Junto Project 0283: Rooms Within Rooms [repost]

Someone suggested that Suss Müsik repost our contributions to the weekly Disquiet Junto projects, because they enjoy reading the explanations of the tracks. While you’re reading the original post, make sure you check out the other contributors’ works as well.

One of the most famous quotes by the existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre is “Hell is other people.” That sentence concludes his play Huis Clos, written in 1943, in which three characters arrive in a room they believe to be Hell. The paradox is that in order to prove one’s existence, each character must transform the others into objects.

Rooms often take on the ambience of those who inhabit them. Sartre describes shame as an acknowledgement that we see ourselves as the objects that other people imagine us to be. “My original sin is the existence of the other,” he wrote. Rooms contain objects that dampen or accentuate sound, but then again people can serve the same auditory function. Screaming in a crowded room is a very different sonic experience than, say, screaming at the bathroom mirror by yourself. You’ll have to trust that Suss Müsik has deep knowledge of both these conditions.

For this piece, Suss Müsik recorded the following: (A) an empty room in the Northeast US; (B) a large hall in Canada where people came in and out; and (C) a very crowded lobby in Texas. Each room had various sonic properties that dictated their ambience, both human and machine. The pieces were sliced and arranged with no manipulation, other than a bit of EQ and panning to push the dynamic range a bit.

The piece is titled Koinoniphobia, named after the fear of rooms full of people. The image was taken at the Antoni Gaudí House in Barcelona.

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