"Snow Silences Everything"
Reddish Vale 12/12/17 Alison Kershaw
A local lady I spoke to on Sunday evening said she was going ski-ing, to the mountains, During our conversation she said "snow silences everything", which got me thinking...
Cold constricts and slows down movement. This is true within the body as described by Traditional Chinese Medicine and it also seems to be true in our land too. The last few days have seen reduced movement of people across the country, people staying home unless they have to go out. Less traffic, some places are snowed in, schools are shut, community events and activities cancelled (including our own).
In the Chinese Farming Calendar, we are now in Big Snow (starting 7th December for two weeks).
This ancient calendar breaks up the year into 24 distinct 'festivals' which describe seasonal and farming events. It is always interesting to note how our weather does or doesn't correspond with this calendar. But both Little Snow and Big Snow this year have corresponded perfectly.
So, how does the snow affect our acoustic environment? Rachel Shore's (well-being tutor from Back-on-Track) observation in Angel Meadows was that everything that makes sound moves. And conversely: things that don't move don't make sound. If the cold slows us down, then we make less noise. Furthermore, snow itself is an accoustic dampener. The surface of snow is soft, so sound does not reflect harshly off of it.
A friend of St Luke's Art Project Amanda Belantara made this beautiful film in 2011 about a small town in Japan called Aomori where it snows for many months every year. Amanda uses images and sound to narrate the 'ephemeral yet recurring movements of human life and nature'. I can't recommend this film enough. But this is not a film to watch at your desk on your computer, take some time out, find a large screen TV, maybe pour a glass of warm Saki, or some toasted rice green tea, this is more of a meditation than entertainment and deserves to be watched with the same concentration and spirit with which it was made. Thank you Amanda,
Reddish Vale II 12/12/17 Alison Kershaw