The world is very noisy. It’s very loud. It’s sonically harsh. I’m referring to the constant shush of interstates, the collective hum of air conditioners, the horn-blaring road-raging drivers, the din of a restaurant, the corona discharge on high-tension power lines, sirens, dogs barking, televisions cycling, trains clattering, and air brakes.
Of course, its also very quiet. At times, stunningly euphonic. And at times, aurally euphoric. I’m thinking of swishing grasses on a Kansas prairie, the gurgling lap of tides on a jetty, evensong of woodland birds, and the echo of subway buskers, whispered secrets, rain on a tin roof, thunder in the distance, and a choir of cicadas thrumming in the oaks.
As these sonic experiences fade from my perception, I am increasingly confounded by mundane communication, and my desire to engage with the acoustic landscape wanes. Through this work, I continue to grapple with pluralism. My partial deafness makes me fear rejection from the Deaf community, while hyperaware of my disconnect from hearing folks.