writing sound, part 2


As I listen to sounds and then set out to write, I become more and more aware of my distance from them. My words cannot capture them: they let them go astray, dissolve. Instead, my words inscribe sounds with their own presence, they answer the enigma of sounds with yet another enigma.

I read David Toop’s words in Sinister Resonance: ‘If we expect sound merely to give, or to invade, just like the earth digger on the building site or the bass drum, then we miss the other side. Better we should think of sound as an ear, a mirror, a resonant echo, a carrier, a shell 2’.

What is the question that I whisper in that ear? What do I see appearing in the mirror of listening? What do I ask of sound? What echoes out of sound as I listen?

I think of writing as ‘the other side’ of sound. Instead of looking for answers it echoes questions with questions, it adds complexity to complexity. Writing sound traces the shifting in the tuning of my words, of my questions, of sounds drifting.


2 Toop, David. (2010). Writhing Sigla. In: Sinister Resonance. The Mediumship of the Listener. New York and London: Continuum, p.53

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