by Eruch Kimball ’03
We all begin life the same way. We all develop in a similar environment. We all listen to the same things. Our world is sound. Seventy decibels of sound. Constant. All inclusive. It is our only reference to the world we’re just beginning to learn about. Equivalent to driving down the highway with the windows rolled down, the first world we experience as humans is filled with sound.
The Mother’s heartbeat. Comforting, yet unending. A steady pulsing wave of ocean-like noise as air rushes in and out of her lungs. The gurgle of her internal organs, comforting, like the purring of an engine. All of these sounds are echoed and reverberated through the fluid that cradles us as we slowly awake to the world.
The human sense of hearing begins at around four and a half months (*). It is our first and primary sense until birth. For the remaining four and a half months of our pre-birth development our world is entirely composed of sound. We haven’t used our mouth to taste, or our nose to smell.
Our eyes remain closed. There is also no significant volume difference between the outside world and our young, new, resonant existence. We can identify familiar voices and environments. We also respond to music. What the mother hears, we hear.
There are many global traditions for childbirth, however, it seems like a natural human instinct, perhaps a distant memory, to almost immediately usher our newborns into a sonic environment that is completely new. We move our babies into a new room, with a crib. We give our babies to their mothers, and then leave them be. The second sound, which is also the first new sound we hear as babies, is silence.
Eruch Kimball ’03 is an electric bassist, composer, arranger, audio engineer and marketing professional. Originally a Professional Music major in performance and songwriting, he completed Master Certificates in Film Scoring and Music Business through Berklee Online and is currently competing an MBA in Marketing. Over his 16 years of music industry experience he has performed and engineered over 3000 concerts for over 2 million people across the U.S. and East Asia. A military veteran, he served six years of active duty service with the U.S. Army Band. He owns and operates SynchroMuse LLC, an audio branding and music services company based out of Los Angeles. He loves to blog about life and food and is developing an online community where these two passions of his intersect called Urban Bento. You can follow him, his music, and his writing on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@urbanbento, @synchromuse)