Report by Little Jim Ladd (our countrywide reporter of the nation’s underbelly)
This time we visited the village of AURIS, adjacent or indeed, cheek-by-jowl with Front Face, the second smallest town in Britain.
Auris is a place where they have a firm belief in the word. In fact, they religiously pay homage to all things aural. Their village motto is ‘Heard and Not Seen.’ The village hall has the depiction of a little ear, without left or right bias, listening to the cosmos.
We had a quiet word with the village priest, Father Away, who holds his services by radio. We asked him why he uses sound rather than vision. He replied at length, with a measured tone, that sounded sincere in the belief of sound superiority over vision.
“We don’t need to see the world to appreciate its beauty,” he explained.
We asked him about truth, reality and things like proof of activity and event. He calmly countered with,
“Just look – no pun intended – how we see space and the cosmos and our consequent understanding of the earth’s age etc. We are effectively listening to space with the hope of detecting any possibility of life anywhere else in the universe. Although computers are in heavy use in astronomy and astrophysics, we still need to hear some semblance of evidence of possible extraterrestrial life on planets before earth.
Listen to a dawn chorus and tell me you need to see it to appreciate its beauty and reality. Also, before the advent of video, music was something you listened to for its audible energies and quality. Also, in my line of work, I always say, ‘You don’t need to see God to believe he exists; to hear him and his word is enough to keep his spirit alive in your heart.”
Listening to the activity and life outside the hotel bedroom, we couldn’t help but acknowledge the validity of sound in rendering life. Most assuredly, the raucous revelry taking place just under our window at two-o’clock in the morning was evidence enough for anyone. And what’s more, we didn’t need to see it to ascertain the details of these signs of life on earth. All the drama, vividly enunciated, was imminently audible, despite us wearing headphones and putting our head under a pillow.
Before we left, we attended an unusual music gig, held outside on the large meadow area at the end of the village. Aptly enough the lead performers were called Holy Cow, and, like all the live performers, they strutted their stuff behind a curtain at the front of the stage, so that the audience were encouraged to listen to the music without any visual distraction. Anyone wishing to take home a recording of the festival were only allowed to take an audio recording; no photography was permitted.
As we left the village, the priest was beginning his sermon and in the spirit of the place, we didn’t look back.