Dream Sounds

May 3, 2012

For my Deep Listening exercise, I chose to address the idea of sound in dreams – sparked by Oliveros’ suggestion of “Dream Sharing” on page 4.  Instead of sharing with a partner, as instructed in the book, I kept a dream journal over the past few days to examine.  I expected to notice some sort of soundscape in my dream, whether it be insect sounds, bird sounds or even just the natural weather in the background of my mind’s creation – but so far as I can remember, the only sounds I could hear were the ones that were pertinent to my dream (which as dream logic is rather strange, caused these to be quite odd) or ones I actively noticed were missing, and seem to have inserted into my dream actively if I was dreaming lucidly. In cases where I was trying to remember a completed dream, I hardly had any memory of noticing sounds. Over the past few days, I’ve encountered indoors and outdoor environments in my dreams, but all were lacking in ambient noise – I found that I experienced much more focus in my dreams on color schemes and emotion than sound.  I’m not sure if this means that I am simply not attuned to listening for sounds in my dreams, if dream sounds don’t exist for me because I don’t notice many soundscapes in my waking life and thus do not produce them subconsciously, or if I am not remembering sounds I hear in my dreams after having awoken.  I am inclined to think that I am not noticing sounds in the real world, and thus when I create a dream world do not insert these elements of reality into fiction.  Uexhull writes about how a stimulus – in this case a sound – must be noticed by the subject in order for it to exist in their umwelt.  Essentially, only sounds that are noticed are deemed relevant and analyzed by the subject for a part of their perceived world.  And since the dream world is dependent at least in part on this real world, if there is a lack of noticed sound material for the subconscious to draw on, then the dream world will be sparsely populated with sounds. Especially after taking this class, I thought I was fairly in touch with the sound aspect of our world, however my own subconscious seems to indicate that I don’t notice nearly enough of the sounds that surround me in my every day life.


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