Sound Off! // Comment Klatsch #16: Sound and Pleasure

Sounding Off2klatsch \KLAHCH\ , noun: A casual gathering of people, esp. for refreshments and informal conversation  [German Klatsch, from klatschento gossip, make a sharp noiseof imitative origin.] (

Dear Readers:  Team SO! thought that we would warm up the dance floor for our upcoming Summer Series on Sound and Pleasure (peep the Call for Posts here. . .pitches are due by 4/15/14).   —J. Stoever, Editor-in-Chief

What sounds give you pleasure and why? 

Comment Klatsch logo courtesy of The Infatuated on Flickr.



5 responses to “Sound Off! // Comment Klatsch #16: Sound and Pleasure”

  1. j. stoever-ackerman says :

    voices give me pleasure. and, of course the voices of people I love even more so. the timbres of voices are not just endlessly fascinating, but gratifying and deeply touching. . .and for me, not just in a metaphoric way.

    I always nod emphatically whenever my eyes graze the passage from Yvon Bonenfant’s “Queer Listening to Vocal Timbres” where he goes: “When I am teaching, l often ask: ‘Have you ever fallen in love with a voice …on the telephone …or at a party … or on the radio? Have you ever felt like touching someone romantically or sexually because of the quality of their voice? What makes up that quality? Why did your knees go weak on
    hearing that voice?'” I say yes to each, every time.

    I don’t have a timbre “type,” but rather I tend toward what I hear as “unique.” I don’t know how to quantify that. No one I have ever loved sounded remotely like the others, but each is unforgettable. . . conjurable, even ten, twenty years on. and now, just five months on, exquisitely painful too. unimaginably so.

    I miss phone calls in the middle of the night, when my eyes open into darkness, reaching toward the material place where I imagine the voice to be–no matter how far–and its phone facsimile warms my ears, listening out for them, reaching in to pull their breath-touched and speech-shaped words close, breaching bodily boundaries without touch–or rather with a touch translated and enhanced by my desiring ears. I honestly don’t know how people fall in love without these calls.

    Perhaps it is a mark of my generation to imagine each text I get in the voice of the person who sent it?

    i once wrote a poem in high school that scandalized my 12th grade English class because everybody thought it was about masturbation. It was really about a phone call. Poorly written, I admit, and clearly my innuendo was too too, nothing like this one:

    Your Little Voice
    your little voice
    Over the wires came leaping
    and i felt suddenly
    With the jostling and shouting of merry flowers
    wee skipping high-heeled flames
    courtesied before my eyes
    or twinkling over to my side
    Looked up
    with impertinently exquisite faces
    floating hands were laid upon me
    I was whirled and tossed into delicious dancing
    with the pale important
    stars and the Humorous
    dear girl
    How i was crazy how i cried when i heard
    over time
    and tide and death
    your voice

    e.e. cummings


  2. primusluta says :

    The sound of the forest, when you are the loudest thing around. Being shocked at just how loud your footsteps are. Stopping to hear the birds singing and recognizing that there are singing different songs. The sound of flowing water in the distance. And then a cool breeze passes and you can hear the motion of the leaves.

    For my money there’s simply nothing better in the world.


  3. Liana Silva-Ford says :

    For me, one of the sounds that gives me most pleasure is the sound of subways in New York City. It just makes me feel like I’m home. When I fly back to New York City and stay at my mother in law’s house, I love the sound of the subway cars driving past her apartment (the 4 line). I can hear in my head now: the slow roll of the cars pulling up to the station, the screech of brakes, the musical notes emerging from the screeches…I also understand that those people who live close to the subway tracks may not find those sounds as pleasant. For them it’s probably something that wakes them up at night, a blip in their daily soundscape.


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