As a freelancer, many pitches and proposals become little more than yelps into an abyss. At the end of 2019 I’ve decided to relinquish a continually rejected article by posting it in full at the main Miraculous Agitations blog for people to read. Ironically, it’s about noise and the ways anti-noise campaigners promote their cause. In fact, like a nest of rejected Russian Matryoshka dolls, the blogpost also contains the essence of my BBC radio documentary pitch on anti-noise campaigning which has been rejected in various forms over the years. In all, the text implicitly questions how we process noise – in all senses of the word – and the paradoxical ways that noise might be countered (with passing reference to the instrumentality of celebrity and popular culture), all presented via deep archive archaeology. The core of the piece concerns The Darlington Quiet Town Experiment, one of the ‘noisiest’ anti-noise campaigns ever seen in Britain, and something I’ve been collecting material on for many years.
The odd synchronicities that often arise whilst engaged in long-running archival research is also in evidence – subtle links between disparate sources; ethereal silver cords amidst the noise. One unusual discovery was of the earliest published story by stage and television’s Mark Gatiss – ‘The Anti-Noise Machine’ – an extraordinarily rich science-fiction nugget penned by the writer/actor aged eleven.
Read more at miraculousagitations.blogspot.com : “Noise, anti-noise, drama, Jeremy Beadle’s private noise research, the Darlington Quiet Town Experiment, and the earliest published story by Mark Gatiss (set in the year 2023)”