Influences and Methodology 

The World Soundscape Project

The unique acoustic imprint that is the soundscape of a given place determines its nature. "soundscape" a term coined by the Canadian composer and theorist R. Murray Schafer, considered to be the father of acoustic ecology. Schafer defined the soundscape as the "auditory equivalent to landscape". Thus the soundscape is for the ears with the landscape is for the eyes: the collection of all sounds across a certain environment regardless of what is reflected in natural or human activities.

In his works, Schafer perceives the world as a macrocosmic musical composition. He has express interest in characterising natural sounds that could be used to make music. Meanwhile, Schafer has been concerned about growing noise pollution and has pointed it out to be a world problem.

Lindsey French

Her artistic practice draws on media studies, olfaction, botany, and ecology to consider positions of receptivity and marginality as valid and active political and communicative positions. She looks to biological definitions of communication to broaden her sense of communication, to consider: How is sensing sensual? How can the material of my body interact with other materials and bodies, and what kinds of negotiations occur, especially outside of linguistic, verbal, or numeric exchanges? 

The Braille Trail 1967

 

The Braille Trail is a self - guiding nature trail for the blind - both seeing and non - seeing - teaches us to comprehend the natural world through the purest form of communication - touch, smell, hearing - without first filtering it through sight.

Mapping the Sound

Listening to the whole of the environment at every present moment seems like a utopia. Following the definitions of hearing and listen in common language, I can hear the whole, but not pay attention to the sounds of each different activity as it is unfolding in time and space. It needs the practice of attention to follow.

In my sound-walks I carefully listen and record  environment. Collected data is use to create multi channel sound.

In my project I investigate how human relate to the nature and how we can appreciate the beauty, fragility, and decay of our environment.
The  challenge of this project is to build a relationship between the human and the non- human world, between static and constant movement, noise and silence. 

Collecting Artefacts,  If I want to think like a tree, I have to become a tree...

 

 I use documentary media that record images and sound to explore ontologies and poetics of the moment. Moreover, I collecting artefacts to create a phenomenology of recent history, and how we can sense new epoch called the Anthropocene.

I am engaging with the natural environment not only by collecting artefacts, but also using my other senses like touch and smell.

Deep Sound-Mapping

Inspired by The Braille Trail project. I use similar methodology for mapping and collecting sounds from local woods,  collected sounds and artefacts are marked on the map.

Bernie Krause

The best-known evidence of irreversible and devastating changes that have happened in the last decades to the acoustic environment is Bernie Krause’s unique Wild Sanctuary Audio Archive collection. This American bio-acoustician, considered to be a pioneer in the emerging discipline of soundscape ecology, has spent decades discovering and recording sounds of the wild travelling around the world.

Japanese Monks

 

Komusō, or “priest of nothingness.” Instantly recognisable thanks to the woven baskets that they wear over their heads and the long flutes that protrude from beneath them, these Buddhist monks were unique for a number of obvious reasons. But it’s their haunting meditation melodies that may be their most enduring legacy.

The komusō, also sometimes translated as “monks of emptiness” or something similar, came to prominence around the 17th century in Japan, and formed a new class of itinerant monks, of the Fuke sect of Japanese Zen Buddhism.

Komusō were characterised by the straw basket  worn on the head, manifesting the absence of specific ego.They are also known for playing solo pieces on the shakuhachi (a type of Japanese bamboo flute). 

Sound as a Visual Form

Thanks to Krause's artworks, I started thinking and exploring  how to visualise natural sound.

Experimented with different kinds of softwares to convert sound into visual form.

Above; one of many experiments with visualising  sound. (Adobe After Effects)

Ivy Helmet

 

In my project I use materials collected on my sound-walks, bark of fallen trees, and ivy. Made a  helmet, which is  fitted with headset and VR goggles. (sound and visual)

Getting inspired by Japanese monks, with a reason for baskets on their head: manifestation of absence of specific ego. 

My Ivy Helmet representing absence of human superiority.

As anthropologist and writer Donna Haraway urges, we need to radically change the story of our relationship to nature and to each other in this time of rapid social and ecological flux, moreover, human have to start live with the nature, not outside the nature.

John Cage

 

Cage conveyed an opening up to the "view" of music/sound by his unorthodox approach to sound making by investing his works with not just experimentalism but a sense of irony, humour and freedom from established modes of composition. It's that freedom, the breaking down, embracing and conflating of visual and audio structures, and the notion of democratising presentation by also removing the barrier between audience and performer that opened the minds of so many. 

Sound of IvySylwia Migdal
00:00 / 05:08

John Cage is a key influence to my sound-making journey. I become free to explore different kinds of sounds made by non-human and compose my own soundscape. As a result is Sound of Ivy. (above)

Six channels field recording made into one sound composition. 

Next step; environmental sound converted into visual form with Adobe After Effects software. 

Sound and visual sound is layered on video footage of the site of my installation.

All; the sound, visual sound, and video from the side is converted into the Virtual Reality footage and all together played via VR Googles.

Sound of Ivy, visualised sound

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