Thomas Jefferson’s Soundscapes in Slate

Congratulations to Bonnie Gordon (University of Virginia) for busting some Jefferson myths for a wide audience with her article in Slate on Thomas Jefferson: The sounds of Monticello, from patriotic songs to the slap of the whip. Great piece! Gordon outlines how Jefferson managed his sonic environment and his sonic legacy, if you like: how he muffled, or tried to muffle, certain sounds in his immediate soundscape, in his notebooks, and in his archive.

Takeaway point for me: silences in accounts, collections and archives can speak volumes if you listen.

Gordon organized two conferences at the University of Virginia on Jefferson and soundscapes. I attended one earlier this year.