Natural Destruction


Natural Destruction is an experiment that captures the natural sounds of the world around us, and the sounds that drown them out. My objective is to play my sound installation and see if the sounds of the environment around it drowns it out. The purpose is to see if listeners have the ability to tune into these natural sounds, or is life to distracting?


With this piece, I wanted to see how well people pay attention to nature and how the world around us can distract us from it. My idea was inspired from children because they have the natural ability to drown out anything. My thoughts gradually moved towards nature and how the mechanical world has the same effect. With my idea at hand, I began collecting my sounds. Most of the sounds I recorded myself and came from my neighborhood and Lincoln City, OR. Some complications came about, and I had to turn to Free Sounds to bring my piece to life.


Natural Destruction is an experiment that plays with the relaxing sounds of nature. It begins with the sounds of a creek near by, and the sounds of birds chattering all around. Slowly a storm moves in and the rain begins. The rain draws out other creatures as the frog can be heard. The experiment is to see how many participants hear these sounds, and how many participants are distracted by everything else going around the installation.


The purpose of Natural Destruction is to see how well people are aware of their surroundings. A lot of people get caught up in the chaos of their lives, and what everyone else is doing that they forget to enjoy the small things. I am guilty of this myself. At they same time, it is becoming harder and harder to find a place to sit and relax without any interruptions. With the destruction of the natural world, I encourage people to take the time to stop and appreciate the little things in life.


The influences of Natural Destruction are my children. The difficult task of getting homework done with three young children has proven to be near impossible. Over the years, I have tried various techniques on how to keep them entertained long enough to accomplish tasks. With each new technique came different arguments and fighting. I have come to the conclusion that there is no real solution to the problem, and that my children can drown out the sounds of a nuclear holocaust if they wanted to. But, more important have learned the value of the relaxing sounds of nature.


Natural Destruction was created with sounds that I collected myself, and a few sounds came from Free Sounds. I then brought my sounds to life using Adobe Audition. My biggest challenge for the project was collecting natural sounds without any mechanical sounds. The world around us is becoming over ran by the sounds of machines, and I set out to show the importance of the sounds of the natural world. Since I wanted to collect only natural sounds, I did a lot of recording at night and early in the morning.


The outcome of my experiment turned out the way I had expected. A lot of people who visited my installation paused for a second (my guess was to see if they heard anything) then moved along. One couple that stopped and sat down questioned what was going on. They gave the impression that they felt like they were being tricked. Another person thought the neighboring installation was in fact mine. The more popular answer was that there was too much going on in the building to pinpoint one specific sound.


With Natural Destruction I wanted to see how well people pay attention to their surroundings. Also, I wanted to highlight the idea that there is natural beauty in the world that many overlook, myself included. The world around us continues to progress in technology and mechanical devices that occupy our lives. It is important for everyone to take time and unplug from our devices, and enjoy the little things in life. In the end, I feel that the piece was successful on showing how well the chaos of life drowns out nature. On the other hand, I feel that making my point may have been overlooked.

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