The breath of sound


Rony Shapira

Writing about my project and research

The sound of my brother laughing intrigued me because for such a seemingly familiar sound, it had secret connotations in it.

The breathing between each burst of laughter was what interested me the most because to me it had hidden in it the most layers of meaning. The breathing had emotional, structural and dynamic connotations. When I listened to the sound it reminded me of expansion and contraction, of bursting and dragging. I chose to analyze the recurring movement described in the sound.

I simulated my brother’s body movements as he was laughing by tracing the back and forth motion with a flashlight and making a video. I divided the video into frames which displayed every change that occurred in the motion.

The physical experiment I did with the flashlight created a virtual world of possibilities because no movement was exactly alike the one before. The movements appeared and then passed. Although the movement itself disappeared after it happened, traces or “imprints” remained throughout the sequence.

The traces are the remainder of what happened. Through them I could see the effects of the motion which passed as time passed; the effects of something that I couldn’t physically hold on to.

In order to discover the layers and depth of the movement, I traced the frames and made them into a pattern and then layered the patterns to analyze how the movement changed over a span of time.

I looked for a similar phenomenon at the Namir Bridge, and chose to focus on a gap that exists in the bridge. What interested me about this site is that the movement of the cars created shadows which penetrated the gap and changed the lighting under the bridge. This phenomenon reminded me of the expanding and contracting motion of the breathing in my sound. The shadows that penetrated the space represented the traces of the cars passing by.

After analyzing the movements of the shadows by tracing the patterns they created, I created an animation of this phenomenon in order to express how it occurred over time. I focused on the patterns of the shadows as static traces of a motion that is dynamic, occurs over time, and cannot be grasped. The traces created a new environment; a new space in the bridge that relates to an occurrence that already happened, yet creates something new.

Terms to consider:


sound> the way we perceive sound is virtual, mental

motion> motion creates sound, sound describes motion

time> holds infinite possibilities, cannot be held on to physically, cannot be physically quantified

Motion occurs along a span of time. As time cannot be held on to, so motion cannot be grasped.

> an occurrence that can be conceived of mentally. An occurrence that disappears and cannot be held on to, cannot be grasped exactly

Physical: Traces, imprints, footprints, effects

>resulting from something, caused by something                        >static, can be perceived physically, not just mentally   >remaining, part of the landscape


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