Questions for Listen

“Modernity has been read and observed carefully but rarely heard.”
Doglas Kahn

Objective
The objective of the project is to invite people to listen to their city and its diverse environments and surroundings, in a slightly more conscious way. This, through actions that are inserted into the everyday, such as the use of stickers, posters, stencils and blankets, also quite common to see in a city.

The Listen
The sounds of the medium are intimately related to the culture where they are produced; “The sounds heard have specific meanings”, [1] which can represent an hour of the day, a season of the year, the existence of a specific place in the city, etc.
Our perception, and therefore our hearing, is adapted to the stimuli we usually receive, informs us about the environment and surroundings, serves as a means of protection or alert in situations of danger or distress. The sounds influence the daily behaviors, “they are presented to our ears in multiple ways, with different meanings and messages: word, music, noises, each with its own codes that produce different reactions, feelings and sensations”, [2] contribute in the modification of the posture, the rhythm of an activity, the orientation in space … affecting the human being in multiple ways, “defining and contributing a particular quality to time and space.” [3]
“Noises and sounds are necessary in life, they are the sign of the presence of another person, the manifestation of social life, a way of existing.” [4] “Attentive listening to the environment and sound environment allows us to pass from a simple description of the sounds to the analysis of the relationships that exist between the human being, sounds and places.” [5]
However, we hardly pay attention to sound experiences. Several factors contribute to this: the distancing of nature, the existence of greater comfort, the over-saturation of sound stimuli that hinder the processing of the information transmitted by said stimuli, among others. But, in spite of this loss of protagonism of the auditory sense, “our relationship with the medium depends unquestionably on the sound stimuli of the medium, whether we are aware of it or not”. [6]
It is necessary to recover and demand listening to generate new ways of relating and understanding our context, “rediscover dimensions of our daily life little taken into account.” [7]
“It is necessary to recover and reclaim the importance of the sound in everyday life as an element of communication, information and transmission of emotions.” [8]
More we understand our environment, how we relate to others, to ourselves and to the spaces and places we inhabit, more we will know about ourselves.” [9] “Listening then becomes a necessary act because of the openness it implies towards new forms of knowledge as individuals, as a community and as a society.” [10]

Development
Pierre Schaeffer, Pascal Amphoux, Jean-François Augoyard, among others, have carried out different research on listening, starting from diverse disciplines and postulates, getting to theorize and propose different ways of approaching listening.
I’m going to start with Pascal Amphoux’s text “Urban Sound Landscape. Introduction to listening to the city”, where he develops three ideas:
– First: There are local sound cultures that form both the production and the collective representations of the urban soundscape. What does it mean? It means that our belonging to a particular culture (national, regional, social or professional) determines, at least partially, our productions (the sounds we emit) as our sound perceptions (our ways of listening, of understanding).
– Second: There are universal listening modalities that, independently of the local sound cultures, determine the individual perception of the soundscape.
– Third: It is possible to objectify criteria of acoustic quality that, not only constitute a tool of description of the sound world, but also allow us to renew our conception of the environment, the environment and the urban sound landscape. This approach aims to develop a common vocabulary and consists of sketching a repertoire of new reference concepts, with which it is possible to analyze, describe or conceive a sound sequence.

I am going to concentrate on the second idea: There are universal listening modalities that, independently of the local sound cultures, determine the individual perception of the soundscape. At this point, Pascal Amphoux suggests that, in front of a sound sequence, there are three ways for a same auditor to describe it, it can be considered as: 1) a sound environment, 2) a sound surrounding, 3) a soundscape.
– Listening to the environment refers to the objectifiable, measurable and controllable facts of the Sound World. In other words, listening to the environment refers to the representation we make of the Sound World when we perform an objective and analytical listening.
– Listening to the surroundings refers to the fusion, natural and living relationships that a social actor has with the Sound World. In other words, listening to the environment refers to the expression of the Sound World (and not its objective representation) through practices, uses or customs, when we hear, that is, ordinary listening, which is devoid of particular intentionality, but from which no one can escape.
– The listening of the soundscape refers to the phenomena that allow a sensible, aesthetic and always renewed appreciation of the Sound World. In other words, it refers to the affective, emotional or contemplative listening of an auditor. The three forms of listen, the environment, the surrounding and the soundscape, are usually spliced ​​and tangled. But, they do not depend on a particular culture, they correspond to three ways of understanding the World.

Interventions
I would like the interventions to be integrated into the context, where the recipients are the creators of their own “sound world”, that are an active and participatory part. I would like the viewers to become participants, who may decide to perceive or ignore the actions.
I will ask questions and / or phrases for each of the three listeners exposed, to invite people to listen: 1) in an objective and analytical manner, 2) social relationships, 3) affectively, emotionally or contemplatively. And so, to invite to recover the perception of their sound environment and sound surrounding, to raise awareness of their sonorous experiences, to live them, think them, question them … from various criteria, objective and subjective, personal, social, economic, political …
These questions will be the content of the stickers, posters, stencils and blankets that I will place in various public spaces of the city and social networks of the Internet.

Some possible questions
Can I hear my own noises?
At what distance are the sounds you can hear?
Are you listening to the people around you?
Do you recognize the sounds you are hearing?
What memories bring you the sounds you are listening?
Do you like the sounds you’re hearing?

