From Ear to Hand is a workshop that explores children’s natural story-telling instincts, curiosity and the knowledge of their surrounding landscape to create sound narratives using everyday objects. They will be invited to do so using so-called foley techniques, where everyday materials are explored for their sonic properties: gloves can become flapping wings, finger-tapping a heavy rainfall, or a balloon a squeaky door hinge.
The focus of the workshop is to engage with the children’s knowledge and awareness of the sounds present in their everyday lives, while being open to imagined places and spaces.
The workshop took place in 4 different schools, one week per school, with children 5-10 years old. The final outcome of the different sound exploration exercises were different soundtracks created and performed by the children, for short clips from two of Japanese filmmaker Miyazaki’s animation classics. Examples below:
This project was made in the context of the Listaleypurin artistic residency and exchange program, and with generous support from local partners.
“Animal Empire” is an ongoing performance research project by Danish artists, dancers and choreographers Linh Le and Peter Vadim, in which they investigate the social and political context and consequences of the use of animal metaphors (mostly negative ones such as “pest”) in order to portray specific minority groups in contemporary societies.
Having being invited as moderator to the performance series taking place at Bådteatret, I also composed a podcast manifestation of the project, including an original soundscape and samples of the discussions taking place between the invited guests and the audience, after each performance.
From Struer Tracks Festival 2019: “The performance was the culmination of 5 days workshop at Sound Art Lab in Struer where the 7 artists based in Nordic countries worked experimentally with sound recordings in the landscapes around Struer. The material generated at site visits was be the basis of a collective improvised performance using 10 speakers and filling a full room, where listeners may move freely during the performance.
The focus of the workshop was the investigation of changes in the physical landscape due to development of new forms of energy. Using sound recordings in different ways and mixing documentary and anthropological approaches, the group explores the potentials of the sound recording to create new understandings of the real and to open up new connections between fiction and fact.
The workshop was realised in collaboration between BEK Bergen Center for Electronic Art and Struer Tracks Urban Sound Art Festival. It was supported by Nordic Culture Point and Dansh Arts Foundation.”
Often triggered by listening to particular sounds via headphones, ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) is the name given to an experience of usually pleasurable tingling sensation on the skin, typically beginning on the scalp and moving down the back of the neck and upper spine. It is usually though of as an aural massage, particularly beneficial to issues affecting the nervous system, such as anxiety, irritability, sleep disorders, and stress.
Earscape Takeover is an acousmatic composition inspired
by ASMR inducing sound techniques, but using unconventional sources, rhythms, manipulated
vocals, and ambiances. It has been created specifically to be experienced via
the close stereo field allowed by headphones.
As a companion piece to artist Anna Samsøe’s latest presentation of her Sound Is Matter documentary series, Earscape Takeover shares some of its themes, aesthetics, and approaches – such as the artistic reinterpretation of scientific research concerning the nature of sound; the use of collage methods, sampling, and archival material; the fascination with the video-essay genre, and its use of creative editing; and a subtle tongue-in-cheek humour concerning the different reading depths of a work, together with a haunting self-awareness that playfully flaunts its naiveté.
As a listening experiment aiming for an embodied effect, Earscape Takeover aims to activate proprioceptive awareness (the body’s sense of itself while embedded in its environment), and to engage the nervous system in a relaxing way (even amidst the soft chaos of public space), while nurturing the lively curiosity of the auditory imagination.
Heterophonics– radio as an intersection of displacement and site-specificity
a young child, even before having my own room in my parent’s home, I was struck
by how the experience of listening to radio was radically defined by
in-between-ness, and activated by an intense and slightly disorienting curiosity
towards otherness, all while powerfully intersecting displacement and
site-specificity. Moreover, a battery-operated FM/AM pocket radio with a wire
antenna (the kind I had), if paired with headphones, can provide a magical blanket
of privacy in relation to one’s immediate surroundings, while providing access
to farther worlds of sonic imagination.
Of course, at the time these were not the words
I had available to formulate my experience. What I was was fascinated by how
voices and music from the beyond could come and reach my ears, as I lay under
the (no-longer metaphorical) blankets in early nightfall, just before drifting into
sleep. And without wires! The world was much less wireless back then.
Most fascinating for me, was the foreign radio
coming from beyond the borders. Even beyond the exoticism of unfamiliar vocal
geographies, the very act of tuning manually – meaning, traversing the static noise
between station frequencies – provides access to a transitive soundscape of glitched/cacophonic
heterotopia, stimulated by a phenomenology of expectation.
Heterophonics is a lecture-performance on the multiple and often incongruous overlapping of imaginary geographies that listening to radio provides. It also deals with how the located body – the listener, wherever she is to be found – is a fully active participant in this heterotopian space, and some notes on the phenomenology and politics of inhabiting it. In sum, this lecture explores traditional radio as a portable heterotopian grid/access point, as well as its nuanced variations in our present age of constant (dis)connectivity.
DUST – Pilot Episode: Encountering the Hyperobject
Six sonic explorations of human enmeshment in an expanded ecology
How can we humans of the Anthropocene learn to understand the interdependence of our and other life forms and bio-/geological systems across deep time and space?
