The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

May 20, 2018

silent playing, inner hearing*

*playing, literally, on vygotsky's "inner speech"

//using 3m x5a headphone silencers, i play solid-body electric
saz unplugged. i can't hear anything; i'm deaf to the sound of
the unamplified strings. i improvise, attempting a kind of inner
hearing. i think of beethoven. i record silent.mp3. i then
record listen.mp3 without the headphones; i can hear a faint
sound (the saz is still unplugged). the result is virtuosic but
far less interesting. i've been meaning to do this for a long
time; i have tinnitus; i worry about going deaf: it's one thing
to compose with inner hearing (as beethoven did), and it's
another to improvise in real time on an instrument.

the images are from the providence waterfront; development has
taken over. the ecosystem has been leveled. we walked there
often; now it's fenced off. this is a different form of silence,
without recuperation. hopefully we'll be gone before even more
damage is done; we're not deaf to it.//

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