The soundscapes of highway 183

Soundscapes of the stars as your sleeping in your car.

There’s this concept in the humanities called reflexivity. It’s essentially the idea that our lived experiences can define our epistemologies and ontologies: So, what does it mean to sleep in a car?

The rushing of the highway, the scratching of Velcro on windows and rustling of reflectix. The 5am street cleaners, the boom box of a beatdown Cadillac and conversations floating by.

The rosary upon the rear view mirror, and sage upon the dash becomes a talisman against the suffering of stars and empty lots

Floating each night. There’s encampments underneath the interstate, and homes in parking lots.

This is just a temporary home, not a permanent election: an affirmation I repeat to console my predilections.

You won’t feel it unless your still, but the vortexes of highway winds rattle the fiberglass frame of this 2000 Honda CR-V. Each pulsation moves your head and each breath collects within the cavity wall, suspended then collapsing.

This is not where I thought I would beat 25 …..


Someone should study the soundscapes of highways, but I doubt any musicologists would forego normative shelters to sleep in their car!

Scholars focus on abstractions and theoretical paradigms.

Bruno Latour claims that all objects are part of networks and have agency independent of their animation. And for this reason I bestowed my vehicle with the title: Xena, after the warrior princess.

My car is a cyborg, an instrument of modernity and symbolic of the excesses of capitalism. Her minimalism has made me meditate in a manner no one who has not been in this situation could explain.

Xena is a a metaphor for my own broken disabled body. It’s a privilege that she is extant. In light of her broken doors and worn belts.

Disabled body, functionality un possessed. movement unordained.

Self-sufficiency silences this solemn and distorted soliloquy

Xena is entangled in a network of webs: metaphorical, physical, and theoretical. She has her own system of sounds: dissonant cacophonous, dysfunctional. She engages with other mediums of sound and simultaneously sings with me.

The reduction of materials and land ownership fundamentally alters one’s ontological positionality and social paradigm.

I still count myself grateful despite my unconventionalities and bitter deficits

John Cage once controversially claimed that noise is music; I’ve decided that I’m in accordance with this perspective:

For I’ve learned to harmonize with the humming of the highway and the rubber on the road. The road offers no judgment, nor praise. On the highway, all voices becomes drowned and unified into an ambient roar.

Stephen Feld discussed acoustemolgies and how nature and waterfalls could be seen as instrumentation:

Well, I know well the sounds of bleeding bass, the static of my broken radio, and the ticking metronome of my turn signal are also texture and instrumentation.

Praxis and application will always supersede theory and methods. For all this talk of lived experiences, they know only what they read …..

Academics are etic. They are outsiders to the world because they don’t live enough in it.

Allan Merriam wasn’t a great musician, why did he get to guide the field of Musicology? He never sang enough in, it strummed it or wept with in it. Did he?

The acquisition of the appropriate disciplinary jargon is an arduous process. A constant act of tensión and translation

We are sold a belief that enslaves us to a form of capital religiosity. Thoreau would agree that although my space has become arguably more confined physically, I have become spiritually more liberated. Today, I saw cranes, and ducklings. I felt the wind in my hair and the water trickling between my toes. The fabrics placed on this corporeal frame are no longer a primary concern.

Though at night this body may be found resting under the blaring lights of a department store, by morning, these feet are found strolling and roaming with god’s other creatures.

It’s a cosmological shift.

Published by Silent Singer

The Silent Singer

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