Ambient Murmuring

“Last autumn, the BBC began broadcasting recordings of murmurs and conversation noises destined for the offices at the big end of town where employees complain about the reigning deathly silence. ‘We’re trying to get a background of ambient sound,’ explains a spokesman for the British station. ‘These offices are so quiet that the slightest noise, such as the phone ringing, disturbs people’s concentration which, of course, can lead to stuff-ups.’ Following the muzak that is piped through shops and supermarkets, let’s hear it for AMBIENT MURMURING, the voice of the voiceless! After the promotion of domestic consumerism via the euphoria of radiophony, it is now production that finds itself beefed up with a sound backdrop designed to improve office life…”

– Paul Virilio, Art and Fear


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