While walking

October 27, 2015 Leave a comment

While walking is a research project headed by Pohanna Pyne Feinberg, who lives currently in Montreal, and did a residency at the Dare Dare centre.

While Walking is a research project that explores walking as an artistic process and practice. How can walking contribute to the creative process? How can we understand walking as an art form? How does interaction with public space influence walking art practices? In what ways does the urban environment become a source of inspiration, distraction or perhaps intimidation? And, more specifically, what experiences do artists who are women encounter as they make art that involves walking the streets?

While Walking is an opportunity to learn from Montreal-based artists who walk as an aspect of their diverse art practices. Excerpts from recorded conversations with the artists will be shared in the format of an audio walk designed to enable the listener to reflect on the artists’ ideas while walking through the city.” While Walkingproject

Going Underground (CBC)

September 13, 2015 Leave a comment

City Sonic Ecology

http://citysonicecology.com/

“The trilateral project City Sonic Ecology – Urban Soundscapes of Bern, Ljubljana and Belgrade brings together the capital cities of Switzerland, Slovenia and Serbia respectively and explores the phenomenon of the urban soundscape and its potential and role in shaping the affective economies (Ahmed 2004). Drawing on the connection of acoustic ecology with affect studies (cf. Goodman 2010; Kanngieser 2012), the project interrelates approaches of urban ethnomusicology, soundscape research, and affective theory and investigates the ways people invest their hearing capacities in the various kinds of identity building and politics of belonging. Also taking into consideration architecture, urban planning and space representations, the project focuses on dichotomies in urban soundscapes, such as invisible vs. symbolic, private vs. public, and noise vs. music. The work focuses on three broader themes:

1) Religious city soundscapes
2) Urban soundscapes as places of political participation
3) Individual city soundscapes.

The project is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) within its SCOPES programme. The project will last … to 31 August 2017.”

La marche – est haute 4 juin 2015

Le 4 juin 2015, David Madden va donner une balade sonore “Soundwalking home” (15:00h),
St. Viateur et Outremont.

This is one stage of the sound art and writing project “Here be dragons” by Andra McCartney.

Plus de détails ici:

On 4 Jun 2015, David Madden will be giving a soundwalk entitled “Soundwalking home” beginning at 3 pm, rain or shine (except thunderstorms).

Une partie du projet “La marche – est haute” dirigé par Eric Mattson. “La marche (est haute) présente, entre avril et juin 2015, dix interventions numériques, sonores et artistiques en milieu urbain.”
http://oral-records.blogspot.ca/

Interactive session with Don Sinclair

A recent session with Don Sinclair at the York University Digital Media lab: trying out an interface for interactive performance, we were wearing hats since the winter deep freeze was keeping that large space kind of chilly.

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Don had made a Max patch to collect data from a Myo armband controller (https://www.thalmic.com/en/myo/) so that as movements are made along the yaw pitch and roll axes, three associated sound files can be mixed. With a band on each arm, it would then be possible to mix six files.

I had brought several sounds to work with the system. Shorter and more abstract electroacoustic sounds were unsatisfying in terms of gesture, feeling choppy. Two sets of sounds worked well together: in each case, one was a track which had environmental sounds accompanied by improvised vocalizations, my approach here influenced by Viv Corringham in her Shadow Walks, as well as the vocal work of Kathy Kennedy and Kok Siew Wai. This vocal-environmental track was effective when mixed with complex, active environmental recordings such as ice in a river at spring breakup or a spring field with abundant wildlife.

We developed performance strategies by getting feedback from two projections. One was a ball with yaw, pitch and roll mapped to x, y and z, in which the sonic effect of gestures could be understood intuitively by watching the ball. The second gave the values of yaw, pitch, and roll as a dynamic vertical bar graph reflecting each stream of data individually.

We decided that files in the range of 30-40 secs are most effective gesturally given our aims, so will think about combinations for next time. Also it seems that this setup will work well for vocal performance including spoken word and more abstract vocalizations. We have plans for next time to practise further, perhaps with two armbands, to articulate the range of motion more clearly, and work with different sets of sounds.

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Categories: dance, Improvisation, Listening

Journées sonores canal de Lachine, 2000-2004

February 15, 2015 Leave a comment

Journées sonores canal de Lachine, 2000-2004

Andra McCartney, Concordia University

Le Project

<<Journées Sonores, canal de Lachine>>est un projet sonore de documentation sur les modifications du paysage sonore du canal Lachine au fur et à mesure des différentes étapes de son réaménagement. Comme tous les projets de rénovation urbaine, ce projet de plusieurs années et millions de dollars a de profonds effets sur le contenu sonore des abords du canal. L’enregistrement, pendant plusieurs années, des sons depuis la piste qui court le long du canal a permis la création d’images sonores condensées accompagnant ces changements urbains. Nous espérons qu’en les écoutant, ces sons vous sensibiliseront au lieu – en particulier vous qui vivez et travaillez aux abords du canal – et que vous serez amenés à penser votre rapport avec les sons de ce lieu. Contrairement aux représentations visuelles, les enregistrements de sons ne cadrent pas de scènes ou d’édifices particuliers, mais soulignent des rapports entre sources différentes, comme la circulation de voitures ou de bateaux, des cyclistes, des machines industrielles ou de construction et des piétons.

