Noise Visualizations

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noisecactus
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Noise Visualizations

Post by noisecactus »

Howdy!

First topic. Excuse me if the title is a little vague. I've recently been wondering about how exactly to best visualize the sound of noise. For me, I mostly run my noise through milkdrop visuals. There's something about the rush of color and geometry that really... fits what I hear. To me at least, noise is pretty vibrant and alive. I've never really gelled with the whole "grimy shock horror/treated surgery films" aesthetic that gets thrown up at a lot of the small local shows I've been to. While noise can absolutely be filthy and confrontational (looking mostly at Whitehouse/P.E.) the actual sound, even played loud never particularly strikes me as "disturbing" or "filthy" (although as a general rule I don't tend to listen to noise about sexual violence/serial killers/trauma samples. I understand there's probably greater artistic purpose within this aesthetic and it's not just edgey confrontation, but it's just not my bag.)

Noise for me, like drone, is frankly something transcendent and perhaps almost sacred in a way I can't quite articulate. I should further mention that listening to noise is one of the few times I get very vivid, borderline hypnagogic imagery when I close my eyes. I'd be especially interesting in hearing from any posters who have synesthesia. I don't have it, but I do find it interesting, and am especially curious to hear what those who do have this condition experience when they listen to noise.

So, excuse the somewhat ramble-y post, but I guess what I want to ask is this: Do you listen to noise with visuals/get visuals when you listen, and if yes, what kind of visuals are they? Or are you cool with just listening to the sound with no further accompaniments?
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Re: Noise Visualizations

Post by Bubble-Congeries »

I've never been diagnosed with synesthesia, but often experienced something comparable since childhood where I associate sounds with images of food and/or environments or smells or colors and vice-versa. I suppose that's not really uncommon, considering how often people use terms like "creamy" and "chewy", "brown", etc. as sonic descriptors. But noise and ambient (and even certain music) certainly have a tendency to generate strange, ineffable feelings and haunting vistas or "universes" and colorations thereof in my mind, or phantom "scrubbing" sensations in my ears and grey matter that I can only liken to a big, fat worm-ouroborus channeling through, or someone manually pulling a washcloth through these same imaginary (or possibly real, activated, vibrating sinusoidal) cavities.

I've never actually tried listening with a visualizer, though. At most, maybe a strobelight, which I've also done infrequently while recording as a kind of aesthetic/creative "enhancement".
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Re: Noise Visualizations

Post by James Thompson »

want to say i really agree with you about not necessarily gelling with the extreme / shocking approach to visualisation with noise. while i enjoy plenty of artists who work with dark subject matter, and it can definitely add to it in some cases, i find that that's very rarely what i experience when i'm listening to noise (dependent, of course, on the individual artist). there's something so fundamentally psychedelic and personal about noise, as a medium which is often very improvisational - again, not the case for every artist - but in a way that feels very.... blocky? solid? almost brutalist?

it's fun to compare noise to conventional jam-band psychedelia, at least in terms of my reaction and my internal perception of it. if i think about Hybrid Noisebloom (one of the most obviously psychedelic merzbow releases), i'm not picturing dense hallucinatory geometric patterns, i'm picturing colour sprays and huge fuzzy-edged smokey bolts that you get lost in, that envelope you... it's a much more all-consuming sound and feeling. aggression is a part of it, but to me it's rarely about violence; it's about transcendence, and the ability to lose yourself in something extreme.

this is an interesting thing to think about!
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Re: Noise Visualizations

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Some of the best "visualizations" of noise, if by that we are meaning art that tries to capture it, might be the cd labels found in the Merzbox. They all match one another, while still reflecting the uniqueness of each album.
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Re: Noise Visualizations

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James Thompson wrote: Fri Feb 16, 2024 2:29 pm want to say i really agree with you about not necessarily gelling with the extreme / shocking approach to visualisation with noise. while i enjoy plenty of artists who work with dark subject matter, and it can definitely add to it in some cases, i find that that's very rarely what i experience when i'm listening to noise (dependent, of course, on the individual artist). there's something so fundamentally psychedelic and personal about noise, as a medium which is often very improvisational - again, not the case for every artist - but in a way that feels very.... blocky? solid? almost brutalist?

