Resounding Silence

Simon Ensor aka @sensor63 aka Dodger (deceased) is an exiled Francophile Blackpudlian who writes wrongs and other  puzzling stories.

His blog is the largely self-composted Touches of Sense

Dark image with some waves of blue across it

image of Bull Inn Pub Gents WC wall by @Sensor

Resounding Silence

Writing aloud.

Microphone

Transcription.

“How do you like to write?”

This is a question that I’ve been asking myself recently.

“How do I like to write?”

Well, there was a time when I would only really pick up a pen and a scrap of paper and I used to love feeling my weight, on the nib, on the paper, to such an extent that I almost made holes in it…scribbling on it.

Over the past couple of years I’ve found blogging has come naturally to me, which was quite a surprise.

I have a space in which I am comfortable.

There are times when I just sit down and I know that I want to blog.

I open up the laptop.

Words come to me.

At other times, there are pictures that I have in my mind, or a story.

They come either in a rush or they just emerge…but quite recently, I’ve been trying to find other ways to make my life more of an adventure.

Messing around with sound.

That’s what I’ve been doing.

Messing around with sound.

Sound offers all sorts of new compositional difficulties.

Time.

Time.

The time I am taking to do this…

The pauses…

The breath…to open up the next sentence…to give you…

All of that is quite unprepared….

There’s no writing going on before.

But, being literate, I’ve no question that this is writing.

This is writing with my voice.

It’s a bit more dangerous…writing like this.

You can hear the hesitation…

You can hear the doubt….

You can the frustration…

Huh!

“I”ve got nothing to say.”
“It’s not going to be profound.”

Somehow with words and bold and italic it seems…it seems to wipe away…the hesitation.

I can just ditch it.

It’s less painful.

“Open mic.”
“Live.”

No space to hide.

I was using Soundcloud. Then, one day…I was trying to go back to Soundcloud with which I was familiar…went to the same old button on the screen…what did I find?

Impossible to log in!

What a bloody nuisance!!

Well, I really had something to say, it seemed…or else I had nothing better to do apart from to speak to an iPhone!

I ventured into Garageband.

Never been there before.

It all seemed a bit worrying: music, musical instruments…

That wasn’t for me.

And yet, as a compositional space, there are all sorts of interesting possibilities.

“What if I recorded my voice in a large room?”

What would that do to your understanding of it?

What would happen if I took your writing and transformed it with my voice? Now that’s a question, I asked myself.

Over a few weeks now, I’ve been delving into the depths, trying to work out…a path, a plan..

Trying to find my voice, in this new…new…new…new…game?

I like that risk.

I can’t put bold. I can’t choose the font. I can’t change the size of the text.

All that will have to come after.

It’s like the first blog.

It’s like the first poem.

I’m an amateur.

I’m fairly sure this is writing…writing anew…writing aloud

I invite you to join me.

I’ve no idea what’s going to come out of it.

Maybe nothing at all.

Maybe I shall continue alone.

No matter, I’m having fun, here, I’m discovering new vistas.

This is my voice anew.

This is my voice aloud.

An Inspiration: Make Writing … Digital

Try one or more sound activities – adapt – remix – invent – play!

Before starting you can take a look at these posts from Flipboard.

And/or listen to these #adhocvoices recordings on Soundcloud.

Hashtag all your recordings with #digiwrimo

Some ideas

1) Use a sound recorder as a writing tool.

Try to treat it as you might a page.

Don’t stop recording. Play with the silence.

Possible Sound recorders – Audiocopy on IOS/Android/Audacity on PC

Upload sounds to Soundcloud.

2) Try using a sound/music editor like Garageband to compose.

Rather than use silence try using a note, a beat, a noise, a piece of music.

3) Try recording somebody’s blog post and share it with them.

4) Play with existing sounds – make transcripts – make collages – make remixes.

In all cases please share your process and reflections with all at #digiwrimo.

Sounds difficult?
Shout for help!!! :-)
Nobody might offer an answer.

We hope you will share your work across the various Digital Writing Month spaces that you inhabit. That could be right here at the Digital Writing Month blog; at your own blog or writing space; on Twitter with the #DigiWriMo hashtag; in the DigiWriMo Google Plus Community; at the DigiWriMo Facebook page; or wherever you find yourself writing digitally.

7 thoughts on “Resounding Silence

  1. Hello? Hello ….
    I wish I had Zeega still to play with, or Popcorn Maker. I envisioned remixing your voice, Simon, moving in the underground stream of visual .. setting my own mood with your sounds … and then, I realized: just enjoy Simon’s voice and poem and words … enjoy the sound of what he sharing …
    So I did .. and it was good.
    Thank you.
    Kevin

  2. Nice timing Simon, you are making me rethink with this right in the midst of my own experimenting with sound when I had just decided that audio was not for me.
    Something about my own voice/accent sounds “wrong” to me, like an unnatural cadence. I’ve made multiple recordings recently but can’t quite bear the playback to share yet. I lean on the written word heavily and have been pausing to question that recently.

    The puzzle is, that to me, yours and other voices encountered in digiwrimo seems made for audio, like it rolls off the tongue from the mind without effort. That you find it a challenge, that you face the same frustrations and doubts is eye…er…ear opening to me.

    I think it highlights that one of the best ways we can support each other in creativity is by sharing vulnerability. We might well hear it in our own voices, and think others can hear that too, but unless we call it out, reveal it, it perhaps hides from others.

    Thanks, you might have made me braver and maybe I will try again,. Maybe even ditch the script and really bring it back to the seemingly simple act of using an incredibly complex network to get thoughts from brain to mouth without the noise of overthinking causing an endless reverb.

    • Hi Angela. Your response really resonated with me as it reminded me of exactly how I felt (and still do…but push through with the encouragement of supportive communities like digiwrimo) when I was first confronted with the idea of using – recording and publicly posting – my voice. It was actually Kevin Hodgson a couple of years ago in rhio14 who convinced me to record voice https://storify.com/tanyalau/the-spreading-rhizome.
      I did it with much trepidation – but having done it, now feel less scared of using voice (although still don’t particularly like hearing the playback – and here’s more news: I don’t actually think anyone particularly likes the sound of their own voice recorded…you just learn to tolerate it…)
      Of course, I couldn’t go and just say all this and then NOT respond by voice could I? So here is a totally unedited, pause and um-ridden vocal response to your post (much less articulate than the written version…but I think this is also the point – audio, unedited, is raw. But perhaps a more accurate, intimate and human way of communicating: https://soundcloud.com/tanyalau/audio-response-to-angela-brown

      Of course, I’d love it if you responded back with your voice – but no pressure. Just in your own time : )

  3. Simon, you state “What would happen if I took your writing and transformed it with my voice?” As an audiobook addict, you raise a great point. The narrator oftentimes makes or breaks my interest in the story. The vast majority of works I have listened to have had superb narrators. A few I have stopped listening to a few minutes in, and returned them to the library. In some cases, books I may never have read in their print version have come to life in audio form. Given oral storytelling has existed much longer than print stories, it makes sense to me that as humans we connecting with other people through our voices is powerful.

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