An audible “reset.” We have all experienced it at one time or another. Take our experiences in NYC for example. The city is loud. The throngs of chatty pedestrians, the roaring traffic and even the Mr. Softee truck loudly idling. Our brains are in full throttle consuming and processing all these sound waves whether we are aware of them or not. But you round a corner or step into a building and you are equally engulfed by silence. Or is it silence? Your ears are tingling and every hushed conversation or shuffling of feet rings in your ears. What is that? Is your brain still functioning on overdrive to accommodate all the sounds that attacked you just moments ago?
The goal of “Reset” is to intentionally calibrate your brain to function in a high-noise environment and abruptly return you to your setting but with different ears and a new awareness.
The setup is really easy … but you may annoy your neighbors for a few moments. Go ahead and find yourself a power strip and some noisy appliances. They don’t all have to be the exceptionally loud type but it is important that they have a on/off state. While unplugged we want to make sure they are placed on the “on” state.
Got everything? Ok, so lets make some noise.
1.) Take a moment — 1 minute — and sit in silence and observe your surroundings.
2.) Take another minute and make note of what you hear.
3.) With your power strip in the “off” position begin plugging your appliances in. Make sure all of your selected appliances are in the “on” position.
4.) With everything plugged in turn the power strip on.
5.) Listen for 5 minutes. Yeah, seems like a long time but you really want it to sink in and get your brain working hard to process the sounds. Ignore your neighbors banging on the wall.
6.) Turn the power strip off.
7.) Take a minute — or longer — to write what you hear now. Is it different? do things stand out more. Is something there that you didn’t hear before.? Why do you think it is different?
Notation and video
“Reset” is an extension of our earlier assignment to create a notation of our sounds piece. The concept and idea for the experiment came before the notation so that is what you are seeing here. An instruction manual on how to “perform” the experiment. Unless I can come up with some other way of creating a notation for “Reset” it will more than likely be read as instructions very similar to what I have shown above … but aren’t instructions and notation one and the same? Anyway, I am going to give it a shot and post the notation along with a video of someone performing “Reset” along with their written response.