it's fun to compare noise to conventional jam-band psychedelia, at least in terms of my reaction and my internal perception of it. if i think about Hybrid Noisebloom (one of the most obviously psychedelic merzbow releases), i'm not picturing dense hallucinatory geometric patterns, i'm picturing colour sprays and huge fuzzy-edged smokey bolts that you get lost in, that envelope you... it's a much more all-consuming sound and feeling. aggression is a part of it, but to me it's rarely about violence; it's about transcendence, and the ability to lose yourself in something extreme.
That last sentence is exactly why I love noise so much. More than any other genre, listening to noise as active listening gets me the closest I can say to a transcendent state. Drone does this too, but in a different sort of way. I liken it to being in different neighborhoods in the same general city. With regards to the psychedelia inherent in noise as a medium, I agree with you whole-heartedly. Oddly enough, Hybrid Noisebloom did nothing for me but I found 1930 to be very psychedelic in terms of textures, likewise Magnesia Nova, bracketing the more explicitly psychedelic noise makers like Yellow Swans, C.C.C.C., Astro, Government Alpha etc. I think for me the descriptor I would reach for is more "dense" than "brutalist", with the caveat that I'm using "dense" in the same way that say, a bundle of neurons is dense. Kind of like neurons, which are all tangled together and always firing, the best noise for me has a lot of... layered details? It's a kind of widescreen singlemindedness that it is hard to explain. I've long felt that noise is kind of exactly how the operating brain "sounds." To pontificate a little bit, I'm disabled and have abnormal levels of muscle tightness, and it's hard to explain, but I have always kind of felt that these sorts of physical sensations are "noise" in a physiological sense, and noise in the musical/sonic sense is... not exactly the sonification of my everyday bodily reality, but maybe something close to it. I don't want to get too lost in the weeds but what spurred me to post this question is the novel I'm working on that deals with just such questions and is explicitly about noise and disability and embodiment. I was curious if anyone on these forums might also share this view of noise as transcendence, since it's a kind of personal psychedelia that I've thought of after listening to and making a whole lot of noise and attempting to digest just what it is about overdriven feedback loops and angry radios that so interests me from an aesthetic point of view.

Thank you for the interesting post!
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Re: Noise Visualizations

Post by noisecactus »

SS1535 wrote: Fri Feb 16, 2024 2:34 pm Some of the best "visualizations" of noise, if by that we are meaning art that tries to capture it, might be the cd labels found in the Merzbox. They all match one another, while still reflecting the uniqueness of each album.
You know, that's actually an interesting question, what kind of "traditional" (i.e. non-digital media) art best captures noise? Abstraction sure, but like Rothko? Pollock? Beksinski? With regards to the Merzbox CDs that was actually my first thought too, it was a very strong aesthetic that somehow managed to capture the chaos within.
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Re: Noise Visualizations

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Bubble-Congeries wrote: Fri Feb 16, 2024 7:40 am But noise and ambient (and even certain music) certainly have a tendency to generate strange, ineffable feelings and haunting vistas or "universes" and colorations thereof in my mind, or phantom "scrubbing" sensations in my ears and grey matter that I can only liken to a big, fat worm-ouroborus channeling through, or someone manually pulling a washcloth through these same imaginary (or possibly real, activated, vibrating sinusoidal) cavities.
This is really interesting to me. Do you often have these kinds of bodily hallucinations or just while listening to noise? I only ask because for me as I detailed in my reply to James above, for me most of the impact of noise is visual and psychological, despite having something of a different bodily physiology. Do you feel very grounded in your body as a general rule? The interesting thing about sound is how the actual physical vibrations can affect your body. I remember being at a Ritual Purification show and it was so loud my entire chest cavity vibrated with the bass, it was interesting (I've had the same effect going to see dub soundsystems as well, seems to be mainly the lower frequency stuff.)
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Re: Noise Visualizations

Post by SS1535 »

noisecactus wrote: Sat Feb 17, 2024 11:08 am
SS1535 wrote: Fri Feb 16, 2024 2:34 pm Some of the best "visualizations" of noise, if by that we are meaning art that tries to capture it, might be the cd labels found in the Merzbox. They all match one another, while still reflecting the uniqueness of each album.
You know, that's actually an interesting question, what kind of "traditional" (i.e. non-digital media) art best captures noise? Abstraction sure, but like Rothko? Pollock? Beksinski? With regards to the Merzbox CDs that was actually my first thought too, it was a very strong aesthetic that somehow managed to capture the chaos within.
I think it was in the noise vs. music thread here, but I was recently talking with someone about whether noise is really abstract or not. While I think there is an obvious (and in many ways totally appropriate) instinct to associate it with abstraction, I think there are a lot of ways in which noise is a much more literal/realist form of sound art when compared with music (especially classical music---which I think operates on more of a symbolic level).

I mean, Merzbow even gets his name from the Merzbau---a Dadaist art project rooted just as much in assemblage/collage art as early abstraction.

Stuff like this could be just as good of a visualization of noise as abstract expressionism:
Image

But, then again, this is obviously dependent on the type of noise that we are talking about...
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Re: Noise Visualizations

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Stuff like this could be just as good of a visualization of noise as abstract expressionism:
You know, that's a very good point and one I confess I hadn't thought of during the writing of my OP. Different visual aesthetics fit different subtypes of noise in different ways. To my mind the image you posted is a great representation of cut-up/collage type noise, which while it is a style I find sonically interesting, I can't quite say that for me it captures that personal psychedelia. But that's the most interesting part of the whole thing. There's so many approaches to noise and thus so many ways to visualize it. Milkdrop geometric visuals aren't going to fit say, junk noise. Likewise astro doesn't make me think of construction sites (well maybe construction sites in space.) But yes that's a great point.
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Re: Noise Visualizations

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noisecactus wrote: Sat Feb 17, 2024 1:48 pm
Stuff like this could be just as good of a visualization of noise as abstract expressionism:
You know, that's a very good point and one I confess I hadn't thought of during the writing of my OP. Different visual aesthetics fit different subtypes of noise in different ways. To my mind the image you posted is a great representation of cut-up/collage type noise, which while it is a style I find sonically interesting, I can't quite say that for me it captures that personal psychedelia. But that's the most interesting part of the whole thing. There's so many approaches to noise and thus so many ways to visualize it. Milkdrop geometric visuals aren't going to fit say, junk noise. Likewise astro doesn't make me think of construction sites (well maybe construction sites in space.) But yes that's a great point.
I think that's another of the cool things about Merzbow cover art---that he has gone through all of those styles at various points and, at the same time, adjusted the artwork he uses (usually) appropriately.

