What is your alive sound? The sound that wakes us up every morning. Birds…children…an alarm clock…the radio….This is your soundcheck.
Listening is not the same thing as hearing. Hearing is a passive process. Listening is an active process of awareness. Listening is a sense of touch. As much as you reach out to touch with your listening, it reaches back and touches you. What do you listen for?
Doing a daily soundcheck is something that can help keep us in balance with the world that surrounds us. Sound surrounds us. It is our constant companion. Humans are the noisiest creatures on the planet and we have become desensitized to our soundscapes. How often do you hear a car with a sonic boom so loud it makes your teeth rattle? What is the appeal? Loud sound is like a hit of caffeine. Sound can make you high, it increases your heart rate, tenses muscles and revs you up. This is true of an amazing classical concert as it is of a drum circle.
So what do we check for when doing a soundcheck? Here’s three simple areas to cover:
Volume: Where is your volume today? Very loud sound appeals to those who may be numb, because it allows them to feel something. Can you be tickled by a whisper? Is today a day where you are feeling balanced? Give yourself of scale of one to ten and see where your volume sits in the morning, in the evening, or do a mid-day check.
Rhythm: Do you hear the rhythms and patterns around you? Patterns can be heard in the cycling of a fan, or wheels, the drops of rain or also in the music you are listening to. Is your rhythm fast, or you in a rush, or are you taking things slow? Do you notice anything getting done any faster because of your rhythm? Our rhythms can change throughout the day. They can also shift and adapt to those around us. Check in when you are around others and see if your rhythm is really your own or if you are picking up the pace of what is happening around you.
Intensity: How much passion is in your sound? Do you speak in a monotone voice or does your voice have a lot of variety and character? Is there a lot of mood and variety to your choice in music or do you listen to just one kind of music only. Are you in tune with the full soundscape around you, or do you just hear what you need to, to ‘get by’? There is a wide variety to the dynamic of sound that we both listen to and use. The intensity that we listen and use our sound is where we can choose how we communicate with others and how we create our own soundscapes.
Anny Fyreagle is a Sonic Mystic who teaches sound as a practice through classes and inspirational experiences. You can find out more at www.anandasound.com