Noise, Hearing, Listening

TED sent me an email this morning drawing my attention to a talk by Julian Temple about how we are ‘losing our listening’. I am doing some work on communicating issues to do with sound, so I found it interesting. I am posting the talk here, with a little typology I am working on, to categorise different sounds we encounter on a day to day basis. On the inside are sounds made by people, on the outside are sounds made by the natural world. Humans sounds are then divided into those made by our machines and those made (literally) by us. Those sounds are finally divided into sounds that are intended for us, and sounds that aren’t intended for us.

I like Temple’s slides that define listening as ‘making meaning from sound’ and the slides about all the things that get in the way. But the impassioned pleas that we should listen to stop wars, and to teach listening in schools leave me a bit cold (I think TED should evoke a new commandment that you can’t recommend that something should be taught in schools as a solution to an identified problem). There are other reasons to be interested in sound – not least the extent to which we can now design sounds and how sound sounds, and there are other ways to increase public awareness of the sonic environment – like providing better platforms for architects, designers, artists etc who are working with sound to showcase their work.

So anyway. Here is my doodle. I know, it’s a bit confusing, but go with it.

And the TED talk.

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