emgeetrek: (Default)
[personal profile] emgeetrek
 I'm starting to think that I may be abnormally sensitive to sound.  

Just now, through the (closed) window of my home office, someone was beeping his car horn.  Probably picking someone up, and he only beeped 5 or 6 times--very short, polite beeps at that--but I was really irritated (in a physical sense).  

Idling cars bother me.  The thrumming of the bass on someone's car stereo (or, worse, through my townhouse walls from a neighbor's television or stereo) can make me crazy.  Car alarms, ditto.  Loud conversations are annoying, even when they're being filtered through closed windows.  Children screaming at play on the lawn outside my living room sliders--ouch, ouch ouch.

Banging or thudding sounds are the worst.  The day that they lay the new carpet in the recently vacated, being-renovated townhouse next door, I probably will have to vacate because the sound of the machine they use to fasten down the carpet will make me want to claw out my eyes.

Although I almost always generate some sort of sound in my own living space, either through the television (which is on a lot), or playing music, I keep the volume quite low; I play music at very moderate levels--even music that I love.  If the volume is too loud, I feel it as a physical assault.

Last week, at a conference, one of the attendees had brought her child to one of the workshop sessions.  This lovely little boy, less than a year old, was extremely well behaved.  It wasn't his fault that he developed the hiccups, and hiccupped steadily for 45 minutes.  It was like Chinese water torture for me.  No way I could ignore it, but it would have been rude to move to another part of the room, and I'm not sure it would have done me much good to move because the room had extremely good acoustics.

At the same time, I love a good thunderstorm--the louder, the better.  The sound of rain on the roof is pleasing.  Birdsong is a delight. (Well, not so much in early spring, before I've gotten used to it, when they start chirping at 3:30 AM and wake me up.)  And my tolerance for loud music is much increased if I'm actually involved in making the music.  But when I'm looking for silence, it's a profound silence that I want.  The hush that accompanies a heavy snowfall is one of the greatest silences ever.

I wonder if my sensitivity arises from the fact that I'm a musician.  Or am I a musician because I'm more clued in to sounds than many folks?   Hmmm . . .


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