Friday, July 15, 2011

Audio: Cymbalism

Summer sounds different than winter--wouldn't you agree? I think about the sounds of my neighborhood all the time right now, so it seemed fitting to record this poem, "Cymbalism." Everyone has their windows open, so when I walk by, I catch little noises that give me clues about what they are doing.

The sounds in this poem are based on real life sounds. The white dog down the street is real, too--I used to see him when I was driving home from work, right when I turned onto my street...he looked/looks so overwhelmingly to run into the grass. In my mind, I imagined him cheering, "Hey, the lawn! It's still here! HURRAY! And the street!! Right here!"

You can hear "Cymbalism" here.

I've been thinking about sounds, music, and silence a lot lately. What sounds have worked their way into your daily life and rituals? How about into your creative work?


  1. I enjoyed your reading, Hannah.

  2. I loved reading that poem when you first posted it and it's a pleasure hearing you read it. I can see the white dog bounding in the grass!

  3. How can I say that I love your poems more than I already have?

    I have a very delicate relationship with sound and so I find this poem especially fitted to me. Our cats love the sounds of home, meaning when we are both home doing things, appliances going, them comfort. I love the way their ears perk up to each sound.

    I love to have only pleasant sounds around me and alas this is not the case..not in our complex and not at work...


  4. can't escape musik sounds:
    pounding rap from cars going down my street: nice thing about winter is that decreases exponentially
    and every store i walk into has some kind of music usually "rock" or oldies lynrd skynrd in home depot yesterday
    what i like: listening to the birdies in the backyard, my kids playing outside
    that sound file is pretty cool

  5. In these parts Summer means community bands -- trumpets and drums practicing amid the birds and babies whirring and, in that immortal line from Joni Mitchell, "the hissing of Summer lawns." Composer Charles Ives from Danbury was forever chasing after the effect he once heard of one marching band coming and another leaving, mixed together in a wondrous dissonance. Talk about a chord like the smell of clementines! Summer is a wonderfully happy dissonance, tinged with the sadness that it only exists in that moment. Where, indeed, does all that happiness go?

  6. You've got a lovely reading style! I love your description of the dog, I can just see it!

    Sounds in my life - well I'm trying to catch as much birdsong as i can before the birds fall almost silent until next spring...

  7. Thanks for the comments, everyone! Birdsong and appliances and community bands, indeed...

    Bill, I love that Joni Mitchell song (it's so odd!).

    Thanks for dropping by, Yellowglovesandhotpeppers, and for commenting.

    The fluffy white dog says hello to you all.


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