2013 in retrospective VI (342)


2013: The year in retrospective. Part VI -JAY DEA LOPEZ-

Sound composer, writer. Editor at The Field Reporter. Chief at Sounds like noise.


Text by Jay-Dea Lopez

We listen subjectively. Rarely could listening be described as an objective process:

The sound of a child crying emanates from an adjacent room. To some this induces feelings of sympathy while to others it provokes annoyance.

Sound means different things at different times:

A train enters a suburban train station. For one resident its approaching rhythm signals the return of a loved one though the sound of other trains throughout the day blurred into the background.

Sound is mercurial. Its physical nature is elusive. Once pronounced it ceases to exist, it is a ghost. We are surrounded by haunting sonic trails:

A voice echoes through a canyon. Its starting point is uncertain, where it ends cannot be envisaged. We stand disrupted in its path.

Sound raises emotions from our personal histories, memories float to the surface and linger long after it has passed:

An ambulance rushes by, its siren blaring. We awaken, troubled, the following morning.

Without a physical mass to gaze upon, without a critical moment where sound lies frozen before us, how do we discuss that which we cannot grasp?

Describing sound we reveal our emotional world. We unravel subconscious histories.

The lexicon of sound is the story of our past. Its vocabulary is of layered memories, a deluge of forgotten moments, floating, sensual, uneasy.

And there is the future.

Without physical boundaries we listen to sound through tomorrow’s hopes and fears:

I sit in a field, a microphone directed towards a flock of birds high overhead. They call to each other as they fly in an elegant formation.

In their call I hear a system under stress. It is the sound of my own anxieties for the future. It is the sound of loss.


[Jay-Dea Lopez]

Jay-Dea Lopez website