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Sweet nothings.

We hope this edition of Gippslandia has you pricking your ears up too.

Mar 25, 2022

Words: Tim Leeson
Images: Casey Lee

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Gippslandia #22 has been a pretty fun edition to create as it’s had us pricking up our ears to catch sounds that we often ignore. It also features some new contributors to the Gippslandia party.

Through this issue, we’ve received insights from gentlemen Andy Stewart and Daniel Rejmer who spend much of their day examining the intricacies of sound and how to perfect them for musicians around the world. Engineer Richard Northover shares some detail from designing two sound shells in Gippsland, structures in Traralgon and Inverloch that passively amplify the gorgeous music emanating from inside them.

Jo Sabey captures the majesty of an impending storm over the Gippsland Lakes, while Bec Cole had me putting Bowie on repeat and examining discrete snippets of Beach Boys tracks. Thanks go to Bec’s Latrobe Regional Gallery (LRG) colleague David O’Halloran who provided a full setlist of awesome aural-related art. Check-in for future stories here, or better yet, get down to the pieces in person.

May this edition have you hearing things.

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Lace-up the hiking boots or snap on the skis as we venture into the High Country to enjoy the graceful recordings of the Bogong Centre for Sound Culture, or appreciate the contemplative silence David Burrows captures in Antarctica.

Craftsman Roger Terrill astounds us with his knowledge of materials and their acoustic properties as he guides us through his drum-making practice in his Rokeby workshop.

And, Courtney Baker and Michelle Possingham provide powerful portals into why we need to be better listeners. A passionate Michelle explains how Lifeline Gippsland saves lives from suicide by being amazing listeners. Courtney highlights how challenging life can be when you’re hard of hearing, again reminding us that everyone’s relationship with sound is different. Both women share achievable actions to nurture a more supportive Gippslandia community.

Recently, one of the loudest sounds was the collective groan as we all endured another wave of pandemic restrictions. That’s why we asked personal trainer Bek Norman, builder David Waddell and Andrea Brown and David Visser of Lakes Entrance Helicopters and La Riva Luxury Escape & Experiences to provide us with details on how they’ve established their businesses so far, as well as some excellent ideas as to how your ventures can gain more success in the days ahead.

To return to our People Department, Courtney’s story resonated with me, given her fun quip about hearing bananas for the first time. With the noisiness that surrounds us, how often do you acknowledge the very subtle sounds that appear? For me, it’s not often.

I often work to music, listen to podcasts as I potter around the house or relish an audiobook through a long drive. Then there are the very many buzzes, beeps or bings from notifications to my phone. My typical day is a relentless audio assault on my ears.

I escaped it the other weekend.

No electricity. No reception.

Again, as my ears became more attuned to their surroundings, I began to detect the little things. Differences between insects, more than a single birdcall, and the varying crackles of distinct materials underfoot.

It wasn’t life-changing or affirming. It was just nice. Sometimes, it was enjoyable. It definitely wasn’t silent either. I’m blatantly biased, but the stories in this issue enhanced this experience too.

They acted as a reminder that occasionally I need to appreciate the sound of sweet nothings: no matter from who or where they come from.

From the initial ruffling caused from opening these pages to the slight thump it’ll make as you drop it back onto the table fully read, may this edition have you hearing things.

Gippslandia - Issue No. 22

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Gippslandia is a community, non-profit publication. We curate an ever-optimistic take on regional, national and global issues, in a local context. Leaving you feeling like a Gippslandia local, no matter where you’re from. Read more

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