Ways of Listening
Updated: Jun 28, 2022
In beginning my research, I decide to become aware of the surroundings I find myself in, as I conduct daily activities with my family. There are innumerable spaces and spaces within spaces, like a house with its outer walls (and the inner surfaces of those walls) and the singular rooms within, again defined by walls or furniture. In this example, these spaces have openings or portals to other spaces, expanding outwards or becoming containers of smaller ones. With daily activities, I continuously come in contact with the structures of these spaces and the objects within them; nonhuman bodies and my human body create fluidly moving constellations and compositions, both visual and audial.
This happens without always being conscious about it, yet when I listen to these movements, I become aware of minute intra-relations between bodies; and in listening, I can curate and compose them in the moment. I contemplate what it means to listen and how exactly I listen to a location, its bodies in order to place my own, to enter in. It is an "active listening" according to Patricia Bardi, a voice-movement practitioner, and I would add that the activeness is not in one direction - me listening to what is outside of me - but a fluid feedback loop between me and the world, breathing through our fluctuating portals, all pores open to vibrations passing back and forth and through. Sound waves are everywhere, which could be understood to mean that we are in the midst of constant, imperceptible movement. What kind of listening, how might I listen to be able to perceive some of these?
I am considering how a ritual might aid me in devising a space and time in which I am most able to actively, fluidly listen. In Vest and Page's Workshop about rituals, I discovered many things: a white blindfold allowed me to see only shapes and lights, so that I could practice listening to my inner movements and how they might reverberate and be reverberated by movements through this cloudy space. 2) That the listening I felt was happening while improvising with the group, while looking for a repetitive action that would transport me, could be described as listening through the skin. Other than being aware or awake to my surroundings; differently than listening only to sounds through my ears; I had the sensation that my entire porous surface was receiving and giving out vibrations. Not in any esoteric way, but physically, in ways that manifested in action, movement, and energy.
I will continue to contemplate how to listen throughout this research. How to arrive at a state in which I can listen through my skin.
How can I create an environment in which the acoustic of and within the space is perceivable; in which vision is reduced and the sensitivities through the skin (my own and audience members) are heightened.
Dissecting sounds or a virtual space or of a particular location where I am not
How to come closer to the war in Ukraine?
Hordes (of people within a space, recorded at the same time every day)
Sounds below ground
basements, caves, holes in soil...
I have also begun to learn about and work with Ableton and Push, some of these experiments will come soon!