What do you mean by pscyhedelia and noise? I know of people who make deliberately psychadelic noise (like Haare, I guess Government Alpha too), but I take it that you don't necessarily mean something genre-specific here.
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Re: Noise Visualizations

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SS1535 wrote: Sat Feb 17, 2024 3:21 pm
noisecactus wrote: Sat Feb 17, 2024 1:48 pm
Stuff like this could be just as good of a visualization of noise as abstract expressionism:
You know, that's a very good point and one I confess I hadn't thought of during the writing of my OP. Different visual aesthetics fit different subtypes of noise in different ways. To my mind the image you posted is a great representation of cut-up/collage type noise, which while it is a style I find sonically interesting, I can't quite say that for me it captures that personal psychedelia. But that's the most interesting part of the whole thing. There's so many approaches to noise and thus so many ways to visualize it. Milkdrop geometric visuals aren't going to fit say, junk noise. Likewise astro doesn't make me think of construction sites (well maybe construction sites in space.) But yes that's a great point.
I think that's another of the cool things about Merzbow cover art---that he has gone through all of those styles at various points and, at the same time, adjusted the artwork he uses (usually) appropriately.

What do you mean by pscyhedelia and noise? I know of people who make deliberately psychadelic noise (like Haare, I guess Government Alpha too), but I take it that you don't necessarily mean something genre-specific here.
No, not exactly. While acts like Goverment Alpha, Haare, C.C.C.C. fit the broad idea of "Psychedelic Noise," what I'm more after is the idea of noise as psychedelia. Less "Merzbow and shrooms are a fun combination," and more this idea as sketched out by Bubble-Congeries and others upthread as a kind of personal psychedelia. For instance, based on their post BC tends to feel a burrowing sensation in their ear, whereas someone like James tends to experience it as a blocky brutalist thing or "smoky bolts." Which is to say at least these people (I can't speak for everyone on the forum, I'm sure there are those who just listen to the sounds and are content with no need for further perceptual experience/analysis, which is totally fine, this is just one of my... obsessive interests in the realm of noise,) have a tendency to experience something a little "beyond the noise" or maybe a better way to put it would be "alongside" or "in addition to" (would it be too much to invoke transcending?) the experience of listening.

To be honest, I kind of got the idea after watching this really interesting video essay on noise in cinema, I've timestamped the point that kind of made me start thinking of this stuff but the whole thing is a really interesting watch if you're interested in exploring the idea of "noise" across different mediums and modalities, as I am.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4D1a8e ... =2&t=1212s

In hindsight I feel like maybe "Noise Perceptions" would have been a better thread title but that felt a little vague to me. Honestly I'm more after just a general dialogue pertaining to "what do you feel/experience when you listen to noise and/or what kind of "traditional" visual media best captures noise for you personally." It's interesting to see how different people react to this stuff.
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Re: Noise Visualizations

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noisecactus wrote: Sat Feb 17, 2024 11:03 am I think for me the descriptor I would reach for is more "dense" than "brutalist", with the caveat that I'm using "dense" in the same way that say, a bundle of neurons is dense. Kind of like neurons, which are all tangled together and always firing, the best noise for me has a lot of... layered details? It's a kind of widescreen singlemindedness that it is hard to explain.
lots of interesting stuff i agree with in your post here, but zooming in on this in particular: yes, 100%, that layered intensity, with a lot of different ideas and textures washing over each other, cutting in and out, and developing into new ones.

i've been making noise in one form or another for more than half my life now, and some of my favourite tracks and moments within them come from letting something develop organically, or from finding an effect that produces something unexpected and unpredictable. i think about how people talk about jazz improvisation as a tightrope act, everyone dancing around with the constant threat of falling, the beauty in the near misses; noise takes that to an extreme where it's like the falling is the point and the beauty is in the impact. that might be a little bit of a violent metaphor, but there's something to it!
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Re: Noise Visualizations

Post by SS1535 »

noisecactus wrote: Sat Feb 17, 2024 5:16 pm
SS1535 wrote: Sat Feb 17, 2024 3:21 pm
noisecactus wrote: Sat Feb 17, 2024 1:48 pm
You know, that's a very good point and one I confess I hadn't thought of during the writing of my OP. Different visual aesthetics fit different subtypes of noise in different ways. To my mind the image you posted is a great representation of cut-up/collage type noise, which while it is a style I find sonically interesting, I can't quite say that for me it captures that personal psychedelia. But that's the most interesting part of the whole thing. There's so many approaches to noise and thus so many ways to visualize it. Milkdrop geometric visuals aren't going to fit say, junk noise. Likewise astro doesn't make me think of construction sites (well maybe construction sites in space.) But yes that's a great point.
I think that's another of the cool things about Merzbow cover art---that he has gone through all of those styles at various points and, at the same time, adjusted the artwork he uses (usually) appropriately.

