Fri, 23 October 2020




Noise pollution, ecology of silence

Usually the image of noise is linked to work, one thinks of a hammering of sheet metal, ax blows, engines that hiss, traffic, howls of sirens ... Just thinking about it, you feel annoyed both in your sense of smell and in your hearing! But it is above all the "fun noise" that is irritating and harmful even if it is considered a source of delight and exaltation. Obviously I am referring to the decibels of the spits trumpeted by the cars in the race, emerging from the doors of ambiguous premises, from the windows of houses with televisions turned on day and night, from the vendors' stereos street vendors, from the hard rock cadences of discos and private clubs, etc. etc.

What are the consequences on the mind and human body of these cadences emitted relentlessly? The electroencephalogram shows slowing down of the rhythms, alterations of the electrical activity of the nerve cells, reduction of reflexes and memory, excitability and lack of adequate responses to contingent situations, even some forms of headache can be linked to acoustic trauma. Undergoing excessive noise leads to urinary and menstrual disorders, fertility and libido are also affected.

People who live or work in noisy environments are the most prone to phenomena such as hypertension or the sudden elevation of blood pressure, especially people at risk are affected by cardiovascular problems. In fact, some laboratory tests have shown that if subjected to a noise of 90 decibels for 10 minutes, patients have evident alterations in the electrocardiogram.

In short, excess noise is pure poison for humans!

The background noise to which we are exposed should not exceed 60 decibels but is a limit widely exceeded both in Italy and abroad. All this uproar as well as leading to the aforementioned ailments also has other uncomfortable consequences: the ear is not used to listening. In fact, noise pollution leads us to ignore (in the conscious level) those sounds that our hearing cannot bear, which is a kind of deafness or psychological distraction. Today to fight the hell of the "din" is opposed the simple decrease (soundproofing) of emissions but this is a purely negative approach.

Instead, we must ensure that studies on environmental acoustics have a positive value. What are the sounds we intend to privilege, preserve, multiply? To understand this, we must learn to choose the noise to be subjected to. We can begin by discriminating between voluntary listening to our favorite melody and the hammering of indirect music. This awareness will certainly not prevent us from listening to indirect music, which is often deceived in the most subtle forms such as when we go to the supermarket or listen to strange music on the internet or televisions (and if you like), but it will still allow us to get used to it detachment and discernment so as not to fall victim to advertising spellcasters.

In fact, the passive (ignorant) submission to indirect music is a source of cultural upheaval and change of customs (exactly what advertising wants ..). If we remain victims of this influence, music, which is the art closest to the spirit (being born precisely as a function of spiritual nourishment) and pride of our millenary tradition, ceases to be something born to "illuminate" the human mind, cheering our living, but it becomes a source of confusion and alienation from life (something so appreciated by Satan).

Today, in the society where everything is materialistic consumption and appropriation, even music is a commodity to be "enjoyed" without restraint to the point of nausea and negation of harmony. “The so-called civilized men have become fierce listeners but in reality they can no longer listen! They use sound as a stun drug, thus forgetting to enjoy the meaning and value of what is heard "(Walter Maioli, ethnomusicologist).

Even Aboriginal cultures are threatened by the ongoing musical massification, the sweet and deep music of the East, the Americas or Australia risks being irreparably contaminated by the vulgar wave of electronic and decadent sounds of consumerist western trash music. "It is true that different civilizations can grow through hybridizations and contacts, this has always happened in the past, but they should be able to continue to evolve without undergoing absolute and therefore unacceptable colonization" (Roman A. Vlad, musician).

Listening is not therefore a question of contrasting elaborate music, rich in symbolic meanings, with popular and primitive music ... rather, at various levels, to underline the profound and radical difference in purpose between a consumer product and works in which aesthetic research continues to be carried out.

And here we return to the problem of noise pollution ... (and not only in the cities, since it now reigns everywhere) to discover that while an ever wider public submits itself, more or less voluntarily, to consumer musical products, it imposes itself for Quality "listener" an excessive discriminatory effort and patience so as not to get involved and upset by the noise of mass diffusion.

It is necessary to avoid that the melodic ability, which made man dream for millennia and which is now an emotional component of his spiritual life, does not fall victim to musical "oilmen". The melody, which has silence as its basis, must not in fact succumb to a perverse and sordid era dazed by any noise. The inverse risk, I said above, is the unconscious habituation to the noise and the total loss of listening ability.

And I would now like to remind convalescents who are eager for melodious cures something we can do to recover love for natural sounds. When we go to the countryside, on a river bank, in any natural environment, we get used to the void, turn off any technological buzz, we don't talk, we let nature transmit its messages: the hum of a bee on flowers, the flicker of a sparrow's wing, a gust of wind among the leaves, the rustle of our footsteps on the path ... In this way we will feel a new harmony born within us, starting from the heart ...

Paolo D’Arpini


Date: 21 July 2020Author: Paolo D'Arpini
Credits Publisher: Paolo D'Arpini


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