Sonic Annotations- Lipari


Lipari speaks on the philosophy of Levinas and how his ideas tend to “blur” the division between speech and ethics. When I think of this blur, I don’t imagine a foggy photo. I see a bend, but not one that is uniform. I don’t see a bend in the road or the bend in a bobby pin; rather, I hear a sound that bounces back and forth. Instead of bending once in one direction, the sound in this clip bends away from its original pitch multiple times.

We often underestimate the importance of listening. Remember when our elementary school teachers told us to “put our listening ears on?” Why do we treat listening as something that has to be chosen, rather than something that is a crucial component to basic communication? Listening is seen as the “other,” but it is essential. Sound credit: E330

Maybe one of the reasons we resist composing with sound is because it is harder to pin down. Writing is more straightforward, and even if something is written in a language that is foreign to the reader, there is most likely a translation in existence or someone that could translate the text. Sound is harder; we try so hard to illicit images with the sounds we create, but what about how sounds make us feel? Sound credit: Wadaltmon

Listening is multimodal activity. We don’t simply listen with our ears, we listen with our minds and our feelings. It’s rare that we passively listen to music; i.e., why are there mood playlists on Spotify? Music and sound don’t just rift through our ears. We feel them, and we respond accordingly. As Lipari notes, we are embodied beings that can experience sound as a part of the face’s existence. Sound credit: ShadyDave

How do we explain the revelation of speech and the face? After reading the first paragraph of the section “Speech and Voice,” I immediately thought of my last trip to the beach. It was not a static event. It felt almost like a revelation because it took much more than my sight to experience the beach. I saw the people and the sand, I felt the sun, and I heard the waves and the seagulls. Even listening to ocean waves now can reduce my stress, because the sound alone is enough to transport me to the coast. I have built an “other” identity for the beach through its sounds. Sound credit: John Sipos

“At the same time, the silence of the face points to the unsaid and unsayable—it reminds us of the ineffable inexhaustible infinity of the saying” (Lipari). This “unsaid and unsayable” resonated with me because it speaks to gesture and sound. When I swam, I would take a minute after every practice and just sit underwater to listen to the sound of it. After a grueling practice, I had nothing to say, so I let my face remain silent and listened to what the water had to say. Sound credit: yossarian

Lipari speaks on the difference between hearing and listening, and this sound clip can be used as an example of that difference. If we simply hear the recording, we hear a man talking about wire tapping. But, if we listen, we can hear the almost sarcasm in his voice, and the discontent when he says “I didn’t like the implications of that.” As Lipari states, listening allows a sound to “resonate.” Sound credit: uair01

All sound clips were taken from freesound and are licensed under Creative Commons.



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