What do you mean by pscyhedelia and noise? I know of people who make deliberately psychadelic noise (like Haare, I guess Government Alpha too), but I take it that you don't necessarily mean something genre-specific here.
No, not exactly. While acts like Goverment Alpha, Haare, C.C.C.C. fit the broad idea of "Psychedelic Noise," what I'm more after is the idea of noise as psychedelia. Less "Merzbow and shrooms are a fun combination," and more this idea as sketched out by Bubble-Congeries and others upthread as a kind of personal psychedelia. For instance, based on their post BC tends to feel a burrowing sensation in their ear, whereas someone like James tends to experience it as a blocky brutalist thing or "smoky bolts." Which is to say at least these people (I can't speak for everyone on the forum, I'm sure there are those who just listen to the sounds and are content with no need for further perceptual experience/analysis, which is totally fine, this is just one of my... obsessive interests in the realm of noise,) have a tendency to experience something a little "beyond the noise" or maybe a better way to put it would be "alongside" or "in addition to" (would it be too much to invoke transcending?) the experience of listening.

To be honest, I kind of got the idea after watching this really interesting video essay on noise in cinema, I've timestamped the point that kind of made me start thinking of this stuff but the whole thing is a really interesting watch if you're interested in exploring the idea of "noise" across different mediums and modalities, as I am.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4D1a8e ... =2&t=1212s

In hindsight I feel like maybe "Noise Perceptions" would have been a better thread title but that felt a little vague to me. Honestly I'm more after just a general dialogue pertaining to "what do you feel/experience when you listen to noise and/or what kind of "traditional" visual media best captures noise for you personally." It's interesting to see how different people react to this stuff.
That all makes a lot of sense, and it's something that I can resonate with. Visual/textual noise is definitely a big interest of mine, so I will check out that video you linked!
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Re: Noise Visualizations

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SS1535 wrote: Sun Feb 18, 2024 9:08 pm
noisecactus wrote: Sat Feb 17, 2024 5:16 pm
SS1535 wrote: Sat Feb 17, 2024 3:21 pm

I think that's another of the cool things about Merzbow cover art---that he has gone through all of those styles at various points and, at the same time, adjusted the artwork he uses (usually) appropriately.

What do you mean by pscyhedelia and noise? I know of people who make deliberately psychadelic noise (like Haare, I guess Government Alpha too), but I take it that you don't necessarily mean something genre-specific here.
No, not exactly. While acts like Goverment Alpha, Haare, C.C.C.C. fit the broad idea of "Psychedelic Noise," what I'm more after is the idea of noise as psychedelia. Less "Merzbow and shrooms are a fun combination," and more this idea as sketched out by Bubble-Congeries and others upthread as a kind of personal psychedelia. For instance, based on their post BC tends to feel a burrowing sensation in their ear, whereas someone like James tends to experience it as a blocky brutalist thing or "smoky bolts." Which is to say at least these people (I can't speak for everyone on the forum, I'm sure there are those who just listen to the sounds and are content with no need for further perceptual experience/analysis, which is totally fine, this is just one of my... obsessive interests in the realm of noise,) have a tendency to experience something a little "beyond the noise" or maybe a better way to put it would be "alongside" or "in addition to" (would it be too much to invoke transcending?) the experience of listening.

To be honest, I kind of got the idea after watching this really interesting video essay on noise in cinema, I've timestamped the point that kind of made me start thinking of this stuff but the whole thing is a really interesting watch if you're interested in exploring the idea of "noise" across different mediums and modalities, as I am.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4D1a8e ... =2&t=1212s

In hindsight I feel like maybe "Noise Perceptions" would have been a better thread title but that felt a little vague to me. Honestly I'm more after just a general dialogue pertaining to "what do you feel/experience when you listen to noise and/or what kind of "traditional" visual media best captures noise for you personally." It's interesting to see how different people react to this stuff.
That all makes a lot of sense, and it's something that I can resonate with. Visual/textual noise is definitely a big interest of mine, so I will check out that video you linked!
I'm also very interested in the idea of textual noise. Do you have any resources or thoughts in general on that subject? In my noise-inspired writing I've really been wanting to try and capture the... nature of noise and not so much simple sonic/textural onomatopoeia (e.g. crunches, roars, scrapes and the like,) rather something more like... the textual equivalents of effects pedals? For instance with say delay pedals, I am not trying to write what delay pedals do but what the delay effect sounds like, in the sense of playing with time and decay, but how do you capture the idea of textural decay outside of simple textural-structural analogues? (such as say having the text color get progressively lighter to simulate sonic decay over time.) I've managed to find one academic piece on "noise writing" by the experimental author Sierra German, I'll link it here in case you might be interested:
https://dspace.cuni.cz/bitstream/handle ... sequence=1
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Re: Noise Visualizations

