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The Collective Field

You are invited to participate in World Listening Day 2020 an annual global event held every July 18.

This year's theme, created by Wild Sanctuary Vice President Katherine Krause is "The Collective Field."

The Collective Field

There is something new afoot. The field itself is changing.

The creature world knows.  The creative one does too. 

So what does it mean now to listen? How do we express what we know?

Be alert.

Individually and in concert,

There is sanctity in it.

Amid new conditions, travel the field and explore

By call and response

The rhythm within. 

How does your song fit

Within the collective chorus?

Current times have asked each of us, individually and in concert, to retreat, reflect, and rethink the world we thought we knew, but how do we respond?  Energizing this shared global experience holds gifts of rejuvenation. Respect this momentary silence – but glean what it yields. The Collective Field invites you to express your recent journey through what was, what is, and what will be, evoked only by wandering into new territory.  Stay silent until you know. Then speak. Share.  Perform. How have you been transformed? We are all in the woods of a new age, and we’re listening to the future.

Help us share and grow participation in this global community event by adding your information to this short online survey. We welcome everyone to share news, ideas, and questions about participation in the comments of this post, in our Facebook Page and our Facebook Group. Learn more about the work of Katherine and Bernie Krause at Wild Sanctuary.

Since its inception in 2010, thousands of people from six continents have participated in World Listening Day. July 18th is the birth date of renowned Canadian composer, music educator, and author, R. Murray Schafer. His World Soundscape Project developed the fundamental ideas and practices of acoustic ecology in the 1970s. These inform the current, burgeoning interest in our changing acoustic environment. Thus, World Listening Day honors Schafer’s contribution to understanding our world.

13 Comments, RSS

  • Laila Fan

    says on:
    June 15, 2020 at 8:36 am

    We are very glad to participate this year WLD. Since 2017, soundscape association of Taiwan has conducted Taiwan listening day on 7.17, one day before WLD. Because 717 sounds like “ listen and listen” in Mandarin. But the whole event will take one or two weeks, also including the world listening day. We have a local major topic which will associate with your topic every year. We are appreciated to listen to the world together.Thank you!

    • Eric Leonardson

      says on:
      June 15, 2020 at 8:18 pm

      Dear Laila,

      Thank you so much! We’re happy you are planning to participate in World Listening Day again with a homophonously selected date of July 17. We encourage you please to share any links to your events, and also find and complete our short online survey. The survey should only take a minute to complete. The data helps us know who, what, how, and where people are participating.

      All the best,
      Eric Leonardson, President

  • Norman Long

    says on:
    June 16, 2020 at 9:50 pm

    World Listening Day 2020 – The Collective Field: Thoughts & Recordings by Norman W. Long:

    I do not know what it means to listen now. But it is a good question as I sit and listen to a community isolated from the rest of the city of Chicago. I live in South Deering, a community on the south-east side of Chicago. It is a majority Black and Brown community that straddles residential, industrial and wasted space. Single family homes surrounded by land fills, factories, rail yards, brown fields, and un/underused industrial structures. Most work sites are still open (if they haven’t been abandoned due to disinvestment), many in the community have been given essential (sacrificial) worker status leaving themselves vulnerable to COVID-19 while many others are unemployed due to work stoppages and lay-offs. During the isolation order, I was able to walk and record my local nature trail. This trail opened in my neighborhood last fall. It was converted from an open space wetland/prairie with no community access to Marian R. Byrnes Park on the south-east side of Chicago with walking trails. The prairie is located between a residential neighborhood and a large rail yard. It was my intention along with my creative partner Sara Zalek to lead a soundwalk at Byrnes Park before the stay at home order was implemented. I’ve led several soundwalks here in Chicago and elsewhere. One of the exercises I introduce to the group before we start our walk is a breathing exercise where we focus on our breath by concentrating on our inhalations and exhalations. Before I did any walking meditation or performing, I started with breathing exercises. That was the foundation for my practice of self-care, listening, composing and performing. Disconnection is a process. That process is fueled by white supremacy and capitalism. African Americans experience and witness this disconnection to our environment, economy, sense of self and place. With these walks we are brought back to our bodies, our time and our space. I invite you to listen as part of the collective field because as we listen and sound we expand our awareness of our connection and disconnection.
    This mindfulness practice of breathing brought me back to the COVID-19 respiratory virus, and the murder of George Floyd. Both of these instances African Americans are more vulnerable to contract the virus and more likely to be murdered by police. There is also the fact that most areas with high rates of air pollution and toxicity are overwhelmingly poor and African-American. When we breathe we are mindful of our mind/body/land connection, our connection to each other and our connection to those who cannot breathe. We can breathe for them and listen to the streets, the noises and disruptions and join in the chorus that demands justice for Black and Brown people all over the world.

    Blog entry, photos and sound here:

  • John

    says on:
    June 25, 2020 at 11:40 am

    My listening has become more local, exploring the differences a few meters apart. I can’t travel long distances, so I am traveling very short distances and finding sonic diversity in an area of only a few acres. The acoustics change, the presence and absence of species changes, the feeling of the place changes. I am finding new and surprising features of a soundscape I have inhabited for almost 20 years.

