Seconds Over Cents

room 1 ECHOES


This work of audio aims to critique the "rat race" facade present in a capitalist society. By sonically depicting the cyclical nature of life, I aim to emphasise the mundanity of the nature of life focused around chasing a paycheck. Through this, I aim to invite the listener to consider this criticism, and apply it into their own lives. In doing so, I hope to inspire listeners to enrich their lives with novelties outside of the rat race. The location chosen, is a secluded waterfront park with benches overlooking Parramatta River, as well as the Gladesville bridge. I felt this location resonated with the overall themes present in my audio.

The audio begins with the all-too-familiar sound of a clock ticking with an alarm and the subject turning it off. This is followed by the sounds of a typical daily routine - showering, eating, driving to work, working, driving home from work, and arriving home. The audio then reverses and then repeats. This process repeats progressively faster, as the bpm is automated to progressively increase. This creative decision aimed to further achieve the goal of depicting life as cyclical. The audio then cuts between morning and night ambience. Day and night. Beginning and end. These cuts are played with the sound of the alarm previously used over it. The alarm initially was used to depict the typical day in a life, however it now represents the sound of a heart monitor. The speed between the cuts peak and the alarm stop rhythmically beeping, and plays a single monotonal sound. The sound of a patient flatlining. The sound of death. I crafted this sound by duplicating a single beeping tone from my recording of an alarm clock, then increasing the attack to create a relatively seamless sound. The bell that plays after this represents the sound of a church bell at a funeral. I utilised rain as a form of pathetic fallacy to further emphasise this shift in tone. I used a stereo recording of rain, as well as a mono recording I captured, that caught the sound of rain drops hitting an umbrella. By using this sound on top of a stereo recording of rain, I maintained the width I was aiming for, while still adding to the dynamics of the ambient rain sound. I would even say it enhanced the stereo effect overall. This is also accompanied by a dramatic and melancholic piano melody. The recording of this melody initially contained far too much audio artefacts, but after reducing the volume, equalising out some of the mid range, and adding reverb, I found any artefacts were virtually unnoticeable. The melody fades out, as does the rain. The last few seconds contain the sound of a clock ticking. This was used at the start of the audio and at the end. Beginning and end. Life and death. Our time is limited. The heavy reverb used in this section of the audio was to create a sombre, introspective tone. I believe this effectively contributed to my creative aim.

In the grand scheme of things, the average lifespan is relatively as mathematically significant as the life I depicted in this four minute audio. A grim thought I know, but I'm not attempting to promote nihilism. I am, however, attempting to promote being uncomfortable being comfortable. Time is limited. I want listeners to use time as carefully as they would use money. After all, time is worth more than money. Seconds are worth more than cents.

Humans are routine-based creatures. It is extremely easy to get complacent once we are set in our ways. Whether that be how we live our lives, or what values we have. However, I am of the belief that life is enriched when complacency is nullified, and that void is filled with novelty and experiences.



The Echoes


Listeners are invited to sit down at Howley Park and look over the waterfront, as the audio plays. I…

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