Today I realized that all this time I’ve been making a simple acoustic sonification of a radio… But why would I make a sonification of a sound signal?
Loudspeakers were invented in the late 19th century. Until then all sound sources were more or less acoustic, nonelectric instruments. More than a hundred years later the situation has turned around. We have more electric sound sources (loudspeakers, headphones) acoustic instruments. I believe that our hearing is being redefined by what the current speaker technology. There are incredibly many people who listen a big chunk of their music from the built-in speakers of their cellphone or laptop.
When I hear sound art in a gallery, sounds tend to be produced/reproduced by speakers. At gigs — even when the band plays acoustic instruments — the sounds are amplified and played through speakers. Is it always necessary? What happened to the acoustic sound sources and acoustic bands? The problem is that when we use loudspeakers, high quality mics and all kinds of post-production tricks, the sounds become easily unnaturally lush, wonderful, sonically rich and detailed. I mean, I love that, but what if we get too used to that amplified sound? Do acoustic instruments lose their magic when they sound always so much better on a recording? Do we lose our sensitivity to natural sound textures?
The work also reminds me of some composers, like Leos Janacek, who studied natural rhythms and melodies of speech and tried to incorporate his findings in his compositions.
Anyway, these are some thoughts that I’ve had on my mind when making this piece. It is also some kind of continuation to “In Girum Imus Nocte”. I believe this is also a path that I will continue working with.
Here is a preview from the insides of my new sound piece:
“CATCH” group show opening tomorrow at Forum Box, Helsinki.