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Author Archives: Dilora Kabilova

Blog Post #6

New York-The sounds of a city in lockdown

The sounds of New York City are usually loud and honking. But with commerce and regular life virtually shut down amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the city that ne…

On January 13, 2020, I gave birth to my fourth child. That day, I heard the first sounds of my daughter crying and I was very happy. In those moments, I had no idea that 2020 would be the most difficult year for me, my family and for many people on our planet. Exactly two months later, we were forced to isolate due to the coronavirus pandemic and the streets of New York became empty. I would like to share with you a short video “New York-The sounds of a city in lockdown” sourced from the China Global Television Network (“CGTN”) YouTube channel. During the moments of self-isolation, I did not have the opportunity to see and hear New York such calm and unhurried as it was in the first days of quarantine. According to Krukowski’s podcast in Noise and Signal, the author explains the concepts of noise and signals. Three months ago, New York was quiet, just rare signals through the noiseless city of ambulances passing by, birdsong, a lonely street musician playing alone, the rattling of chains on the fences of city playgrounds and daily evening applause for the first responders. For New York, these were silent but mournful days. Hopefully, in the near future, we will be able again to fully hear the noisy, hasty and lovely New York. As Ella Fitzgerald sings in the song “Manhattan”, “We’ll turn Manhattan into an isle of joy.”

Manhattan

Provided to YouTube by Universal Music Group Manhattan · Ella Fitzgerald Essential Ella ℗ 1956 UMG Recordings, Inc. Released on: 1994-10-01 Producer: Norman …

Discussion Questions #7

Discussion questions for episodes 5 & 6

Episode 5

1. According to Krukowski, powerful decide which music gets to the top and which is rejected. In this statement, Krukowski means by influential music corporations decide which music might be a trend. The rest, as Krukowski says “the marginal-the rejected-the repressed,” end up in dollar baskets or disappeared at all. Nowadays, there are a lot of different music platforms that include a huge number of musical works. However, it is impossible to listen to them all at once. Thus, we choose music according to personal preferences or the one that may be popular. At the same time, promoting songs to the music charts is a power of money, since the music world is just a business. Unfortunately, other music projects rejecting due to lack of demand. However, sometimes happening that the music went underground because of the anarchic spirit of the lyrics. In those cases, it is called alternative art. This happens because of the resonant situation in the internal politics of a country.

2. Music distributor Forced Exposure offers over 50,000 pieces of music. Moreover, they write a detailed description of the proposed music album; indicating the direction of the music, the release date of the album and describe the content of the songs since they listen to each release. While the Spotify corporation uses an algorithm to calculate the listener’s musical preferences and play the recordings. The main purpose of Spotify is to let the listener hear the music that they are most likely to enjoy. However, Forced Exposure surprises with its variety in which you need to dig a little to find something new and completely different from the usual.

3. The difference between being “surprising” and “discovering” music is significant. For example, for Krukowski, discovering was the Ghost album he found in the Forced Exposure catalogue. This was not a surprise, but it was a discovering, as Krukowski heard amazing sounds that he had not heard before. At the same time, surprising is something unpredictable, something that may not meet our expectations. According to Krukowski, these concepts are important to corporations such as Facebook, Google, or Spotify because their main goal is to attract and engage more and more users around the world.

Episode 6

1. According to Krukowski, noise is all the sounds we hear, these sounds surround us. While the signal is a specific sound that we are trying to pick up with the neurons of our ears. Accordingly, capturing the signal, all other sounds are converted into noise.

2. The main idea of ​​this episode is the effect of the transition of noise and sound signals from analog to digital. According to Krukowski, analog sound is always accompanied by noise from which there is no escape. However, in digital sound, noise and signals are adjustable. Accordingly, it is possible to highlight or minimize this or that noise or signal. This ability to adjust noise and signals are very important in the present world as it allows us to find our sound and space.

3. The Signal & Noise episode can be the general as it covers up the main theme of the “Ways of Hearing” podcast. This podcast originally touches on the subject the sounds of analogue time and digital time. These differences are revealed precisely in the sixth episode where Krukowski explains the concept of noise and signal. As a true musician and writer, Krukowski extraordinarily connected the two genres and created an incredible and amazing podcast about the influence and differences between analog and digital time and their sounds.

Blog Post #5

[4k, 60 fps] A Trip Through New York City in 1911

Upscaled with neural networks 1911 New York footage taken by the Swedish company Svenska Biografteatern on a trip to America: 💌 You can reach me here: https:…

Our present and future is the time of digital technology. However, with the help of these technologies, we have the opportunity to see the past. For example, the presented video demonstrates an example of how analog video, having survived a century, comes to life in digital format. Initially, this 1911 New York video was filmed by the Swedish company Svenska Biografteatern and was shot three days before the outbreak of World War I. The video shows the routine life of New York which has not changed even a century later. This old video has been digitally processed; video frequency was slowed down and city sounds added. These sounds influence the perception of the viewer helping to see and feel exactly that day. In this retrospective video, the sounds are guidelines, catch attention, and orient the viewer in space. Therefore, the transformation of historical analog films using digital instruments helps to see things familiar to the eye from a different angle.