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James Thompson wrote: Sun Feb 18, 2024 7:10 am
noisecactus wrote: Sat Feb 17, 2024 11:03 am I think for me the descriptor I would reach for is more "dense" than "brutalist", with the caveat that I'm using "dense" in the same way that say, a bundle of neurons is dense. Kind of like neurons, which are all tangled together and always firing, the best noise for me has a lot of... layered details? It's a kind of widescreen singlemindedness that it is hard to explain.
lots of interesting stuff i agree with in your post here, but zooming in on this in particular: yes, 100%, that layered intensity, with a lot of different ideas and textures washing over each other, cutting in and out, and developing into new ones.

i've been making noise in one form or another for more than half my life now, and some of my favourite tracks and moments within them come from letting something develop organically, or from finding an effect that produces something unexpected and unpredictable. i think about how people talk about jazz improvisation as a tightrope act, everyone dancing around with the constant threat of falling, the beauty in the near misses; noise takes that to an extreme where it's like the falling is the point and the beauty is in the impact. that might be a little bit of a violent metaphor, but there's something to it!
You know that might be the most oddly perfect metaphor for noise I've ever heard.
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Re: Noise Visualizations

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noisecactus wrote: Mon Feb 19, 2024 3:21 am
SS1535 wrote: Sun Feb 18, 2024 9:08 pm
noisecactus wrote: Sat Feb 17, 2024 5:16 pm

No, not exactly. While acts like Goverment Alpha, Haare, C.C.C.C. fit the broad idea of "Psychedelic Noise," what I'm more after is the idea of noise as psychedelia. Less "Merzbow and shrooms are a fun combination," and more this idea as sketched out by Bubble-Congeries and others upthread as a kind of personal psychedelia. For instance, based on their post BC tends to feel a burrowing sensation in their ear, whereas someone like James tends to experience it as a blocky brutalist thing or "smoky bolts." Which is to say at least these people (I can't speak for everyone on the forum, I'm sure there are those who just listen to the sounds and are content with no need for further perceptual experience/analysis, which is totally fine, this is just one of my... obsessive interests in the realm of noise,) have a tendency to experience something a little "beyond the noise" or maybe a better way to put it would be "alongside" or "in addition to" (would it be too much to invoke transcending?) the experience of listening.

To be honest, I kind of got the idea after watching this really interesting video essay on noise in cinema, I've timestamped the point that kind of made me start thinking of this stuff but the whole thing is a really interesting watch if you're interested in exploring the idea of "noise" across different mediums and modalities, as I am.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4D1a8e ... =2&t=1212s

In hindsight I feel like maybe "Noise Perceptions" would have been a better thread title but that felt a little vague to me. Honestly I'm more after just a general dialogue pertaining to "what do you feel/experience when you listen to noise and/or what kind of "traditional" visual media best captures noise for you personally." It's interesting to see how different people react to this stuff.
That all makes a lot of sense, and it's something that I can resonate with. Visual/textual noise is definitely a big interest of mine, so I will check out that video you linked!
I'm also very interested in the idea of textual noise. Do you have any resources or thoughts in general on that subject? In my noise-inspired writing I've really been wanting to try and capture the... nature of noise and not so much simple sonic/textural onomatopoeia (e.g. crunches, roars, scrapes and the like,) rather something more like... the textual equivalents of effects pedals? For instance with say delay pedals, I am not trying to write what delay pedals do but what the delay effect sounds like, in the sense of playing with time and decay, but how do you capture the idea of textural decay outside of simple textural-structural analogues? (such as say having the text color get progressively lighter to simulate sonic decay over time.) I've managed to find one academic piece on "noise writing" by the experimental author Sierra German, I'll link it here in case you might be interested:
https://dspace.cuni.cz/bitstream/handle ... sequence=1
That's really interesting! I have heard of some books that try to do things like that. It's not translated, but from what I understand about it after talking with people who have read it in German, is that there are sections of the book where the text literally fades or is (I think) scribbled out. Even the cover of the book is designed so that as it is read, the color of the printing will wear off over time, making the title and everything else just gradually disappear. https://theuntranslated.wordpress.com/2 ... ael-lentz/

When I think of "textual noise," I'm usually thinking in terms of "noise as disruption of an ordered system" (or noise in the abstrac), rather than noise as strictly a sonic phenomenon (i.e. onomatopeoeia), if that makes sense. So I am thinking of things like Burroughs' cut-ups, Celine's constant use of elipses, or even just random examples of decaying, unfinished, or note-form texts (like The Book of Disquiet, The 120 Days of Sodom, or egodic literature). I think a lot of stuff by Dennis Cooper also contains formal elements that fit with this idea (shifting between types of text, removal of context, strange, overarching structures, etc.).