Les enregistrements sonores ont été juxtaposés à des illustrations du canal Lachine. Notre intention était de mettre en relief différents angles d’un environnement donné en fonction de sources et perspectives différentes.

Le document ci-attaché Lachine Canal francais était produit pour l’installation au Musée de Lachine. En commençant sur la page 24 on peut trouver une liste de notes qui s’agissent de l’environnement du  canal de Lachine. On peut les entendre sur youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qh341k2f4lU&list=PLIG92ZJmuTlXF4FpScYlXOOCBSNDpAna6

Journées sonores, canal de Lachine is a sound project which reflects on shifts in the soundscape of the Lachine canal as it changed with each phase of a revitalization project, as the canal re-opened as a recreation area in 2002, after many decades of dormancy while the St. Lawrence Seaway moved shipping and industrialization to another area on the south shore of the river. Like all urban renewal projects, this multi-year, multi-million dollar project has profound effects on the areas surrounding the canal. By recording sounds from the areas around the canal over several years, this project created condensed sonic images that followed these urban changes, as well as imaginary scenes from its past based on interviews with local residents. These sound recordings do not frame particular buildings or scenes, but point to relationships among different sources such as auto and boating traffic, cyclists, industrial/construction machines and pedestrians, and reveal the changing ambiences of these places over time.

In the final phase of this project, a multimedia installation was produced for display at the Musée de Lachine (2004), in a historical building adjacent to the canal. The show included an interactive computer installation, bringing together sounds recorded throughout several years. It also included more composed meditations on particular sites, along with photographic and drawn images and found objects. Comments from the project’s website were also included. Visitors to the gallery were encouraged in turn to comment on the installation and how it affected their perception of and attitude toward the sounds of the Canal. It was possible then to go outside and do a soundwalk immediately after experiencing the installation.

The booklet that is inserted here was produced for the Musée de Lachine installation. Journées sonores canal de Lachine.

Starting on page 24 is a list of notes that are associated with short pieces about the Lachine canal sound environment. These pieces can be viewed as a playlist from the andrasound channel on youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qh341k2f4lU&list=PLIG92ZJmuTlXF4FpScYlXOOCBSNDpAna6

The Wells Reserve soundwalk

The Sounds of Place at Wells Reserve

The Wells Reserve Soundwalk, July 2014

From July 16-19, 2014, I was fortunate to take part in an interdisciplinary workshop held in Maine, US, directed by Bryan Pijanowski of Purdue University, lead investigator of the Global Sustainable Soundscapes Network (Co-PI is Catherine Guastavino – McGill University, Canada). This research project is funded by the US National Science Foundation.

The Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve is part of a larger network of such research centres. It is open to the public, with many educational walking trails. Within the reserve are grasslands, woodlands, freshwater wetlands, salt marshes and a long undeveloped sandy beach.

The soundwalk took place on the morning of July 17. We met initially at a gazebo near the reserve educational centre. Here, I introduced my soundwalk research and suggested some tips for listening while on the walk. We handed out small notebooks that Prof. Pijanowski had prepared, which included a list of sites where soundscape recordings had been made, keyed to the Wells Reserve map (sites such as a vernal pond, coastal tree, Laudholm beach, and others). Short observations made by the recording crew were also included (“Coastal tree: most diverse site with birds and insects”). Suggestions for soundscape notes were provided for listeners (“Sense of place: sounds that define this place / remind or connect to you, family, community / symbolic sounds”). After the introduction, people split up into smaller groups of one to four people, and began their walks through the site. Later in the day, some people met with me at a session, while others contributed their observations in individual conversations.

My soundwalk took me through a grassland area, rich in insect sounds in the middle of the day, through a cool woodland with distant surf towards the north. As the surf became louder, I passed a pond that attracted shorebirds, and arrived at a construction site, with the sounds of saws and moving of construction materials. Large many-bedroomed houses were being built right up to the boundary of the Wells reserve, and along Laudholm beach beyond drifted the sounds of families playing in the surf.

At this point, I reflected on the educational signs that I had seen along the way, that pointed out important notes about vegetation and wildlife habitat. I thought that perhaps information could also be included on the effects of tourist and recreational development on the estuarine area.

In the session later that day, the importance of recognizing disciplinary listening was mentioned. A bird biologist said that, since we had discussed this in the introductory session, she was more alert to disciplinary tendencies, that normally she would want to focus on types of birds and their interactions. Being aware of this tendency allowed her to consciously open up to other kinds of listening. Both the soundwalk notebook and the opportunity for followup discussion provided clearings where these other kinds of listening could be explored in productive conversation.

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