Shutting down White Noise Lounge

For six months in 2008, Stephanie and I collaborated on a photo/audio blog project called White Noise Lounge. We’d record five minutes of some interesting sound in our environment, and then we’d take a black and white photo of the source—or something loosely related—and post them together online.

The old about page explains how we came up with the idea:

I must have been making some sort of beatbox noises one night when Stephanie called me “DJ Justinsomnia.”

Suddenly both our minds went off in opposite directions. She heard insomnia, and started mimicking a superfast techno beat, while I heard DJ Justin Somnia and imagined something way more soporific. She riffed on that idea and started making a low continuous drone. Over which I said in my best radio announcer voice,

“DJ Justin Somnia tearing it up at the White Noise Lounge, playing today’s freshest white noise tracks…”

We went back and forth like this for a while, cracking each other up with ideas like “white noise radio,” that played nothing but a continuous low hum, all—day—long. The next morning she was still giggling to herself about it.

There’s just something about crazy ideas that make me want to try them. So I looked into the feasibility of setting up an internet radio station, but even without copyright concerns it seemed too expensive (for an unproven niche). Almost simultaneously the thought occurred to us, why not start a white noise audio blog (aka a podcast)? How weird would that be? On a whim I registered whitenoiselounge.com, ordered a Zoom H2 Recorder (that I’d been eying for some time), and the rest is history.

As an aside: acoustically, white noise refers to a very specific type of sound, but since this is a lounge, we welcome all sorts of ambient, found sounds.

It was a fun project, but it was also a lot of work. Over time it became more difficult to find novel or interesting sounds to record, so we eventually stopped posting.

After a year and a half laying dormant, I figured it was finally time to close up shop. I sold the Zoom H2 microphone, and I absorbed all the old White Noise Lounge posts (photos and audio) into Justinsomnia. Here’s a screenshot for posterity:

White Noise Lounge Screenshot

2 Comments

Magnus Bergsson

It is sad you close White Noise Lounge. That website was one of the reason I started my website http://fieldrecording.net

Magnus, thanks for the comment, and so happy to hear that our project inspired you to carry the torch further. Some things having beginnings and ends. And that’s ok. I’m happy to know I tried something, rather than wondering about it but never trying at all.

And rest assured, all our old content still exists in the White Noise Lounge category of this blog.

The experience was not a complete dead-end for me. It gave me a platform to think about black and white digital photography, JavaScript image popups, audio/video manipulation in Ubuntu, etc.

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