The other obvious person here, I think, is Antonin Artaud, who did a bunch of bizarre sound poetry. I have a bunch of audio files of it, so if you (or anyone else) wants them, let me know!
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Re: Noise Visualizations

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SS1535 wrote: Mon Feb 19, 2024 12:10 pm The other obvious person here, I think, is Antonin Artaud, who did a bunch of bizarre sound poetry. I have a bunch of audio files of it, so if you (or anyone else) wants them, let me know!
Would love to hear these!
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Re: Noise Visualizations

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murmur wrote: Mon Feb 19, 2024 12:28 pm
SS1535 wrote: Mon Feb 19, 2024 12:10 pm The other obvious person here, I think, is Antonin Artaud, who did a bunch of bizarre sound poetry. I have a bunch of audio files of it, so if you (or anyone else) wants them, let me know!
Would love to hear these!
They are probably online somewhere, but I can send you the files. PM me an email!
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Re: Noise Visualizations

Post by murmur »

SS1535 wrote: Mon Feb 19, 2024 1:03 pm
murmur wrote: Mon Feb 19, 2024 12:28 pm
SS1535 wrote: Mon Feb 19, 2024 12:10 pm The other obvious person here, I think, is Antonin Artaud, who did a bunch of bizarre sound poetry. I have a bunch of audio files of it, so if you (or anyone else) wants them, let me know!
Would love to hear these!
They are probably online somewhere, but I can send you the files. PM me an email!
Done!
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Re: Noise Visualizations

Post by noisecactus »

SS1535 wrote: Mon Feb 19, 2024 12:10 pm
noisecactus wrote: Mon Feb 19, 2024 3:21 am
SS1535 wrote: Sun Feb 18, 2024 9:08 pm

That all makes a lot of sense, and it's something that I can resonate with. Visual/textual noise is definitely a big interest of mine, so I will check out that video you linked!
I'm also very interested in the idea of textual noise. Do you have any resources or thoughts in general on that subject? In my noise-inspired writing I've really been wanting to try and capture the... nature of noise and not so much simple sonic/textural onomatopoeia (e.g. crunches, roars, scrapes and the like,) rather something more like... the textual equivalents of effects pedals? For instance with say delay pedals, I am not trying to write what delay pedals do but what the delay effect sounds like, in the sense of playing with time and decay, but how do you capture the idea of textural decay outside of simple textural-structural analogues? (such as say having the text color get progressively lighter to simulate sonic decay over time.) I've managed to find one academic piece on "noise writing" by the experimental author Sierra German, I'll link it here in case you might be interested:
https://dspace.cuni.cz/bitstream/handle ... sequence=1
That's really interesting! I have heard of some books that try to do things like that. It's not translated, but from what I understand about it after talking with people who have read it in German, is that there are sections of the book where the text literally fades or is (I think) scribbled out. Even the cover of the book is designed so that as it is read, the color of the printing will wear off over time, making the title and everything else just gradually disappear. https://theuntranslated.wordpress.com/2 ... ael-lentz/

When I think of "textual noise," I'm usually thinking in terms of "noise as disruption of an ordered system" (or noise in the abstrac), rather than noise as strictly a sonic phenomenon (i.e. onomatopeoeia), if that makes sense. So I am thinking of things like Burroughs' cut-ups, Celine's constant use of elipses, or even just random examples of decaying, unfinished, or note-form texts (like The Book of Disquiet, The 120 Days of Sodom, or egodic literature). I think a lot of stuff by Dennis Cooper also contains formal elements that fit with this idea (shifting between types of text, removal of context, strange, overarching structures, etc.).

The other obvious person here, I think, is Antonin Artaud, who did a bunch of bizarre sound poetry. I have a bunch of audio files of it, so if you (or anyone else) wants them, let me know!
So with regard to textual noise, I'm in agreement here. That is noise cast as the disruption of an ordered system, as you say. I don't think there's much of an underground for appreciators of nonsense text strings in the same way there is for auditory noise. To me at least lefjljfklwjfwkjhfwkhdojfdbg (I just smashed some keys on my keyboard at random to generate an example) doesn't quite hold the attention the same way a good noise release does. Part of that is pretty obviously because text is primarily a channel for information, in the... cybernetic\information theory sense. But sound-as-music doesn't have to act as a channel for information the way text does, it just has to kind of be there. The problem is, most people encounter "pure" textual noise like my little toy example, they (rightfully) tend to skip over it. So there's a problem of generalizing across modalities. How do you write a drone? You can maybe make a structural analogue to the "sound" of the drone (e.g. long sentences with little to no punctuation that just go on and on and...) but does this capture the nature of the drone itself? As I said, when I listen to noise and drone, I tend to get a kind of... pleasantly dissociative effect. It's less a "stepping into eternity" kind of thing and more of a "window shopping for eternity" kind of deal. That sort of dissociation is what I would like to capture with my own noise-inspired writing. I'm actually familiar with all the authors you mentioned, although Dennis Cooper I just heard of today a little while ago. I should take a look at his stuff.

