The Soundwalking Interactions team—minus David Paquette—led a soundwalk on November 21, 2011 for the Balance-Unbalance Conference at Concordia University. The conference brought together scholars, artists, policy experts, economists, etc., “with the intent of engendering a deeper awareness and creating lasting intellectual working partnerships in solving our global environmental crisis.” Before the walk, Andra McCartney opened with a fifteen-minute talk, where she outlined various (potential) ways of listening and some of her ongoing research interests and projects.
The walk began in the John Molson School of Business; then headed south along Guy to Sainte Antoine Ouest; along Sainte Antoine and north through the tunnel on du Fort; and then east along rue Baile and back to the Molson Building. Approximately fifteen people participated in the walk, including Andra’s artistic collaborator, Don Sinclair, from York University. The post-walk discussion lasted forty minutes and covered everything from the sounds (noise) of the cars, the lack of bird sounds and the way the sounds of the city change depending on the time of day. There were far fewer cars on the road during this walk as it took place on a Saturday afternoon. Some participants also related the sounds encountered on the walk to previous sounding experiences. For instance, one listener took the ‘high road’ through the tunnel on du Fort as he connected the experience to the Scottish Highlands. The discussion closed out with a presentation by Sinclair and McCartney about their interactive soundwalk and dance project, which is demonstrated in the video below.
On November 5th, 2011, Andra McCartney led a soundwalk at the Balance-Unbalance conference at Concordia University. The walk began at the Molson School of Business building, followed along the Ville-Marie Expressway and through the downtown neighbourhood surrounding Concordia University.
With Sleepwalking: Kuala Lumpur < == > Montreal, I was particularly inspired by the improvised vocal performance that took place between the three collaborators: Andra McCartney, Kathy Kennedy and Kok Siew Wai. The artists created a live soundscape/soundtrack to a video piece edited by Kok Siew (largely comprised of images of the Lachine Canal), exploring a diverse set of possible verbal sounds and dynamics, including popping and clicking sound effects, breathy wind-like impressions and layers of drawn out tones. One of the particular (video) editing challenges of the piece was making sure there was enough space in between each shot for the improvisers to interact and engage with the video. This required a performative editing on the part of Kok Siew; anticipating the potential vocalizations of the participants while in the ‘editing room’ and to alter the rhythm of the shots accordingly.
The second chapter of Sleepwalking: Kuala Lumpur<==>Montreal used a dynamic, performative approach for presenting soundwalks to an audience. While Siew-wai Kok’s video revealed the three soundwalkers (Kok, Andra McCartney and Kathy Kennedy) rambling in and around the industrial landscape of the Lachine Canal along with recordings from the walk, the same three improvised vocally with the images and sound. This interplay between live performance and the recorded elements made me very aware of the layers of process involved in the piece, including collaboration, soundscape creation, the interaction of sound and image, as well as improvisation. By bringing together live performance with video and soundscape recording, Sleepwalking revealed to me new possibilities for interdisciplinary, multimedia collaboration.
By David Paquette
The Sleepwalking Kuala Lumpur<==>Montreal event, which took place at Hexagram-Concordia on April 19, 2011, gathered a large audience and was broadcasted through teleconference to the Multimedia University in Kuala Lumpur.
After brief presentations from Sam Thulin and Lisa Gasior on their MA projects, Andra McCartney introduced Kok Siew Wai, from Malaysia, and presented an audiovisual piece from their walk in Kuala Lumpur. Kathy Kennedy also presented a video of a recent performance based on group singing of “hmms”.
The vocal improvisation by McCartney, Siew Wai and Kennedy was particularly well received. The interaction between sounds from the video, the voices of the performers and between the performers themselves, made for a truly rich and evolving improvisation. The event ended with an interactive performance during which McCartney invited the audience to sing a long polyphonic lullaby composed of long, sustained notes, transforming a variety of single lullabies into a large vocal work.
Below is an audio recording of the performance (mp3 file, 57MB).
On April 19th artist-researcher Andra McCartney and sound artist Kathy Kennedy (Montreal) will join visiting artist Siew-wai Kok (Kuala Lumpur) in a performance and presentation of their recent collaboration Sleepwalking Kuala Lumpur <==> Montreal. In 2010 McCartney travelled to Kuala Lumpur where she and Kok met and performed together, and McCartney led a soundwalk with Kok Siew Wai’s class. For the second chapter of this project the artists will continue their walking experiences here in Montreal. The collaboration will culminate in a presentation and discussion about the project.
The evening will open with short presentations by Montreal-based sounds artists Sam Thulin and Lisa Gasior. Thulin will share excerpts of his work “There to Hear: Placing Mobile Music,” an exploration of public transportation and mobile music in Montreal, and Gasior will present her MA thesis project, Sounding Griffintown.
For more info go to:
Doors open at 8:30 pm, show at 9
*Students and faculty of Department of Creative Multimedia at Multimedia University in Kuala Lumpur will attend the event via Skype. (Note: showtime is April 20, 9:00am Kuala Lumpur time).