This very awesome New York Times piece on the sound experience of a professional downhill skier-- replay it at the end without commentary -- has me thinking afresh about my old friend Niko Higgins' ongoing work on the sounds of swimming. At first, when Niko approached me about his project, I have to admit it took me some time to wrap my head around it. I think most of us would take more than a few quiet minutes to call to mind the aural experience of anything we do, except maybe performing as a solo instrumentalist, or meditating.
But with this interactive ski-feature, I see just how, once again, film changes us. Individual perspective is becoming so easy to capture, and with such vivid, accessible media, that it almost feels like we might do the impossible-- that is, squeeze inside another human's perception for a minute. Remarkably, our experience may not be quite as different as we expect.