John Cage exclaimed that he was ''not interested in the relationships between sounds and mushrooms” at least no more than "between sounds and other sounds.’’ Nevertheless, for Cage, the way mushrooms grew haphazardly represented a type of disordered freedom from determination and meaning. However if we think about Paul Carter’s idea of "echoic mimicry” as applied to cross-cultural encounters and macaronics, the apparent haphazard spawning patterns of mushroom are in someways similar to the dynamic auditory topography and morphology of these encounters. That is sound can act like spawn across culturally isolated linguistic groups in mycelium thread-like collections of phonemes, that can suddenly give rise to a radiating mushrooming of sonic mis-interputations and even a new babel language of encounter. Try it yourself, have a conversation with someone who does not speak any language you can understand. While doing this try listening to yourself to monitor if or how your speech is adapting throughout this encounter to form a kind of analogue of the other person’s language. If you notice that you have started to vocally adjust in this way or even started to make up new words then the sonic spawn is starting to grow in the substrate of the union!
I have also made recordings of picking small mushrooms in the arctic circle in Sweden. You can hear this sound on the first track on my "Soundprints: Sealed In Sweden” album (see below link). Listen out for the small popping sounds ...
#soundwalk #colinblack #soundculture #doctorblacksoundwalks