I was walking through the industrial edge of the city when I heard the machines calling me. Their musical drones comforted and empowered my spirit in the way that Eastern chants have in the past. They were alive, singing about their mundane, repetitive life-styles. Their songs were comprised of calm yet strengthening mantras, which may explain their ability to cope with such rigorous workloads. I suppose it was a religious ceremony or prayers to an unusual deity that I had experienced. However, I felt a comfort in understanding that we shared many similar concerns: reincarnation (metal or flesh), karma, power, control, energy, electricity, work, product, peace, and wisdom.
In the room you are in now or just outside the door is a steel box with vented sides that is emanating a sound, a chant, a mantra. You have blocked this sound from your listening range yet it is still very audible. These sounds are ever present in our daily experience. Rarely are they considered as anything other than a nuisance, yet I've chosen to recognize them as the orchestrations of mechanical mantras that I believe them to be: Shabda.
Click on each image to hear Shabda.
1997 Noise Show, Otto's Underground, DeKalb, IL
1996 East-West Show, Glass Gallery, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL