Sunday, July 17, 2011
Background noise a perfect ingredient
Background noise. It may be a favorite iTunes playlist, the topical stimulus of a cable television show, the rotations of an oscillating fan in constant motion, the purr of a kitten or slumbering cat, the home fountain mimicking a trickling brook or a cascading water fall, the hum or sizzle of a restaurant hive on a busy night, the air pressure stream of a CPAP machine, or maybe even the giggles of children playing in their room over a baby monitor . No matter the source we each have a tendency to fill air space with noise either on an intermittent basis or for an extended period of time. I happen to apply it when I write, cook, or drive. Don't get me wrong, silence cut by mother nature's hiccups (birds singing, insects clicking, frogs chirping, wind whipping, tidal lapping, rain falling) is also all right by me. A specific scallop dish from a 2003 edition of Dana Carpender's 15 Minute Low-Carb Recipes: Instant recipes for dinners, desserts & more comes to mind when I think about background noise as a simple ingredient lending to the creative process. That dish, Jalapeno Lime Scallops is described by Dana Carpender as "A sterling example of how a few perfect ingredients can combine to make something greater than the sum of the parts." I think about the act of "creating" in very much the same way, whether it's cooking in the kitchen or composing at my desk...my insertion of background noise is a necessary ingredient to designing and delivering the perfect moment, intermittently or long term.