Are we out of our minds? Just when you think awareness of the dangers of noise might be beginning to catch on, you get a New York Times review of a pop concert headlined “Finding Balance in Braying, Shattering, Crackling Electronics.” (Yes, The New York Times.)
In case you think that’s a rhetorical flourish, the critic Ben Ratliff gets specific in his review of the concert series, called Tinnitus, which concentrates on “composers of extreme sound” and “has some kind of relationship with volume and aggression.”
One group in the series, Container, emphasized “sampled drum sounds that punch right into your hearing and tons of feedback.”
Another, Vessel, “used bullying low-end blots, wild arcs of pitch-shifting and intricately flickering background layers, barely audible under the braying or shattering top lines.”
Are we completely oblivious of our hearing? I sure hope Container, Vessel, the audience and Ben Ratliff were all wearing noise-cancelling earplugs.