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Listening to art.
Playing with audio.
Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

Global Time Stamp of Listening

A small experiment at 2:15am, Pacific Time

20140905-globe

Despite the fairly geographically dispersed nature of my Twitter feed, it has its own evident cycles. Each day around 6pm in California, where I live, the feed quiets down, and when I wake in the morning, generally around 6am, not a whole lot appears to have transpired, despite the presence of plenty of Australians and Japanese, among others, in my mix.

Last night, to probe the dark hours, I set an automated tweet as a little experiment, to find out what people were hearing elsewhere. (I used the same IFTTT.com tool that auto-tweets for me the Tuesday noon civic warning siren here in San Francisco.) I wrote, just shy of 140 characters:

It’s 2:15am (this tweet’s automated). If you’re reading it, you’re likely not in the U.S. Please tweet back what you hear. #listening

The replies were gratifying, like transcriptions of recordings of utterly failed stake-out surveillance from around world.

Martin Dittus, whose account doesn’t list a location but whose desktop.de URL sports the German suffix, wrote:

@disquiet i hear a machine learning geek talking about L1 norms

Beth, who lives in Newcastle, in the U.K., wrote as follows. Her parenthetical — “(distant)” — serves as a nice summary of this entire little endeavor:

@disquiet Autechre, birds, plane (distant), voices (distant).

Darren Shaw, who lives in Rochdale, in the U.K., wrote:

@disquiet office chatter, computer fans, whine of HMI lights, phone notification beeps.

Nathan Thomas, who has a UK URL (afternoondust.co.uk), wrote:

@disquiet photocopier, keyboard clacking, an apple being bitten into, computer fans #officedrone

Inevitably, the middle of the night in the U.S. doesn’t entirely limit North American participation.

Chris Hutson of Peoria, Illinois, wrote:

@disquiet i’m an insomniac in the USA and i hear crickets and frogs

Lee Rosevere, who’s based in British Columbia, wrote:

@disquiet Simple Minds “Don’t you forget about me” playing in the studio.

Joshua Anderson, who lives in Buffalo, New York, and was up early, wrote:

@disquiet crickets, a fan, my wife moving a plastic bag

And Chicago-based Cinchel weighed in after the fact:

@disquiet i’m 3hrs late..but at 5am CST i was listening to cats running around my apt playing with a pen

I may do this again, either the same way, or with a different query and with a different time stamp.

(Globe photo by Kenneth Lu, thanks to flic.kr and Creative Commons.)

By Marc Weidenbaum

Tag: / Comments: 2 ]

2 Comments

  1. Matthew Dean
    [ Posted September 15, 2014, at 5:31 pm ]

    A Junto project Marc? A composition based upon your environmental sounds at a particular time stamp, or some variation thereof? Just a thought.

    • Marc Weidenbaum
      [ Posted September 16, 2014, at 5:44 pm ]

      Just seeing your note. Sorry for the reply delay. This is something. I need to think on it. It’s a very solid foundation.

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