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While walking

While Walking McCartney video

 

Pohanna Pyne Feinberg interviewed me about the walking aspect of soundwalking, as part of a project on walking and art. In this video, we discuss such issues as pacing, personal history, the culture of mobility, and still listening.

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I went to visit the Pier 21 museum in Halifax, which focuses on immigration to Canada, and has a special exhibit this year for Canada 150. One activity it asks of museum-goers is to write about their first day in Canada, which I did. It was August 1968. I remember clearly walking by a vacant lot by the highway between our high-rise apartment and the restaurant where we had dinner that day. The lot was filled with chirping crickets, and that sound along with the pervasive sound of a multi-lane highway, seemed very Canadian to me as an immigrant from the UK. Both highway and insect sounds were unusual to my ears, although it feels strange to write that now, having become so accustomed to them in the intervening half century. In both cases, it was a buzzing, layered, sound caused by many individuals. And it turns out that my perception of the cricket sounds as unusual, and more Canadian than English, has an ecological reason. At that time in the UK, crickets were almost extinct because of industrial farming practices. So I would not have heard a field filled with crickets like that before.

Categories: Listening, walking Tags: , ,

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