The Sound of Silence

Written late December 2017

There’s a gap in my posts. I thought I’d write about why that is.

At the end of September my mum got really ill. With family life, a counselling course and music it’s made my already time pressed life more difficult than ever. I’ve been working, reading, studying, experimenting and even buying myself a proper camera during the past three months. But I haven’t been recording it here as it’s been in fits and starts, and mentally I’ve been finding it hard to tie things together into a theme, even though I’ve been aware that at some level a theme has been there, either subconsciously, or emerging.  Concentration is hard, following one theme is hard – I think it’s a stress thing. I’ve gone from someone who can read several books a week to someone who is finding it a struggle to complete a chapter in a book. That makes study hard, but thankfully it’s getting better as the stress is easing.

I’d found a book called ‘Ghosts of my life; writings on depression, hauntology and lost futures’. Despite an inability to finish that particular book, it’s led me in a lot of different directions that I hope have turned into a theme or set of ideas that I can use for assignment 3. A lot of things have feed into my ideas for that assignment; ideas have sprung from my feedback for assignment 2 and the follow-up work I did following that feedback, especially from watching Swandown. Reflections on personal experience have been a big part of it too; especially the experience of a serious health scare myself. In early December I found a lump in my breast, went to the doctor and she felt that and found another. Although she told me to try not to worry she handed me a letter with ‘suspected cancer’ written at the top and put me on an emergency list. Every moment around that time from early December to a few days before Christmas felt decisive and important. My future felt very clouded, like there was a very real possibility of it not stretching as far as I’d expected it to. Every moment felt very intense. Every time I picked up my violin I felt a huge connection to the past, part of a string of people who have played this music for hundreds of years. That tied in to ideas about sounds that are common to all people; heartbeats, breath, background chatter, music and went on to sounds around my past and my future. I had got a small digital recorder a few months ago and recorded familiar sounds as I was going about my day. One day I was on  the London Underground and realised I was still recording; I was pleased about that as the sounds I hear there are familiar to me from my past. But at the same time I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing it for. I just felt a need to capture sounds as well as images at that time.  My health scare also made me reflect on the inexplicable moments of my life, things that have happened that I cannot explain. I realised there are a lot of them. Hence my possibly slightly unusual ideas for ‘The Decisive Moment’, and my chaotic stabs at the projects in the course text.

january upload (21 of 103)

Capturing images and sounds in London; Westminster Bridge.

 

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