Introduction to Sound Walks

Beginning to learn about the final subject of this school year, I did a bit of my own research on sound walks and their purposes and realized how many stories can be created from one specific site. Depending on the perspective on how we look at things, a single location can hold very different meanings for everyone.

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Here is a link to SOUNDWALK.com – this website contains audio walk projects from all over the globe. Some are documentary-like in the sense that they introduce a city or village to you as a tourist advertisement, some are more upbeat and introduce you to other cultures’ music preferences and what that music means to the citizens. There are quite a number of sound tours as well as a collection of interesting installation projects the artists have produced.

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Another interesting website I came across is a website that archives a collaborative effort between numerous artists that specialize in different fields of the fine arts. Palace Intrusions is a project that includes music projects, installations, and photography pieces. The theme of the project is “Inside and Outside”, in which artists create works that revolve around the idea of “where we choose to sit, what we choose to see and what goes around us.”

Within the many pieces created for this project, one was a sound walk composition called “Song for Fifty Hearts” by Duncan Speakman (Benchmark #5). This recording is very deep and truly makes you think about the message and contemplate on the kind of walks you take, the locations, and what surrounds you as you walk. The sounds of children, ducks and birds in the background, the swaying of grass, the footsteps in the dirt – all these elements make up the environment around us, but when we are walking to get somewhere and are pressed for time, we rarely realize the beauty of all these sounds and take them for granted. This sound walk really helped me realize all these ideas and has given me inspiration for our final project.

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On murmur.com, a website that publishes articles about television and film, music, literature, technology, and lifestyle by anyone who uploads compositions onto the website. Here, users can post written compositions, videos, and sound files for other viewers to comment and respond to. What is interesting about this website, I find, is that people can respond to posts with their own sound files as well! That is quite a unique aspect of this site as other websites only allow written responses and comments to articles. Here is an example of an active article in which people posted their own sound files to give comments and help to the author: January 2010 Murmur Mixtape: Home Heart and Health Edition.

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I hope to be able to apply all these research items together with my final project submission.

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~ by omejelee on March 17, 2011.

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