Encountering the Hyperobject is an ongoing sound composition/radio podcast series that connects social science, artistic research, sound art, and ecologies through the geo-philosophical concept of hyperobjects; “things that are massively distributed in time and space relative to humans” (Morton, 2013) while both affecting and affected by the lives we live in the present. Hyperobjects can be anything from global warming, to nuclear materials or plastic bags.
The project takes up Morton’s call for humans to “upgrade [our] ontological tools” and tries to attune its audiences to vital hyperobjects via a sonic language that mixes narrative, field-recordings, ambience, dialogue, music and interviews. Each of the planned six episodes engages and researches a specific hyperobject across Nordic and Arctic landscapes and localities.
The first episode, DUST, is under development and a work-in-progress version was presented at Inter Arts Center Malmö as a live lecture-performance and immersive sound-installation in December 2017. The performance was followed by an open discussion, the whole event lasting circa 60 minutes. Encountering the Hyperobject is a collaboration between social scientist and artistic researcher Christina Berg Johansen (DK) and sound artist and artistic researcher Eduardo Abrantes (PT/SE).
Photo credit: Eduardo Abrantes, IAC Malmö, December 2017
Photo credit: Eduardo Abrantes, IAC Malmö, December 2017
Photo credit: Maj Horn, IAC Malmö, December 2017
Photo credit: Eduardo Abrantes, IAC Malmö, December 2017
Ofte, både i min egen lydkunst og i andre kunstneres, mærker jeg lyde som håndgribelige bevægelser i rummet. En af de mest bemærkelsesværdige, mystiske og alligevel almindelige af disse, skal jeg nævne opkald og svar. Når du siger ”hej” til nogen, du kender, og de svarer tilbage. Når to skibe blæser deres tågehorn, mens de sejler nær. Når alarmen på en mikrobølgeovn bringer dig tilbage til køkkenet, og dine skyndte trin stepper på gulvbrættet. I musikalsk kontrapunkt. Overalt i naturen under parringssæson. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. Often, both in my own sound work and other artists’, i experience sound as tangible movement in space. One of the most common yet mystifying categories of this movement is “call and response”. When you say “hello” to someone, and they answer back. When two ships blow their foghorns while passing close. When a microwave alarm brings you back to the kitchen, your steps resounding on the wood floor. In musical counterpoint. Everywhere in nature under breeding season.
Appropriately to its title, Opkald og svar(“Call and response”) was inspired by an invitation to participate in an Æstetisk Salon session, themed “Interaktion – Reaktion”, an artistic research sharing/presentation/dialogue platform created and curated by Camille Roth and Linh Le. Opkald og svarwas presented as both a two channel stereo field sound composition and a co-created collective performance, taking place at private apartment situated in Nørrebro, Copenhagen, on October 2017. In its performative phase, the public was invited to divide in two groups, the first venturing out and exploring the acoustic space of the private home by find a call-sound to respond to. The second group would, after a few minutes, also venture out and try to individually position itself in relation to the mid-points of call and response defined by the individual members of the first group, adding their own intermediate sound to the ongoing play. The result was a playful collaborative exercise in sound exploration, active listening, and performative engagement.
40 beats per minute is a common enough heart rate when asleep. A little low but still normal, especially for a trained though exhausted body. The living heart is in constant motion, not exactly translating and rotating like a planet does, but close enough. This measure can be measured as a rhythmic repetition in sequential time.
The ancient Greeks had two names for time. Chronos refers to measurable time, from past to future, the numbering of the days, a line, a sequence. Kairos refers to the instant, the moment of opportunity where action ignites consequence and change happens. If that moment is seized. If not, it belongs to chronos, the cannibal.
Kairos also refers to the moment in archery when the tension of the bow achieves the maximum and the arrow is released. Or in weaving, when the wooden shuttle passes between the threads tied taut in the loom.
The Here And Now is of kairos but entangled in chronos. Aren’t we all?
Titled in a oblique reference to a “genus of atmospheric cloud generally characterized by thin, wispy strands, giving the type its name from the Latin word cirrus, meaning a ringlet or curling lock of hair” (quote retrieved from the never unreliable Wiki), this piece is the first of a collection of compositions built upon live voice processing and manipulation. It might also seek inspiration from a meteor fragment framed on the wall – a white cirrus navigator of sorts, cutting a cooling burning trail across the sky under which we happen to live through our days. Few things expose one more intensely to scrutiny and self-awareness than opening one’s mouth. Speaking in public, speaking to oneself, doubting one’s sanity or singing in the shower, our voice (if we have it) is the truest multi-tool. In the worlds of sound, voice is a borderless kingdom of vast property – it is also the only instrument that can die. White Cirrus is part of Tungedrevet (“Tongue-driven”) a series of compositions where the mouth pushes the sound waves into an processing array, sometimes loosing its recognizability altogether. Onto the listener, the one who lingers on the other side, it emerges as a metamorphic presence. Hopefully.