15 October 2008

Audio schemata

While messaging with a sir a few weeks ago, I mentioned loud Isaac Hayes playing at the office driving me slightly nuts. He asked if my lax work environment ever gets to me because of this, because he needs 100% quiet to work. I actually prefer having sounds around when I'm working; I get restless and fidgety when there is complete silence.

Then I got to thinking about audio environments. I mentioned coffee shops as my favorite place to get work done. People milling around, turning pages, putting a mug down, popping the cash register drawer back in, tossing change into a jar, etc. Even though I live most of my life with music playing in some way (through headphones, through my piano, from my computer, and so on), my favorite work audio environment includes no music. I like it when the iPod has been forgotten at Naked and papers are shuffled around, people are talking and heels are walking across the hardwood floors.


Well, said sir brought up that there is a word in French – bruitage – referring to a collection of sounds that make a whole. Once again with the tiny explosions, one went off in my head. I asked my friend Alex (from Paris) about the word, and she said:
A person who does "bruitages" is a person who collects or create sounds and then integrate them in movies. For example, if you want to recreate the atmosphere of a restaurant... you would do bruitages with like voices, and sounds of glasses, forks etc
Audio schemata of a place. Isn't that brilliant? One of my favorite things in the world is when I learn a word in another language that stands for an entire thought or concept.

What is your favorite audio schema?
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