Gabi Schaffner

Entry #2

01.12.2015

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Staying at Bogong Village, you get the currents into your blood. The current of the East Kiewa river, a white noise permeating the air. The wind in the trees is a current too. And there is electricity everywhere.

Today and three days before we visited the McKay Power Station. Huge transformers hum in cages of wire, copper spirals reach up into the air, an invisible field of energy envelops the place. The drone sounds like an organ tuned a multiple-layered standing note. As you walk past it permeates your ears but it also invades your body. Walking there, up and down… synapses start to tingle.

The other day I spoke to an old lady about her child-hood memories of growing up in the village. I heard her voice floating in the humming. I heard the birds in the trees too. I heard my feet shuffling on the gravel strewn upon the poorly paved road. Scraps of the interview floated through my head, and detached moments surfaced like islands in Technicolor. Storylines formed as I listened to the hum whilst still walking. Each time you come to the end of the line, the sounds of the surrounding forest merge with the frequencies.

Most people don’t know about the music of frequencies. They think this is boring. A single note, or more, a cluster of tones, very close, a pack, a stack of intense sounds, vibrating. The funny thing is, as you start to listen closely, other sounds appear behind it. Like when you stand behind a waterfall and can only vaguely perceive the green world behind it. Frequencies are a veil of noise, white, pink, brown, blue. I think of this old story of the painter’s contest, when the winner declared was the one who’d be able to paint the veil covering the picture not the subject it self as a living image.

I cannot say whether there really are other sounds behind the veil of the frequency sound… I know what I have heard: children’s laughter, violins, lover’s talk, an animal in flight, and voice in my head started to make up stories.