LISTENING TO WHAT IS ALREADY THERE

I read an article about noise-canceling headphones, people have an on going need to control everything that comes to them. They are hungry for information but don’t tolerate sounds or presence of others.
Of course, it is comfortable to be in your own bubble, especially when you travel. That is why a lot of people are wearing headphones everywhere. They cover existing sound with electronic sounds: music, podcast or noise to block the real noise. This makes people overstimulated easily. Because when you put off your headphones, the “normal” sound reaches your ears and then you experience this way louder.
For me this was totally an “ear”opener. I think people should be more aware about the many sounds that are just here. If I look back, I can find a pattern of myself in this process. During my bachelor studies I had a period that I didn’t want to make sound anymore, as I already in the zero document mentioned. Because if you listen to what is already there, you can hear so much, and also a lot of beautiful sounds. For example when I am traveling by bus or train I really enjoy the composition that I hear.

exp: reality funnel headphones
I experimented with headphones that have funnels instead of shells. By using this headphones you are forced to listen to the existing sounds. The funnels were not really working because I could not hear the noises better. I still can try with a funnel with a wider opening, that includes the whole ear instead of only the hole of the ear. I think it would be nice to let a spectator wear this headphones and give him a map where he can find an interesting sound walk of sounds that are already there.


exp: afstand luisteren
If we could listen to reality, but then to something that is too far away to really hear, what do we hear? In this experiment I placed a funnel extended by a tube somewhere on a desk or in the air. I made sound through it to see how others react. Where does this sound come from? Unfortunately it didn’t work the other way around, that I could hear others at the other end of the tube.


exp: laptop and space
For this experiment I used one of the white rooms in Pastoe, it was empty. My laptop stood next to the open door with the text: “do you hear music?” And it was recording(video and audio). I left it there for an hour. With this experiment I was wondering if people would come closer to read the small letters written on my laptop, and if they would listen to it. But when I watched the recording that I made, no one was noticing it. Maybe it was too small. As a scenographer I should think about how to invite people to pay attention on this work, more than just a laptop. But in an environment where constantly experiments are going on, this is sometimes difficult.


exp: composition of space: 5 min
In Pastoe, I found a space within another space. The roof is open, but covered by a net. Around this space are other working spaces of students. It seems the perfect place to experiment with listening to what is already there. Especially on Thursday afternoon, when all students are working there. I made a composition of 5 minutes where the spectator is listening to all the surrounding sounds. This room is black so it feels like a safe and a bit like an isolated place. But the only ‘problem’ is that there is a white square on the wall and a white bench. So this becomes very important. How can I make sure that the spectator will listen, and doesn’t expect something visual to appear. Or do I need a visual focus point so that the ears are more open because your eyes have rest?


My question now is: How can I arrange this ‘composition of sounds’ so that others also can hear the music of what is already there?