Discussion questions #6

Episode 3

According to Krukowski, what are the main differences between a microphone and a cellphone and why is this difference important?

According to Krukowski, the sounds of a human voice alter significantly when passing through devices such as a microphone and telephone. The microphone reflects the noise of the human voice quite brightly, conveys breathing, the tone of the voice, and creates the effect of proximity. For instance, how Frank Sinatra, Roman Mars, or Barry White discovered and improved their microphone techniques. Leaning closer to the microphone it like leaning closer to the listeners. On the other hand, the noise of a human voice penetrating through the microphone of a cellphone partially loses all variety of voice sounds. No matter how close we hold the cellphone, this will not improve the sound quality in general. Since the cellphone’s microphone is not capable of transmitting the whole gamut of sounds, unlike the microphone. Thus, the microphone can reflect voice emotions, and the phone only transmits sound information without tonality.

What do Krukowski and Gary Tomlinson, the professor he interviews, assert about the “musical” qualities of the voice and how are these changed by digital transmission?

Digital processing of the human voice allows us to send our voice over vast distances, but non-verbal voice quality is lost in digital coding. The quality of digital voice transmission leaves much to be desired since from time to time there are interruptions in the signal transmission network itself. Even if digital communication works without interruption, digital voice processing cuts the sound to the minimum that is necessary only for recognizing words, missing the melody of the voice.

What is the significance of Krukowski’s comments on the voice to ideas about community and interpersonal connection?

Krukowski states that digital communications are losing the emotional component of human communication. This is the part of the human voice that is used without language; during communication, we gesticulate, demonstrate various emotions, and non-verbal signals of our body.

Episode 4

Krukowski begins by discussing the issue of music file sharing. What is your opinion of this issue? Should music be freely available or should one have to pay?

Many musicians at different times suffered from illegal bootlegged copying and sales of their work. Thereby, was violated the rights of the label, groups, singers, and songwriters. Currently, people have begun to appreciate the work of musicians and buy songs through popular musical resources. Firstly, people began to understand that illegal copies differ in quality from the original, and secondly, listeners have become understanding the huge work of the singers and the team. I am convinced that music should have a price tag since creating a song and album takes a lot of effort and money. Creating art is also labour, and like any labour should be paid.

How does this episode represent the relationships between music, community, and culture?

Music has the property of conveying to people the thoughts and feelings of the composer. With the help of sounds, the composer describes what is happening around him. Thus, the sounds of music and lyrics affect and reflect on the listeners. Society and culture also affect the sound of music and the content of lyrics.

Does charging money for music impede the formation of communities around this music or does it help support the circulation of music?

Financial support is needed when creating and promoting a piece of music. Given the fact that the market is full of various music and songs, each musician needs his audience. In this case, the power of money comes in. Even if the singer sings for free for the audience, such a musician will be quickly forgotten. The truth is, what goes for free is forgotten very quickly, but we always remember how much and what we paid for. It may sound mercantile, but musical art is a business that requires reasonable investments and subsequent profit from selling songs and musical performances.

Blog Posts 4

The Beatles – We Can Work it Out

The Beatles 1 Video Collection is Out Now. Get your copy here: http://thebeatles1.lnk.to/DeluxeBluRay “In We Can Work It Out, Paul did the first half, I did …

My father has been a fan of “The Beatles” band since his youth. All my childhood was filled with songs of this legendary four. Each time, the sounds of the Beatles songs take me deep into childhood when my father and I listened to these songs on vinyl players and reel players every day. Over time, these songs began to sound from my father’s cassette player when he drove me to school. Gradually, this habit of listening to the Beatles’ songs grew into a love of this group. In present, listening to these songs in my car or through the headphones creates my personal hidden space in which I can disconnect from the real world full of problems and obligations. The familiar sounds of the Beatles songs like a cozy blanket cover me with memories and return me to a carefree childhood. Certainly, sounds pleasant to our hearing help us create some kind of hidden space for thought and creates a romantic and slightly utopian world. On the other hand, this is a shelter created by ourselves in which we can, with the help of sounds, be inspired and gain experience.

