Week 8: Silent to Sassy

Ordinary activities and events can be elevated by tunes and melodies, where the interaction of sound and space can greatly enhance one’s experience. Noise has been used for centuries as a mechanism of power, to influence and adapt the way in which we act in our surrounding environments, in particular silent places (Whelan, A 2015).

Have you ever seen or been a part of a silent disco? What may seem like a large group of people strangely dancing and singing in silence is actually an event where individuals listen to music through wireless headphones instead of a normal speaker system. The evolution of this technology has not only aided as a mechanism to deal with noise restraints, it also acts as a central platform for which music can be disseminated to the wider world.

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It is the intangible and magical quality of the audio experience that can be controlled, changed and stopped by the end node at their discretion that often transports the individual into an immersive experience with greater meanings and social acceptance. A study conducted by Bronwyn (2015), proved the effects of audioscape in a silent disco environment, where those who danced in synchrony experienced elevated pain thresholds, cooperative behaviour and feelings of social closeness. In addition, these modern machines have allowed DJ’s to communicate with large social groups on a deeper personal level, where “once you put on the headphones, you’re immediately in on the secret”.

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