    • Kat Krause

      says on:
      July 2, 2020 at 2:53 am

      It is an interesting breakthrough to begin perceiving the amoeba-like shape of sonic diversity, one of the benefits of nuanced listening! #WayCool

  • Rüdiger Ortiz

    says on:
    July 1, 2020 at 11:30 pm

    I grew up close near a pine forest. My house is surrounded by green, and many different animals thrive in my garden, which sounds I’ve incorporated into my mind. That’s the soundscape that brings me calm, down to earth, and allows me to be present. I always miss it when I’m not here. I try to find it in other places, to bring together the smell of the pine trees, of that particular type of forest…, the sound of the wind moving their trunks, maybe some doves calling their own kind with a deep low call, or a group of magpies defending their territories chaotically. Always with a touch of blackbirds and their complex symphonies. Possibly a squirrel, although these have declined over the years, and now they are really rare to spot. I love their playful communication while they jump a tree after picking some nuts from the floor. And many other things that I’m not even aware of…., but as a whole, that’s my acoustic fingerprint, deeply rooted in my brain. That’s how my local soundscape connects with me, and how I merge with the collective chorus!
    So, I can’t wait to participate in the World listening day! I hope to contribute with some of my local soundscapes, but also with new material from an exotic location that I’m really excited about. Looking forward to listening to other people’s contributions!

  • Kat Krause

    says on:
    July 2, 2020 at 2:48 am

    Reading about your ‘acoustic fingerprint’ and how resonant this memory is to your sense of place is a pleasure. I can almost hear the chattering of the animals and the wingbeats of the birds. Looking forward to hearing more about your local sounds.

  • Eve Payor

    says on:
    July 2, 2020 at 7:37 pm

    My introduction to soundscape as an art and natural resource came through the work of R. Murray Schafer and his influence in the Pacific Northwest and with Vancouver New Music. This knowledge was furthered by reading Dr. Bernie Krause’s book “The Great Animal Orchestra.” This 2020 WLD theme is a perfect collaboration between these two mentors. Kat Krause has outlined the essence of collaboration by inspiring me to listen in a changing world, where the creatives and the creatures are humming the same tune. Can these two groups find a broader audience to shift perceptions of listening? I will contribute to WLD on behalf of the ACA Soundscape Field Station at Canaveral National Seashore, and pose a question for contemplation about how individuals can push the collective field. We all have shifted our perception of quiet, and of the animal orchestra, due to the stillness during quarantine. This is the time to slow down, listen, and re-learn our connections. Thanks Kat for sharing this prompt! I hope everyone participates in some small way to build the collective field.

  • radio aporee

    says on:
    July 3, 2020 at 1:21 pm

    as the years before, radio aporee also participates in this year’s World Listenig Day. If you’re planning to take field recordings during this event, you’re kindly invited to share them with others on the radio aporee ::: maps. More info at
    https://aporee.org/wld2020/ Hope to hear from you, stay well, Udo / radio aporee

  • Andy Martin

    says on:
    July 6, 2020 at 9:55 pm

    I’ve never managed to participate in WLD in the past, having always managed to find myself out somewhere on the day, but am thinking about what I could offer this year. I’m looking forward to listening to everyone’s contributions!

  • Luís Antero

    says on:
    July 7, 2020 at 11:30 am

    We are very glad to participate again in such an important sound event…

    The Portuguese netlabel Green Field Recordings joins, for the 10th year, the World Listening Project, through World Listening Day, with another field recording sound compilation.
    All interested artists should send their recordings or sound pieces via wetransfer to greenfieldrecordings@gmail.com, until July 15, under the following conditions/information:

    Artist Name:
    Track name:
    Track time: (min. 3:00 / max. 10:00)
    Location of the recording(s):
    Audio Format: wave or mp3 (320kbps)
    Deadline: July 15
    Release date: July 18

    1st compilation (2010-2011)

    2nd compilation (2012)

    3rd compilation (2013)

    4th compilation (2014)

    5th compilation (2015)

    6th compilation (2016)

    7th compilation (2017)

    8th compilation (2018)

  • Amanda Gutierrez

    says on:
    July 8, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    My current experience of listening is related to the process of relocation. I had to travel and to keep facing myself in different dwellings amid the COVID-19 pandemic, starting with my journey in Montreal, Canada. Then I had the opportunity to teach Sound Art and Acoustic Ecology class in the United Emirates at the University of New York in Abu Dhabi. The sound of the desert and the Muslim call of prayer was the aural footprint that marked my everyday life. After the lockdown, I had to move to Helsinki, Finland, where the soundscape of the leaves and the trees accompanied the various birds singing in the forest, which marked my days and nights. The presence of the human language has pointed out the diversity of the phonetics, which marks the idea of the collective field, through the cultural realm and the natural resources that are tangled, living in an ecosystem. I’m so grateful to have a set of ears and humans who I can share these listening experiences, in the collective field.

  • Jacek

    says on:
    July 9, 2020 at 4:42 pm

    Two days before the WLD 2020, I will participate in an online exhibition within Un-Earthed: A  festival of listening and environment organized by CRiSAP in London (https://www.crisap.org/event/acts-of-air-reshaping-the-urban-sonic/). My piece is a set of instructions for how to engage in listening of and from the perspective of urban peripheries. Just like the participants I encourage through my project, I intend to spend the day on exploring soundscapes of peripheries in Vancouver, where I am currently located. The project emerged from Inaudible Cities, an exploration of the peripheries of Stockholm. More: http://www.para-archives.net/inaudiblecities.html

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