 

 

Notes
[1] Carles, José Luis. El paisaje sonoro, una herramienta interdisciplinar: análisis, creación y pedagogía con el sonido. I Encuentro Iberoamericano sobre Paisajes Sonoros. 12-15 Junio 2007, Madrid, España. Obtained in the link: https://cvc.cervantes.es/artes/paisajes_sonoros/p_sonoros01/carles/carles_01.htm (Consulted the 19/11/17).
[2] Idem.
[3] Idem.
[4] Atelier Permanent D’initiation á L’environnement Urbain – Montpellier-Mèze. Écoutez la ville! Pour une éducation à l’environnement sonore. Offset Deux Mille – 1er trimestre 2006; pp. 45. Obtained in the link: https://issuu.com/mrflos/docs/apieu-ecoutez-la-ville (Consulted the 19/11/17).
[5] Ibidem, pp. 50.
[6] Carles, José Luis. El paisaje sonoro, una herramienta interdisciplinar: análisis, creación y pedagogía con el sonido. I Encuentro Iberoamericano sobre Paisajes Sonoros. 12-15 Junio 2007, Madrid, España. Obtained in the link: https://cvc.cervantes.es/artes/paisajes_sonoros/p_sonoros01/carles/carles_01.htm (Consulted the 19/11/17).
[7] Augoyard, Jean-François. Les pratiques d’habiter a travers les phénomènes sonores – Contribution a une critique de l’habitat. ESA Paris, 1978. Obtained in the link: http://doc.cresson.grenoble.archi.fr/doc_num.php?explnum_id=1108 (Consulted the 19/11/17).
[8] Carles, José Luis. El paisaje sonoro, una herramienta interdisciplinar: análisis, creación y pedagogía con el sonido. I Encuentro Iberoamericano sobre Paisajes Sonoros. 12-15 Junio 2007, Madrid, España. Obtained in the link: https://cvc.cervantes.es/artes/paisajes_sonoros/p_sonoros01/carles/carles_01.htm (Consulted the 19/11/17).
[9] Fiorelli, Leonardo. Estudios del paisaje sonoro en Uruguay. Reporte de una experiencia y la idea de entorno sensible. Encuentro Iberoamericano sobre Paisajes Sonoros. 12-15 Junio 2007, Madrid, España. Obtained in the link: https://cvc.cervantes.es/artes/paisajes_sonoros/p_sonoros01/fiorelli/fiorelli_01.htm (Consulted the 19/11/17).
[10] López, Juan-Gil. Cartografías de la escucha. 2008. Obtained in the link: http://www.unruidosecreto.net/textos/cartografias-de-la-escucha/ (Consulted the 19/11/17).

Bibliography
– Atelier Permanent D’initiation á L’environnement Urbain – Montpellier-Mèze. Écoutez la ville! Pour une éducation à l’environnement sonore. Offset Deux Mille – 1er trimestre 2006. Obtained in the link: https://issuu.com/mrflos/docs/apieu-ecoutez-la-ville
(Consulted the 19/11/17).
– Augoyard, Jean-François. Les pratiques d’habiter a travers les phénomènes sonores – Contribution a une critique de l’habitat. ESA Paris, 1978. Obtained in the link: http://doc.cresson.grenoble.archi.fr/doc_num.php?explnum_id=1108 (Consulted the 19/11/17).
– Beauchant, Chloë M. Paysages(s) sonore(s) – Perception et usages de l’espace urbain à Mexico. Obtained in the link: http://chloemorichaubeaucha.wix.com/archi#!recherches (Consulted the 19/11/17).
– Carles, José Luis. El paisaje sonoro, una herramienta interdisciplinar: análisis, creación y pedagogía con el sonido. I Encuentro Iberoamericano sobre Paisajes Sonoros. 12-15 Junio 2007, Madrid, España. Obtained in the link: https://cvc.cervantes.es/artes/paisajes_sonoros/p_sonoros01/carles/carles_01.htm (Consulted the 19/11/17).
– Fiorelli, Leonardo. Estudios del paisaje sonoro en Uruguay. Reporte de una experiencia y la idea de entorno sensible. Encuentro Iberoamericano sobre Paisajes Sonoros. 12-15 Junio 2007, Madrid, España. Obtained in the link: https://cvc.cervantes.es/artes/paisajes_sonoros/p_sonoros01/fiorelli/fiorelli_01.htm (Consulted the 19/11/17).
– García López, Noel. “Alarmas y sirenas: Sonotopías de la conmoción cotidiana”. Espacios sonoros, tecnopolítica, y vida cotidiana. Aproximaciones a una antropología sonora. Orquestra del Caos con motivo del Festival Zeppelin 2005, realizada en colaboración con el Institut Català d’Antropologia. 2005. Obtained in the link: http://www.antropologia.cat/files/DOSSIER%20ESPACIOS%20SONOROS.pdf (Consulted the 19/11/17).
– López, Juan-Gil. Cartografías de la escucha. 2008. Obtained in the link: http://www.unruidosecreto.net/textos/cartografias-de-la-escucha/ (Consulted the 19/11/17).
– López, Juan-Gil. La auralidad consensuada. Paisaje sonoro y redes sociales. Encuentro Iberoamericano sobre Paisajes Sonoros. 12-15 Junio 2007, Madrid, España. Obtained in the link: https://cvc.cervantes.es/artes/paisajes_sonoros/p_sonoros01/gil/gil_01.htm (Consulted the 19/11/17).
– López, Juan-Gil. “La escucha múltiple”. Revista Quintana. nº 8, 2009. ISSN 1579-7414. Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, España. Obtained in the link: http://www.unruidosecreto.net/textos/escucha-multiple/ (Consulted the 19/11/17).
– López, Juan-Gil. Soundwalking. Del paseo sonoro “in-situ” a la escucha aumentada. Paseantes, viajeros e paisajes, CGAC 16-19 Octubre 2007, Santiago de Compostela, España. Obtained in the link: http://www.unruidosecreto.net/textos/texto-soundwalking/ (Consulted the 19/11/17).

 

Licencia Creative Commons
Preguntas para la Escucha por Balam Ronan se distribuye bajo una Licencia Creative Commons Atribución-CompartirIgual 4.0 Internacional.

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