i do not have many friends who have heard of the noise genre. this does not stop me from subjecting them to noise music(?) whenever i get the chance. the other night a friend came over with his girlfriend. they are well aware of my eccentricities and my love of noise. i played some noise for them to get their reaction. the girlfriend gets on the phone immediately and leaves the room. my friend sat and listened and was actually thinking… something. that is all i am interested in.
bus stops and laundromats
i have left weird noise cassettes in all kinds of places. parking lots, grocery stores, paper boxes, tossed in open car windows, handed to people on the street, nearly anywhere people will likely pick it up. two favorites are bus stops and laundromats. people often have time to kill at these places and are more willing to investigate a mysterious object. also, many of the same people will have a personal stereo, used to be tape players, now a cd player is more common. the following observations were made at the bus stop on thirty-ninth and powell in PDX. tapes were homemade, with photocopied covers, nothing offensive but not normal either. there are four main classes of interactions i observed.
1. ignore-ants, these are usually old women who wont even acknowledge that there is something there, it might as well be a burger wrapper or other garbage
2. lookie no touchie, people are fascinated by the unknown, but being basically wussies, they will not pickup the object for fear that it is booby-trapped or they are on hidden camera, some paranoid people look around frantically to see if they are being watched, apparently anxious about the dubious state of ownership of the object, eventually some of these people take up a location removed from proximity to the scene, so as not to be identified wrongly with said object
3. not interested, these people will pickup and inspect the tape, they will often make amused or confused gestures, not able to fully understand or care what it is for, they will make inquiries of others nearby as to their knowledge of its purpose and ownership(this is where no. 2 will say ‘hey, it’s not mine, it was here when i got here’, absolving them of any perceived connection with the object), there are two main outcomes
A. the person, realizing it has some intrinsic value or not wanting to be seen taking it for whatever reason, will carefully place the tape back on the bench for the ‘next guy’
B. the person, being highly opinionated, will pass judgement and decide that the tape is not worthy of existence in our society and will destroy it(one was broken in half and spewed into the wind, another was boot stomped and left in the street for the bus to run over), i respect this person more than no. 1
4. the thrillseeker, picks up the tape, examines it, sometimes asking a fellow citizen about it, probably to avoid stealing someones stuff, then pockets it, i believe there are three main outcomes to this
A. the person listens and hates it, the tape is recorded over or otherwise destroyed
B. the person listens and hates it, but, knowing someone who might like it, they pass it on to a friend, or, in an act of perpetuating continuity, will return the tape to a public place
C. the person listens and is pleasantly surprised, decides to keep the tape
i am intrested in all reactions, but mainly i am going for numbers 2-4, at least the people were affected in some way and became engaged in their enviroment, they will remember the event for a period of time and, when in public places, will be looking a little more carefully into the cracks…