The purposes of World Listening Day are to:
- Celebrate the listening practices of the world and the ecology of its acoustic environments;
- Raise awareness about the growing number of individual and group efforts that creatively explore Acoustic Ecology based on the pioneering efforts of the World Soundscape Project, World Forum for Acoustic Ecology, La Semaine du Son, and Deep Listening Institute, among many others;
- Design and implement educational initiatives that explore these concepts and practices.
This year’s theme for World Listening Day is “Sounds Lost and Found” from Lagos-based sound artist, Emeka Ogboh.
World Listening Day 2016’s theme, “Sounds Lost and Found,” calls on reminiscing, listening and observing what changes in our soundscapes have occurred in recent decades—be it language, nature, technology, music or even silence itself. For “Sounds Lost and Found,” we invite you to dig into crates of vinyl and cassettes, dive into digital archives, and engage deeply with memories and unheard languages to rediscover or identify these “lost sounds.” In doing so, “Sounds Lost and Found” hopes to spotlight the need for effective and accessible conservatory efforts to be implemented to preserve some of these sounds—whether those efforts include archival projects, changing our daily practices or supporting the preservation of indigenous languages and engaging with the keepers of and archiving fading oral traditions where that seems impossible. We can protect and celebrate sounds whose vitality can be vulnerable and fragile.
World Listening Project, Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology and Biosphere Soundscapes invite you to participate in World Listening Day 2016 on Monday, July 18, and through the week of July 16th-22nd.
Some suggestions on how you can participate and organize include:
- Soundwalks or listening events in your local community, with a particular focus on natural and human evolution, human activity in nature and industry, technology and machines
- Field recording trips or workshops
- Site-specific performance events
- Concerts curating compositions inspired by the theme, “Sounds Lost and Found” (contact us to connect with composers and sound artists)
- Personal experiences of attentive listening or field recording
- Educational events that relate to acoustic ecology, field recording, or a similar topic
- Public talks or lectures about listening and acoustic ecology including participation in the #SoundCon x World Listening Day “Sounds Lost and Found” virtual symposium on July 17-18.
Use the hashtag #WLD2016 to connect with other local and global groups participating in the World Listening Day 2016: Sounds Lost and Found and get involved.
Our planet continues to change due to human involvement and interventions. People evolve. Cities morph. Technologies advance. We can hear the planet changing. Our soundscapes reflect evolution; whether created by humans, machines or nature, the shifting presence and absence of sounds is affected by human activity in natural and industrial worlds.
Cities’ sonic identities are continually fluctuating as residential and commercial infrastructures develop. The resultant social dynamics of industrialization and gentrification sponsor variegated relationships between people and the public and private places they occupy.
Humans’ complex interactions with nature have encroached upon Earth’s autonomy and her anonymity. Phenomena such as pollution, deforestation and global warming are manifestations of natural processes; they are the aftershocks of industrial pursuits. Swaths of land have been decimated, dismantling animal ecosystems for human consumption and destruction. This reckless, shortsighted mode of interacting with non-human life has forced the retreat and extinction of many species, eliminating their sounds until there is silence.
Technological advances over the past several centuries, particularly in recent decades, have been astronomical. Of late, machines and media become obsolete before we have even become proficient in using them. These advances have impacted the acoustics of commercial and residential spaces with newer versions of devices designed with quietness in mind Sounds produced by older models are noticeably more obtrusive. Most of these advancements can be seen as positive, though some sounds we were accustomed to or fond of have become less prevalent or been silenced in our relentless push toward progress ad infinitum.
Some Questions of Inquiry
- How do our environmental, social and technological perceptions and understandings of change exist within the spectrum of sound?
- How do our understandings of listening and sounds morph as human intention and activity changes relationships between humans, the built environment, and nature?
This theme ultimately encourages awareness, a deep aural attention to our surroundings through the recognition of the variables that define the acoustic ecology of our lived environment, and a recognition that sounds of the past are different from sounds of the present or future.