Discussion Questions #5

Time and progress do not standstill. As progress grows, the perception of time also changes. According to Damon Krukowski’s podcast “Ways of Hearing,” the author notes that the digital era has replaced the analog one, changing our perception of the world. Krukowski argues that analog experience exists in real-time since it is not possible to scroll back or delete and try again. In other words, analog time is the time of real feelings without a filter. The digital experience differs significantly from analog in that digital time can be controlled, corrected or embellished. Digital time is like a mechanical existence with a specific time code. Krukowski notes the differences between analog and digital time, citing the fact that analog time is faster than digital. For example, in 2009, the announcer of Red Sox, Joe Castiglione led a live broadcast of a baseball game. Castiglione’s speech was ahead of the image on the TV. This was explained by the fact that on that day, analogue television switched to digital. The video image was delayed because it took a little longer to convert the digital video.

When we walk along the bustling streets of a metropolis, different sounds attack us from all sides; sound signals of rescue services, performances of street musicians, or enthusiastic cries of passers-by. We hear the breath of the streets; we hear the heartbeat of the city. For New Yorkers, such sound waves are comparable to the usual noise of rain in inclement weather. However, it is worth putting on the headphones and switching to the phone screen, we cease to exist and participate in this world of sounds.

According to Jeremiah Moss on the streets of New York, people are increasingly losing historical public places that served completely different purposes. Moss says that these places were stealth took away from people, explaining that certain various rules and prohibitions were established in these places. Being once public spaces where people could trade, meet, communicate or just speak, a variety of prohibitions and rules turned these places into private spaces.

The streets of big cities have always been bustling, and sometimes it was even difficult to hear their thoughts. According to the statements of Emily Thomson, people had a desire to control the internal space, and this led to the emergence of Concert halls with noise-insulating walls helping to block the external noise vibrations of the streets. Due to the architectural solution, the audience could fully enjoy the sounds of various performances. With the advancement of technology, this privilege has become portable. Headphones and then earbuds helped people isolate themselves from the noisy world and enjoy the various sounds in a controlled space with these devices.

Hearing helps us to navigate in space, hear sounds and understand the world around us. However, sometimes residents of big cities overwhelmed of the daily vibrations of the metropolis and find various internal spaces. These spaces can hide in concert halls with noise-insulating walls or when putting on headphones we stop hearing sounds outside our space. These features allow us to disconnect from the flow of real-time, transferring us to a completely different world filled with calm, thoughts and sounds of the inner space.

Discussion Questions #4

1. The general concept of advertising is such that advertising produces glamour. Glamour, in turn, the happiness of being an object of envy. Thus, advertising is the opportunity for everyone to freely choose to change themselves or their lives by buying the advertised product. Nevertheless, advertising is an engine of economic progress that works for the consumer and the manufacturer, awakening the consumer’s desire to purchase the advertised product and at the same time satisfying the manufacturer. Further, the manufacturer is enriched by advertising and has a beneficial effect on the country’s economy, increasing the standard of living of the consumer and producer. Therefore, this cycle is very important for the development of the capitalist state.

2. According to Berger, advertising uses the same language as painting. However, advertising and painting have some differences among themselves. For example, advertising offers the buyer to improve their lives by buying the advertised product, while the painting does not advertise anything since it is in itself a private property. More significant differences are that oil painting belonged to those who profit from the market. However, advertising appeals to those who represent the market, i.e. viewer buyer. Oil painting as art has always been a sign of wealth and prestige while being a cultural authority in life and in advertising. Thus, painting is very useful for advertising as it demonstrates wealth and spirituality to the buyer, and stimulates the buyer to purchase a dream.

3. Everyone has different dreams. Someone dreams of an expensive car; someone wants to buy an evening dress. However, advertising does not realise these dreams, advertising only stimulates buyers to feel dissatisfaction with their existence and wish to acquire their dream in order to improve their lives. Berger mentions the dream of skin. Advertising speaks to the viewer about a future that may not come. Additionally, advertising depends on the visual language of an oil painting. Sexual poses in advertising only to attract attention and enhance the glamour of the image. Thus, images in a dream about skin show the viewer gestures, poses, and naked physical forms of men and women convey to the viewers the sensation that they can touch the image. Special sexual emphasis on the legs gives mystery to the image, allowing the buyers to imagine themselves in place of the model or near. Moreover, advertising allows the buyer to make a free choice of what to wear, what to ride, where to relax, and how to look.

