Clapping Thunder

it is a really hot day today. i mean like really hot. A quick check on a desktop widget shows that singapore’s temperature is an average of 32 degrees. Im telling you walking outside my house it’s gotta be at least 35.

but nature/god is rather eccentric in that sense, when i finally reached my gate and unlocked the door after a seemingly endless trudge in that weather, there was a clap of thunder, not just a clap. it was more like a round of applause, like a sudden burst of energy, slowly diminishing as it progressed further away. It seemed to linger on that way for a while, in an echo that filled the sky. I dont have to tell you how bewildered i was cos i was looking at the sky, and there was no indication where rain clouds or other thunder causing agents were.

Was reading Walter Murch’s lecture he gave at a School of Sound meeting London,1998 this morning and this interesting experience kinda reminded me of his explorations into designing theatrical sound in surround.

Taking a typical cinematic surround sound system, with 3 speakers back and 2 front, and a LF boom box,

The heat from the sun is pure and ubiquitous, the equivalent to a sin tone hot and equally present in all the 6 surround speakers. As i approach the gate and work on the combination lock, the psychological shift from sense to action allows this energy to slowly subside, until all of a sudden, an exclamation in the form of thunder appears in the front speakers, and i am forced to acknowledge its happening. The stereophonic projection collapses instantly to mono, and a similar spatial relocation of conscious attention is now directed to the head-on antagonist and its lingering echo. The phenomenon of immersion thus loses its effect as inattentive listening is now replaced with terse anticipation akin to the sudden jolt of a sleeping man deep in his dreams back to reality. What makes the event more astounding is the asynchrony of the clap to the aesthetic and symbolic milieu of its surrounding counterparts.

But since everything happens for a reason, at least that’s what i believe, the serendipitous link of rejoicing at the arrival at my destination and the timely thunder clap alluding to applause was too obvious to pass off as coincidence. So i just took it that God was congratulating me on finally getting where i should be. And since thunder is an iconic reminder as well, i was assured that the heat would go away as rain would soon come.

Well cant blame me for seeing everything with such significance. Sometimes all man needs is a little hope, and if we dont see it in the mediums of communication provided (ref. afflatus – word for the day today meaning “a divine inspiration”), where else are we gonna get it!?


on a side note, its funny cos theres a song that used to be pretty popular around the church circles – trading my sorrows. and theres a bridge that goes:

Though the sorrow may last for the night
Joy comes in the morning

I was just thinking, heat was something i really didn like and i was really happy that the sun was going to go away and rain clouds/rain were coming in.. so maybe for me, i’d sing it such.

Though the sorrow may last with the sun
Joy comes with the raining.

im sure my friends in the Gobi/Sahara desert are jamming along to this with me.

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