However, story room, which Thom describes as a situation where, 'the sounds were basically non sequiturs. There was nothing in the story they could resonate with and/or the scene wasn’t structured visually and dynamically in a way that gave sound design a role,' is a different set of circumstances to try and unpack.
Where are you going to go today? What are you going to wear today? How much are you going to spend today? What are you going to watch today?
Then, out of knowledge and feeling spring other things; skill, craft, and all the emotions. We learn how to set ourselves against our emotions, and to deal with the emotions, sometimes letting them overwhelm us, but for the most part enjoying this battle.
The other part of the equation would be depth, because that is often what is wanted as an outcome; emotional, expository, sensory depth. To my mind, depth comes from understanding: understanding what’s important and then selecting, discriminating, with one’s choices, based on that understanding.
Cultivate it in its many forms, fried, deep fried, wet and dry, plain and flavoured, happy and sad, fierce and tender. All the many shades of sound that exist must be within reach.
If we want for less, we’ll have more. That seems obvious. But it’s working out what that less is: for each of us it is different.
However, in whatever way we may choose to define it, I think of silence as simultaneously an absence and a presence. The absence of noticeable, penetrating and/or distracting sounds ('active' sounds, I will call them) creates a void into which an individualised sound space (conscious and unconscious) makes its presence felt.
The hard work is thinking about wha you want to write and writing it!
A few sound related topics that interest me and which I don’t have adequate answers for:
It’s probably terribly difficult to do. Perhaps, even, impossible. But if it is desired that the listener listen without preconception then shouldn’t, at least to some degree, the composer, the songwriter - the maker - create without preconception, too?
The spectre of discovery is often cause for excitement. Exploration in some form or another is how we learn about the world and our place in it, and all of us have at some point yearned to go further; to find out more, and go deeper into uncharted territory. Everyday sounds are, by definition, sounds that occur within and around the usual events of a routine day. They are largely unremarkable and are sounds we are compelled to take for granted. These sound events occur, we perceive, register and acknowledge them, and then, for the most part, we move on. This has become the natural way of things.
When I have the chance to listen - and record - the everyday world around me I am fascinated by its richness; whether the cyclical ‘musical’ patterns that supposedly non-musical sounds have, or the way that ambiences evolve and shift as one is walking along, or how wind will carry sounds one way and then another. Add to this the incredible structures that environmental soundscapes, even man-made ones, intrinsically possess, and these unremarkable sounds are suddenly anything but. And so I find that walking around and using my ears like a weather vane, with or without a recorder in my hand, is intensely enjoyable and opens up a world of possibility and discovery.
However, while I am personally grateful for the fact that I don’t work in an office I admit there are many advantages to doing so, and there is a reason why office cultures still exists, even as they have evolved and, presumably, will continue to do so.