Sound Without Words

So, I decided to listen to the small podcast of where the actual language of Dr. Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech is removed. All you hear during the podcast are sounds of scraping, distant voices and then the roar of applause that comes from the audience during the speech. There’s this idea that something this important such as this speech doesn’t actually lose its meaning even after removing the language. I know it sounds weird though… it’s usually the language and words that attribute the meaning and importance of something. But here, even though the actual language is gone the sounds of the applause, the shifting of paper and the distant noises all connate to something of great importance. Sometimes it’s not even the actual words that carry the meaning of something; sometimes it’s the little things that actually convey great importance. The gaps in between the Dr. King’s voices in the recording also indicate at some abruptness and urgency. The sounds indicate at the seriousness and importance of the speech even though there aren’t any actual words being said. Listening to this podcast made me realize the importance of sound even if it just is the background sounds that nobody listens to. Sounds carry meaning, emotion and communicate a message. Sounds and words almost have identical functions but they do both connote things. This could be used as a basis for a sound activity. If you took an audio piece and did no editing to it whatsoever, would it still retain its same understanding and meaning? If you had an audio of a serious topic and you had constant whispering in the background, would the message still be strong or would it be stronger if it had none of the whispering? To what extent do the background and foreground noises contribute to the overall meaning of a piece? These questions could be investigated by doing that activity and asking people about what they think and looking at these observations.


Gibberish is a Language!

After listening to Stephen Fry and his podcast ‘The Joy of Gibberish’ I became more fixated with the idea that gibberish is actually a language. I mean, we all speak it, but there just isn’t a specific order or structure to it and I think that’s the beauty of it. We don’t have to know what we’re saying as long as we have the freedom to say. Sometimes we all need to speak a bit of gibberish. Some people actually attribute feelings to the language that they speak. When people speak in their mother tongue, they feel that they feel secure and comforted; they associate feelings to the words they speak. Similarly, I think that we do the same with gibberish as well. When we have the freedom to express ourselves through gibberish we feel excited and liberated. Like Ms. Parrish says, when we get to make whatever noises and sounds we want, it actually is a mentally cleansing exercise.  Gibberish is a language, it liberates us and we feel an affinity towards it. Sound artists also do familiarize themselves with gibberish. Even The Baroness, whom I did an investigation on, had used gibberish words and sounds in her sonic poetry to express her feelings of anxiety, anguish and happiness. Gibberish is an outlet for people to express themselves, and it gives them a chance to attribute meaning to absolutely meaningless words. Gibberish is a sign of development and is very linguistic in its nature, and therefore I absolutely believe that it is a language. How did gibberish first come about? Can you actually use gibberish to converse with people but connote your feelings with your dialect instead? That can actually be a good sound investigation. You could have two people that will actually carry out a conversation in gibberish but convey meaning, emotions and everything through the pitch, speed, repetition and dialect of the words. Will the two people be able to successfully communicate with each other? What will the results of the experiment be? In that sense, gibberish is indeed a language then. If two people can successfully use words and sounds to converse with each other then, what they’re speaking in is a language. Gibberish is an interesting thing, I mean it has no meaning but we attribute it with meaning. Isn’t that kind of antithetical? Whatever it is, we speak it and I know for sure that in that sense gibberish is a universally-spoken language.