Happy World Listening Day 2015!

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Happy World Listening Day! The 2015 theme for World Listening Day is “H2O” and we have been thrilled to receive submissions from across the world. Participation in World Listening Day has rapidly expanded every year since the inaugural event 2010 and the diversity of events and activities is always inspiring. Follow the program this weekend by using  #WLD2015 on social media platforms to connect with other local and global groups participating in World Listening Day.

This year we are pleased to present a special feature with Annea Lockwood and Bernie Krause as part of the virtual symposium content. Annea Lockwood’s incredible body of work was an inspiration for our theme this year and she has shared her inspiration with us to celebrated World Listening Day. Bernie Krause has shared a poignant video that shows the impact of the California drought on the biophony in San Francisco’s Sugarloaf State Park.

The H2O theme invited you to reflect on water, metaphorically in how you listen, or through creative events inspired by water and sound across the globe. The 2015 theme resonates at a time where we need to shift our collective thinking and actions towards water globally. We are pleased to see how submissions have creatively responded to the theme and highlighted the global water crisis in subtle yet powerful ways.

There are hundreds of sound walks happening in celebration of World Listening Day. From Drée village in France to Sequoia National Park in California,  sound walks across the world are approaching our theme in different ways. Pietro Bonanno in Palermo, Italy is doing a sound walk and field recording session that will arrive at the source of the Salso River. There are also sound walks happening along the Colne River in Colchester, the Noosa River in Australia and rivers through the city of Fortaleza in Brazil with Thaís Aragão.

Mikael Fernström in Limerick, Ireland, has created a sound walk that will follow the natural path of the river Shannon, and along the manmade headrace for the Ardnacrusha hydropower plant that was constructed in the 1920s. They are also using hydrophones, to listen to the difference between the two branches of the river. Björn Eriksson in the Philippines has created a sound walk with different stops for recordings along Iloilo river in Iloilo city. Each stop includes listening mediations and the recordings will later be published online.

We are pleased to see more collaborative projects emerging this year. Sonic Terrain are publishing a compilation of soundscape compositions for World Listening Day, the Sonic Terrain WLD compilations have become an integral part of World Listening Day.

Sound Waves is a project by Cities and Memory that forms part of World Listening Day 2015. It celebrates and builds on the World Listening Day theme of water by presenting a collective reimagining of the sounds of water around the world and the role it plays in our lives. A total of 38 sound artists from around the world have submitted a field recording and reimagining of water somewhere in the world: ocean, river, lake, stream, swimming pool, boiling kettle, splash of a puddle – anything in which water is the defining sound. This album presents some of the highlights of the project’s reimagined sounds – you can explore the full sound map at citiesandmemory.com/soundwaves

Radio Aporee have created another wonderful sound map for World Listening Day that is still open for submissions and EarthMoments have launched the Waterworx Soundscape Competition.

There are collaborative installations, performances and radio events happening across the world including Toby Wiltshire installation in Cumbria, U.K and John Hopkins live streamed improvisations from Arizona.

Sound Camp and Biosphere Soundscapes have launched a new collaboration to explore live stream networks in UNESCO Biosphere Reserves and global river systems. Temporary mobile streams will emerge on the Locustream Soundmap of live worldwide open microphones through the World Listening Day weekend. We also encourage you to explore the existing network of rich live streams on the Locusonus Soundmap.

Mick Shanahan and Sonic Arts Waterford in Ireland are producing the Sonic Dreams Festival in association with Hive Gallery & Studios with a day of discussions, sound walks, field recording and live performances on the theme of H2O.

Independent film center Vorky Team from Ruma, Serbia are hosting a festival with listening workshops focused on water meditation, short films from Serbia and from around the world inspired by water, sounds of water recorded worldwide and in Serbia, music with Dr. Masaru Emoto’s photographs of structured water and spontaneous talks on world waters today.

There are many more exciting events happening across the world and we encourage you to follow the activities this weekend by using #WLD2015 on social media platforms. We will publish further information on the events and activities that occurred in the coming weeks and we hope you will all join us in celebrating World Listening Day 2015: H2O!

The World Listening Day 2015 Team

Eric Leonardson, Leah Barclay, Dan Godston and Christopher Preissing

 

“Places and traces” by Viv Corringham

Reading Aimilia’s fascinating writings based on Spaces Speak, Are You Listening – a book I found very interesting – I thought I’d write a little bit about the work that I do.

I am particularly interested in people’s sense of place and their relationship with very familiar places.  Much of my work has developed in response to this, especially my ongoing sound project Shadow-walks. This began in 2003 and has occurred in 19 places in USA, Canada, Asia and Europe. It involves three main elements: walking with others, listening to environmental sound, and my own improvised singing.

There are well-known traditional links between walking, singing and the sense of place, such as the Aboriginal song-lines or the Kaluli song paths. Anthropologist Steven Feld studied the Kaluli people of Bosavi, Papua New Guinea and has described their practice of song paths, the poetic song texts that take listeners on a journey through a local area. The philosophy of song paths is that knowing where you are is knowing who you are. Feld’s writings were an important influence in the development of my work.

I became very interested in everyday sounds, inspired by working with composer Pauline Oliveros and learning her method of “Deep Listening”. My fascination with environmental sounds and musical improvisation led me to consider methods of exploring places and interacting with them vocally. My first attempts, in 2002, were called “Vocal Strolls” and became a regular show on London’s Resonance FM radio for a time. Vocal Strolls consisted of wandering through the city while listening to the environment and responding with improvised singing.

Shadow-walks began with the intention of incorporating other people’s experience of place into my work. James Joyce wrote that places remember events and I found this idea very interesting—that everything that happens leaves traces that we might be able to sense. So that if a person walks through certain places repeatedly along the same route, perhaps the ground retains traces of that person’s history and memories. Shadow-walks is an attempt to make a person’s traces, their shadow, audible.

The process of a Shadow-walk is straightforward. I arrive in a new place and ask to be taken on a special walk, one that has been repeated many times and has meaning or significance for that person. While walking together, I record our conversations and environmental sounds. This is followed by a solo walk in which I attempt to sense my previous companion’s traces on the walk and to make them audible through improvised singing in the location. These recordings are then selected and edited to become the final work, the Shadow-walk. Shadow-walks have been shared in various ways: as audio-walks, radio pieces, at listening posts around a town and, most frequently, as sound installations in art galleries. It is very important to me that they are presented in some way in the place where they were made, to the people who shared their special walks with me.

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