Jim Taylor's Columns - 'Soft Edges' and 'Sharp Edges'

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29

Jul

2022

Birds and trees want to be appreciated

Author: Jim Taylor

Thursday July 21, 2022

 

One morning this last spring, I went out for my morning walk. Unexpectedly, bird song surrounded me. 

            “Where did all these birds come from?” I wondered. 

            Then I realized they had been there all along. I just hadn’t been able to hear them. Because I had new hearing aids that let me hear the higher frequencies of bird songs. 

            As time has passed, I’ve learned to recognize some characteristic songs. The American Robin’s cheer-up, cheer-up, cheer-up. The goldfinch’s ti-dee-dee-dee. The doves, always in pairs, making cooing sounds at each other. And, of course, the magpies, which are capable of imitating every other bird, but prefer to sound like nails on a blackboard. 

            They were all there before. I just couldn’t hear them.


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15

Feb

2017

Listening with your whole body

Author: Jim Taylor

Why would most of us rather attend a live concert than listen to a recording – even though the recording may be technically superior? Why do we go to hockey games, when we can see the puck better on TV?

            A deaf percussionist offers some answers.

            Dame Evelyn Glennie can hear next to nothing through her ears. But when she performs with an orchestra, she has to know when the trombones blare, when the violins sing. She says that she feels the vibrations. Through her bare feet. Through her skin. Through her internal organs. Different parts of her body resonate to different frequencies.

            "The whole body's like a huge ear," Glennie says. "It's as simple as that."


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2

Mar

2016

Whole body listening

Author: Jim Taylor
He was talking, but I couldn’t hear him for the light. 
That’s right -- for the light. A big window behind him turned him into a silhouette, a black cardboard cut-out. I could hear his voice, but I couldn’t see his mouth, his eyes, his face. And so I missed a lot of what he was saying.
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Categories: Soft Edges

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