the same time. The song playing is about a dog, let's say a Labrador Retriever. There is very little chance that any two or more listeners have the exact same image of the dog in their mind. The dog-images probably differ in terms of characteristics like color, age, size, etc. There is no objective quality to the visual conjured on behalf of the individuals listening to the same song.

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