Sound

An interesting read:

silence

In the age of noise, silence becomes a political issue.  Giles Fraser, priest-in-charge at St Mary’s Newington in south London, writes about the importance of silence:

Silence is not a luxury. It is crucial to our physical and mental heath. We need it to think, to sleep, to recover from life’s frenzy.

Click the link above to access the full article.  It’s worth your time.

Link via @QuietEdinburgh.

Laser probe lets brain surgeons identify cancer cells with sound

hospital-lab

New Scientist reports that, “[i]n recent brain operations, surgeons used a laser probe to help determine where brain tumours began and ended.”  Initially, “a signal showing whether cells were healthy or cancerous was displayed visually on a screen,” but now “this signal has been adapted into an audio one with the goal of allowing surgeons to listen for cancer as they operate and instead focus their visual attention on where they are cutting.”  New Scientist notes that this development “could lead to faster, safer and more successful brain surgery.”

Link via @QuietMark.

Silent retreats, silent ​restaurants, and even silent dating events are​ on the rise.

Ssshhh! How the cult of quiet can change your life.  Of course the headline is overstated and the discussion is superficial, but to the extent that this piece about various silent activities gets notice, I guess it serves a purpose.  One hopes that these silent events aren’t just a new shiny thing, but a longstanding alternative to the always on, always connected, busy world we live and play in.

And a query: Has anyone ever been to a silent retreat, or a silent restaurant, book party, or dating event?  If yes, please tell us if you enjoyed it in the comments.

New Yorkers, mark your calendars:

On September 24th the Noise Hackathon is presenting a series of fascinating talks that will look “into the complexities of noise including urban noise pollution and noise music to jump-start a full day of noise hacking.”  One of the talks will be presented by Dr. Arline Bronzaft, one of the leading experts in environmental psychology, who will talk about the impact of noise on health, particularly the  “non-auditory health risks and physiological disorders, including children’s learning skills, hypertension, sleep deprivation, and cardiovascular complications, as well as work productivity and social behavior.”

The September 24th Noise Hackathon is presented as part of NoiseGate Festival 2016, a “5-day music festival focusing on the environment, bringing awareness to spatial and urban noise pollution “in 3D” via Data-Driven, Art-Driven, Community-Driven efforts.”  Admission to the Noise Hackathon is free.  Just click the link to RSVP.

Part sound survey, part sound art, and completely compelling:

The Next Station.  A collaborative work by Cities and Memories and London Sound Survey, the Next Station is a sound map of the London Underground and, “by remixing and reimagining every sound it creates[,] an alternative sound world based on the experience and memory of the iconic Tube.”

 

 

At what point does your brain perceive sounds as music?

Psychologist zeros in on when sound becomes music.

Medical Xpress examines the work being done by Adam Greenberg, an assistant professor of psychology at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, who is using a type of brain imaging called imaging to study how the brain recognizes and responds to music.  Professor Greenberg found that “some of [the] brain regions that process the basic properties of sound are shared with regions that are involved in processing low-level properties of visual information.”  He adds that the “finding has implications for the kinds of things that we sometimes experience, like when you’re listening to music and you get visual imagery popping into your head or feelings of wanting to dance.”  In short, because the activity of sight and sound regions overlap, “the experience of may be much more than just an auditory phenomenon.”

Link via @HyperacusisCure.

A fascinating look at “sound hunters”:

London, as You’ve Never Heard It Before.

And a question to readers: would you be interested in sound surveys of New York City?  In an effort to broaden the scope of Silencity, we hope to offer a few sound surveys of our own in the coming months.  We will keep you posted.