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Winter soundwalks

Une version française de ce texte se trouve ici

Last month, the members of the Soundwalking Interactions Project (Andra McCartney, David Paquette, Dave Madden and Caitlin Loney) took part in a series of soundwalks in their respective neighborhoods (three in Montreal, one in Morin-Heights). Each member completed three 30-minutes weekly walks, followed by the production of an analytical summary. After gathering these reports, we each wrote short reports in which we explore the similarities and differences of each participant’s experiences. These summaries can be found in a previous blog entry.

One element that was highlighted in all reports was the role and impact of winter climate on the various walks. Dave has discussed the influence of weather conditions not just on the listening experience, but on his whole perceptual experience. For Caitlin, the temperature was mostly experienced through the changing sound of the snow or the ice on the ground. I personally found that the weather was having an impact on the pace and the duration of the walk. In a similar vein, Andra has noticed that weather conditions were influencing both the time of the walk and its overall orientation. These observations led us to propose another series of walk in the same environments, that time in April, to take into account seasonal changes.

Another aspect to consider is the impact of the spatial configurations on the unfolding of the walk itself; for example, while the three urban neighborhoods were providing a wide range of potential routes and environments, my own neighborhood had a more limited selection of paths and more homogeneous sonic spaces. The differences in sonic variety (both in quantity and levels) can clearly be observed when reading the various reports. Another important feature that was revealed is the notion of attitude, and of attention to the environment. Dave also discussed the inherent intersensoriality of soundwalking as well as the impact of the various sensory modalities on listening. Finally Andra questioned the relationship between the three successive walks we’ve done, and also pointed to the effect of resonance that was made possible by the weekly sharing of our individual experiences.

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  1. February 5, 2014 at 12:55 pm

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