Thu 01 Jan 1970

As part of Oreet Ashery’s SPILL Salons, Rachel Porter and Edd Hobbs have been documenting infection through writing. See the first post for a description of their approach to writing.

What do we hear when we listen? What do we listen to when we hear? 21st April 2011

I am listening to the sounds of a performance without the visual even if the visual was playing I wouldn’t be able to see it as I am facing the wall writing this I can hear music and some laughter and whirring and speech it is hard to discern exactly which sounds are from the recording and which are from the room was that shuffle on the dvd or next to me I don’t fancy asians in general bottle drops what happens when we isolate sound from the other senses I can hear my pen squeaking half shouting the microphone makes the voices seem like they are from a different room a room that echoes not this grey box that swallows sound a trumpet fanfare a wind machine I can feel the bass in my skull like I felt it in my jeans the wall vibrates almost imperceptibly what’s the difference between a sound clip and a music clip uma said sound is just sound a phone bleeps when does noise become sound when does sound become music when does music become noise was that clapping recorded or live private and public sound a medium that is so immediate an audience creating sound unwrapping a sweet is the loudest sound known to man artist vs curator gathering vs selection diy sounds need a diy setting the fixed situation becomes a material part of the performance a bottle kicked under a chair under a concrete cobble floor another phone crickets this time my voice comes from behind the image from the front some people can’t hear anything the projector had to fight him off to stop him turning the volume down sound is violent you can’t close your ears a measured pace strict pauses what happens when the noises start not hearing deliberately mishearing I keep mishearing today people sound quieter what happens to the words I don’t hear that I don’t write down are they lost forever you don’t need the context of the story to understand the work vectors that happen in opposite directions at the same time a peculiar displacing very restless you have to want to hear the story but you have to be able to give that wanting up the lost lyrics of a lesbian folk song extenuate articulate what happens to the words we can’t hear the gap between what we intend and what is understood an idea of authority the spoken word is considered primary why is everything made more tangible when you write it down when you can see it in black and white like this a hierarchy of contradiction sight vs sound writing vs speech poetics of music assonance and dissonance all the sounds converge towards a centre composing is organising sounds around the centre a seismic shift atonal music just means deaf to tonality not atonal but anti tonal the clarity of lyric over everything else the same people but now you can’t hear what you’re saying a classic punk idiom a remote form a filtered form pedagogic vs experiential translated a band with fans but not divided an ongoing conversation with artist and audience like this one another layer of london a music space a space for music can music have a space can sound have a space the construction of a world order the worlds that sound can instruct situating sound in relation to theatre how do you speak how do you open and close a space a conversation can sound create a community a shared hearing performing the same work more than once it changes the communication a communication of repetition we don’t ever want to feel like we are just reproducing repeated sound does that ever become horrific when you can’t hear yourself everything that we’ve recorded is not improvised this recording is improvised this documentation is improvised diy documentation sharing a physical object people always want to have something physical privateness can create a projected community a feeling that there are people there people here is sound art becoming foregrounded in contemporary art practices writing about music and sound how do you write about sound it is outside of linguistic discourse what gets lost in the translation from sound to text what have I lost from the conversation onto this sheet of plastic it inevitably distands discourse I think I heard that wrong how do you hear something wrong a cough I can hear someone in the distance now a child a silence a break how do we tackle the question what do we hear when we listen what is the difference between listening and hearing the difference between expectation and performance proposition dissonance is what you hear most of the time everything is a value specific to you listening is conscious whether you hear or not listening to the radio live broadcast a collective choice to listen rather than just hearing can we have sound voice echoes that it already in the room laughter of audience clips sound steady voice music begins industrial noise like a flare or an aeroplane voice getting lost now dropped glass again and again repetition or echo a list of no’s wind waves and fanfare crescendo screams heavy drums drum heavy why is sound heavy what does a sound weigh feedback feed again twice fed applause of audience in film briefly spills into the room collecting sounds collaborating with sound gathering people makes collective sounds sound as an immediate medium continuum of punk what is the scene seen physical connection sharing space sharing air its almost enough just to perform for ourselves responsibility gathering artistic and curatorial responsibility responsibility to public and to each other what would it mean to perform in an auditorium with seats no intimacy why is standing more intimate uniformity of seats productive tension is a material that I can work against beer for the audience continuous kicking over of empty bottles performing the audience kicking bottles is act of aggression if audience can’t have beer can the piece be broadcasted physical orientation of space and audience shapes how audience experience the work invasion of the body by this flickering light aggressive conceptual and physiological experience three dimensional attack three dimensional beauty you can’t close you ears all you can do is walk away personal and public self expression measured pace takes away from the confessional but what happens when the noises start not hearing mishearing we want to hear words not white noise noise becomes language layering of sound what happens to what we can’t hear where does it go story exists as an example of the personal that the film obliterates the gap between artist’s view and audience’s view vectors that act in opposite directions at the same time restless story has to hook the audience before they have to give it up lesbian folk music lyrics lost in noise drowned out submerged in black goo vulnerability and hiding being in control of what is heard knowing that the words are there is more important than whether they are heard satisfaction another meaning emerges gender in sound dissonance resonance assonance displaced centre tuning in order of chromatic steps a above middle c search for the centre sounds converge in combination leading to a different centre atonality indifference negating without renouncing it deaf to tonality break up order to establish a new one not atonal but anti tonal following career over ten years the lyrics get lost have to read the lyrics sheet have to read the programme note difference between pedagogic experience and something more open community tentacles who do we work with outside friendship constituted my unconscious shared experience spending time outside of constructed shared experience when we formed what we really wanted to do was to get to know each other better an ongoing conversation another layer of london another geographical community can music have a space can sound have a space you can’t contain sound invade and create a privatised space the power and threat of theatre to establish a new world order that obliterates everything why is that important machine gun firing line idealogical and anti idealogical community is provisional becoming provisional for a specific period of time repeated act of communication communication through repetition not reproduction repeated encounters produce and reproduce a specific type of community recording improvisation one take on track economic or cultural model sharing the want to have something physical something to hold how to hold a conversion how do you hold a community projected community reflected community sound art coming out through critical writing a language around sound is this an oral only language sound and music is outside linguistic order and communicates outside of language on a purely affective level perhaps how do you hold a sensation how do pass a sensation on withstands discourse worrying about sound is like worrying about a subset of a subset institutional problem making art is just a way to mediate mental illness this is said as a joke but i’m not sure if I am comfortable with the implications that trivialise mental illness what is the question where is the question how does a question hold a conversation hold us in a conversation what’s the difference between hearing and listening listening is more conscious every single audience refuses to believe the the radio is live