Artaud is interesting, I remember getting into some of his sound poetry stuff when I was exploring some of that stuff, maybe I should take another look.
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Re: Noise Visualizations

Post by SS1535 »

noisecactus wrote: Mon Feb 19, 2024 1:49 pm
SS1535 wrote: Mon Feb 19, 2024 12:10 pm
noisecactus wrote: Mon Feb 19, 2024 3:21 am

I'm also very interested in the idea of textual noise. Do you have any resources or thoughts in general on that subject? In my noise-inspired writing I've really been wanting to try and capture the... nature of noise and not so much simple sonic/textural onomatopoeia (e.g. crunches, roars, scrapes and the like,) rather something more like... the textual equivalents of effects pedals? For instance with say delay pedals, I am not trying to write what delay pedals do but what the delay effect sounds like, in the sense of playing with time and decay, but how do you capture the idea of textural decay outside of simple textural-structural analogues? (such as say having the text color get progressively lighter to simulate sonic decay over time.) I've managed to find one academic piece on "noise writing" by the experimental author Sierra German, I'll link it here in case you might be interested:
https://dspace.cuni.cz/bitstream/handle ... sequence=1
That's really interesting! I have heard of some books that try to do things like that. It's not translated, but from what I understand about it after talking with people who have read it in German, is that there are sections of the book where the text literally fades or is (I think) scribbled out. Even the cover of the book is designed so that as it is read, the color of the printing will wear off over time, making the title and everything else just gradually disappear. https://theuntranslated.wordpress.com/2 ... ael-lentz/

When I think of "textual noise," I'm usually thinking in terms of "noise as disruption of an ordered system" (or noise in the abstrac), rather than noise as strictly a sonic phenomenon (i.e. onomatopeoeia), if that makes sense. So I am thinking of things like Burroughs' cut-ups, Celine's constant use of elipses, or even just random examples of decaying, unfinished, or note-form texts (like The Book of Disquiet, The 120 Days of Sodom, or egodic literature). I think a lot of stuff by Dennis Cooper also contains formal elements that fit with this idea (shifting between types of text, removal of context, strange, overarching structures, etc.).

The other obvious person here, I think, is Antonin Artaud, who did a bunch of bizarre sound poetry. I have a bunch of audio files of it, so if you (or anyone else) wants them, let me know!
So with regard to textual noise, I'm in agreement here. That is noise cast as the disruption of an ordered system, as you say. I don't think there's much of an underground for appreciators of nonsense text strings in the same way there is for auditory noise. To me at least lefjljfklwjfwkjhfwkhdojfdbg (I just smashed some keys on my keyboard at random to generate an example) doesn't quite hold the attention the same way a good noise release does. Part of that is pretty obviously because text is primarily a channel for information, in the... cybernetic\information theory sense. But sound-as-music doesn't have to act as a channel for information the way text does, it just has to kind of be there. The problem is, most people encounter "pure" textual noise like my little toy example, they (rightfully) tend to skip over it. So there's a problem of generalizing across modalities. How do you write a drone? You can maybe make a structural analogue to the "sound" of the drone (e.g. long sentences with little to no punctuation that just go on and on and...) but does this capture the nature of the drone itself? As I said, when I listen to noise and drone, I tend to get a kind of... pleasantly dissociative effect. It's less a "stepping into eternity" kind of thing and more of a "window shopping for eternity" kind of deal. That sort of dissociation is what I would like to capture with my own noise-inspired writing. I'm actually familiar with all the authors you mentioned, although Dennis Cooper I just heard of today a little while ago. I should take a look at his stuff.

Artaud is interesting, I remember getting into some of his sound poetry stuff when I was exploring some of that stuff, maybe I should take another look.
I don't think there's much of an audience for that either, unfortunately! More seriously, though, I think what you say is largely true/makes a lot of sense. There's a sense in which noise/sound is something that you can't "skip" in the same way that you can skim through a text or ignore an image.

Have you read anything by Alain Robbe-Grillet? That's the closest I have come to reading anything like what you describe at the end of your post, and I do think he comes close---at least in The Erasers (which is the only one I have read so far). His texts tend to loop in a very strange way, where passages rhyme rather than simply repeat---making them almost trance like, feeling equally driven by a beyond human necessity and a peculiarly limited level of very human subjectivity.

Dennis Cooper should be mandatory reading! Everything he has done is fantastic---aside from the George Miles Cycle, make sure to check out The Sluts and Gone!
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Re: Noise Visualizations

Post by noisecactus »

SS1535 wrote: Mon Feb 19, 2024 10:06 pm
noisecactus wrote: Mon Feb 19, 2024 1:49 pm
SS1535 wrote: Mon Feb 19, 2024 12:10 pm

That's really interesting! I have heard of some books that try to do things like that. It's not translated, but from what I understand about it after talking with people who have read it in German, is that there are sections of the book where the text literally fades or is (I think) scribbled out. Even the cover of the book is designed so that as it is read, the color of the printing will wear off over time, making the title and everything else just gradually disappear. https://theuntranslated.wordpress.com/2 ... ael-lentz/

When I think of "textual noise," I'm usually thinking in terms of "noise as disruption of an ordered system" (or noise in the abstrac), rather than noise as strictly a sonic phenomenon (i.e. onomatopeoeia), if that makes sense. So I am thinking of things like Burroughs' cut-ups, Celine's constant use of elipses, or even just random examples of decaying, unfinished, or note-form texts (like The Book of Disquiet, The 120 Days of Sodom, or egodic literature). I think a lot of stuff by Dennis Cooper also contains formal elements that fit with this idea (shifting between types of text, removal of context, strange, overarching structures, etc.).

