Marianopolis College Soundwalk
By Cailtlin Loney
Andra McCartney led a soundwalk and discussion at Marianopolis College in Montreal on March 8th, 2011, as part of a guest lecture series through Concordia University. The walk began in the small parking lot at the front of the school, continuing through the sheltered areas behind the main building and making a loop onto the sidewalk of Westmount Avenue back to the front door. Footsteps in the recording reveal a variety of textures – puddles, ice, snow, and pavement. In the discussion, participants noted the contrast between the slushy, watery sounds at front of the school where the sun had melted the snow, and the frozen, crunchy environment behind the building. The members of the group also mentioned that the experience presented them with new ways of hearing a place they were so familiar with. One participant said she had assumed that the city was filled with loud noises such as car horns, however, during the soundwalk, she heard less intrusive sounds than she expected and found the experience relaxing. Another participant noted that he picked up on many sounds he would not of otherwise, since he is normally rushing places and wearing headphones. The walk was recorded and made into a short sound piece by Soundwalking Interactions research assistant Caitlin Loney. Sound excerpts are presented chronologically. The photos in the video were taken by Pierre Dalpe and Lisa Graves, who were documenting the soundwalk and discussion on behalf of Concordia University.