Blog Post #3

  1. Briefly answer these questions from Chapter 2 Prewriting in English Composition: Connect, Collaborate, Communicate:
  • Is the purpose of the essay to educate, announce, entertain, or persuade? – It is important to identify the purpose of the essay. Thus essay can educate, announce, persuade or entertain.
  • Who might be interested in the topic of the essay? – The essay could be interesting to the students, peers, mentors or professor.
  • Who would be impacted by the essay or the information within it? – When the writer identifies the audience, based on that essay might impact on the campus, neighbourhood or wider world.
  • What does the reader know about this topic? – Writer share with own points of view regards the discussed topic.
  • What does the reader need to know in order to understand the essay’s points? – The reader needs to know how to identify the thesis of the essay.
  • What kind of hook is necessary to engage the readers and their interest? – In order to hook the reader, the writer should use unusual imaginary and hide a piece of information. For instance, It might be a philosophical statement.
  • What level of language is required? Words that are too subject-specific may make the writing difficult to grasp for readers unfamiliar with the topic. – The required level of language depends on the audience of the essay, the purpose of the essay and topic of the essay.
  • What is an appropriate tone for the topic? A humorous tone that is suitable for an autobiographical, narrative essay may not work for a more serious, persuasive essay. – The tone in the essay is determined by the attitude of the writer to the topic. For example, a formal tone is used in a business letter, but a narrative essay allows the writer to relax and can make a little joke with the reader.

 

  1. Write a draft of your opening paragraph based on Chapter 2 Opening Paragraphs from English Composition: Connect, Collaborate, Communicate

For a true author, writing is a way to avoid oblivion. The ability to express our thoughts beautifully and competently is a useful skill for a modern person. In addition, this skill can help in career growth and business relationships. However, when creating verbal works, we need to understand what we are writing about, what tools to use, how important and relevant they are, and most importantly, the goal is why we do this. Thus, the ability to write is a complex skill, consisting of various knowledge and skills using which we strive to create a masterpiece.

John Berger, “Ways of Seeing” #II

Women were a constant recurring plot in European oil painting. Adam and Eve were the first nudes. Their nakedness represented shame. Over time, these conventions have changed and nakedness of Adam and Eve transformed into a kind of game with the audience. According to Berger, nakedness and nude are completely different concepts. To be naked means to be yourself, without any mask. At the same time, nude is to expose oneself to the viewer, i.e. permission to see yourself naked. I had my own experience working with nude, but not as a model, but as a painter. I was a student at the University of Architecture in my hometown. After graduation, I professionally worked as a photographer. In both cases, I had to work with nudity. At the university, we often painted the naked bodies of antique statues. However, later working as a photographer I often received orders for a nude-style photo session.

 

From the time of Adam and Eve, a woman was punished and subjugated to a man, and a man became a representative of God. Men and women in the works of European art had different positions. A man took the place of the beholder, being an artist or owner of a nude painting. However, the woman was an object that the man was looking at, in other words, the woman was a sight to behold. Currently, the roles of women and men are rapidly changing, equalizing the positions of both sexes in society. European works of art are simply a reminder to women that they are no longer just a thing in the eyes of men. At the same time, women understand the power of their charm and beauty.

 

Another equally important subject that is present in the works of European art is a mirror. According to Berger, a mirror in oil painting is a kind of approval of a woman to see her naked. Berger also says that the mirror in the hands of women was most often symbolized as female vanity. However, the author himself considers this hypocrisy by the artist: the artist first gives the woman a mirror and then accuses her of vanity. Berger also notes the look of naked women on the canvases of European art. He claims that women look with charm as if they are looking at a man who possesses her. In modern art, nakedness has become less important. However, women are still portrayed in order to flatter the man to the viewer.

Self-Portrait, “Ways of Seeing”

Since March of the current year, people have been forced to isolate themselves from each other due to the coronavirus pandemic. During this tough period, many try to maintain communication with the outside world through social networks. People created many different challenges while staying at home in order to entertain themselves and others. I would like to mention about “self-portrait” challenge. The idea is to choose any famous artwork and recreate the picture using improvised objects from home.

These works are a kind of parody of the original works. First of all, the participants of the challenge tried to convey the main details of the portraits, introducing a little of their own elements into them. However, if you look at these parodies without the original picture, we see a regular photo portrait. For example, look at the portrait of a young woman who was trying to reproduce a self-portrait of Van Gogh. This portrait alone does not catch our attention, but if you see the original self-portrait of Van Gogh and a parody of this picture in one place, you can see some similarities between these images. Turning to the video of John Berger in Episode #1 “Ways of Seeing”, I agree that this is a kind of manipulation of our vision, putting the original artwork and reproductions together. Due to this, they interact and reflects with each other.    

After spending some time on the Internet, I was also attracted by a selection of amusing parodies of another Van Gogh self-portrait painted in September 1889. As the Berger said, through artwork we can see, feel and hear the spirit of the time in which this work was created. Of course, these meme images are also changed in such a way as to convey the spirit of the times. At the same time, looking at these pictures, I understand that only the content of the picture has been changed, but the essence remains the same. Namely, this is a static portrait of a person, reflecting the experienced emotions of the artist when creating this work.