The other obvious person here, I think, is Antonin Artaud, who did a bunch of bizarre sound poetry. I have a bunch of audio files of it, so if you (or anyone else) wants them, let me know!
So with regard to textual noise, I'm in agreement here. That is noise cast as the disruption of an ordered system, as you say. I don't think there's much of an underground for appreciators of nonsense text strings in the same way there is for auditory noise. To me at least lefjljfklwjfwkjhfwkhdojfdbg (I just smashed some keys on my keyboard at random to generate an example) doesn't quite hold the attention the same way a good noise release does. Part of that is pretty obviously because text is primarily a channel for information, in the... cybernetic\information theory sense. But sound-as-music doesn't have to act as a channel for information the way text does, it just has to kind of be there. The problem is, most people encounter "pure" textual noise like my little toy example, they (rightfully) tend to skip over it. So there's a problem of generalizing across modalities. How do you write a drone? You can maybe make a structural analogue to the "sound" of the drone (e.g. long sentences with little to no punctuation that just go on and on and...) but does this capture the nature of the drone itself? As I said, when I listen to noise and drone, I tend to get a kind of... pleasantly dissociative effect. It's less a "stepping into eternity" kind of thing and more of a "window shopping for eternity" kind of deal. That sort of dissociation is what I would like to capture with my own noise-inspired writing. I'm actually familiar with all the authors you mentioned, although Dennis Cooper I just heard of today a little while ago. I should take a look at his stuff.

Artaud is interesting, I remember getting into some of his sound poetry stuff when I was exploring some of that stuff, maybe I should take another look.
I don't think there's much of an audience for that either, unfortunately! More seriously, though, I think what you say is largely true/makes a lot of sense. There's a sense in which noise/sound is something that you can't "skip" in the same way that you can skim through a text or ignore an image.

Have you read anything by Alain Robbe-Grillet? That's the closest I have come to reading anything like what you describe at the end of your post, and I do think he comes close---at least in The Erasers (which is the only one I have read so far). His texts tend to loop in a very strange way, where passages rhyme rather than simply repeat---making them almost trance like, feeling equally driven by a beyond human necessity and a peculiarly limited level of very human subjectivity.

Dennis Cooper should be mandatory reading! Everything he has done is fantastic---aside from the George Miles Cycle, make sure to check out The Sluts and Gone!
I have not read anything by Alain Robbe-Grilllet, but turns out he's the writer of one of my favorite films of all time (Last Year at Marienbad) so I will be sure to check his stuff out, thanks!
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Re: Noise Visualizations

Post by SS1535 »

noisecactus wrote: Tue Feb 20, 2024 5:32 am
SS1535 wrote: Mon Feb 19, 2024 10:06 pm
noisecactus wrote: Mon Feb 19, 2024 1:49 pm

So with regard to textual noise, I'm in agreement here. That is noise cast as the disruption of an ordered system, as you say. I don't think there's much of an underground for appreciators of nonsense text strings in the same way there is for auditory noise. To me at least lefjljfklwjfwkjhfwkhdojfdbg (I just smashed some keys on my keyboard at random to generate an example) doesn't quite hold the attention the same way a good noise release does. Part of that is pretty obviously because text is primarily a channel for information, in the... cybernetic\information theory sense. But sound-as-music doesn't have to act as a channel for information the way text does, it just has to kind of be there. The problem is, most people encounter "pure" textual noise like my little toy example, they (rightfully) tend to skip over it. So there's a problem of generalizing across modalities. How do you write a drone? You can maybe make a structural analogue to the "sound" of the drone (e.g. long sentences with little to no punctuation that just go on and on and...) but does this capture the nature of the drone itself? As I said, when I listen to noise and drone, I tend to get a kind of... pleasantly dissociative effect. It's less a "stepping into eternity" kind of thing and more of a "window shopping for eternity" kind of deal. That sort of dissociation is what I would like to capture with my own noise-inspired writing. I'm actually familiar with all the authors you mentioned, although Dennis Cooper I just heard of today a little while ago. I should take a look at his stuff.

Artaud is interesting, I remember getting into some of his sound poetry stuff when I was exploring some of that stuff, maybe I should take another look.
I don't think there's much of an audience for that either, unfortunately! More seriously, though, I think what you say is largely true/makes a lot of sense. There's a sense in which noise/sound is something that you can't "skip" in the same way that you can skim through a text or ignore an image.

Have you read anything by Alain Robbe-Grillet? That's the closest I have come to reading anything like what you describe at the end of your post, and I do think he comes close---at least in The Erasers (which is the only one I have read so far). His texts tend to loop in a very strange way, where passages rhyme rather than simply repeat---making them almost trance like, feeling equally driven by a beyond human necessity and a peculiarly limited level of very human subjectivity.

Dennis Cooper should be mandatory reading! Everything he has done is fantastic---aside from the George Miles Cycle, make sure to check out The Sluts and Gone!
I have not read anything by Alain Robbe-Grilllet, but turns out he's the writer of one of my favorite films of all time (Last Year at Marienbad) so I will be sure to check his stuff out, thanks!
And his books come very close to that movie too, in terms of atmosphere and form!
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