The second listening platform was a conducted workshop. It took place at the PAF—festival of animation and contemporary art in Olomouc (Czech Republic). The workshop was attended by a total of 15 people and included the use of the headset and the listening practices—soundwalk, listening pauses, and blind walk—which were carried out all over Olomouc.
The whole event lasted three hours, and the participants gradually took turns in the practices at three different locations in the city along the pre-determined route—in the park, in the main square, and at the railway station. Each of the participants had the opportunity to operate with the GUI and change between the different sound processes.
Each made one recording of their soundwalk and listening pause, and wrote a short description of what they recorded (selected recordings and descriptions below).
I walked through the park, listening to the sounds of the peacocks, and slowly lay down on the ground, then on my side, listening to the sounds of the grass. It was a very pleasant experience.
I was recording the transition from the park to the hustle and bustle of the city.
The second recording is from the church, where I hid after a while when I started to mind the noise from the city. I thought it was interesting how the sounds were created even where it should be completely quiet and peaceful. Or, that the silence itself has a sound.
During the soundwalk, I recorded my walk through a crowded café in the center of Olomouc.
I searched for a long time in the park for a place to stop, until I finally came across a grassy area with two trees that appealed to me. On one of the trees was a white stone. I sat down in the grass between the trees and played with the white stone, the shells, the growing grass, and my breath. There were families and children and birdsong all around.
I was walking down a long street and nobody was walking towards me for a long time. Suddenly, there were a lot of people, a tram and a car. Sometimes, I kicked the stones by the side of the road.
I was inside of the bookshop and stay stuck next to register, because I wanted to record the beep when it scanned. I went out and ran into Dan who I told about my experience and I continued to record.
After testing several effects for a while I decided to stick to the effect that repeats what is heard and add some reverb to get the feeling of floating. When I was crossing the street, since everything was repeated and shifted in space I didn't know where the cars were coming from. I heard the sounds in real time through the headphones, then modified. Now when I listen again, the layer of sounds I heard live is missing and I only hear the ones that were modified.
At my stop, two English-speaking ladies flashed by in the underpass near the convent, discussing God knows what about in USA style, as it should be.
During the soundwalk, I was walking around the busiest place in Olomouc. The passing trams, cars, lots of people at the bus stop, the intersection and the flashing traffic lights didn't make as much of a mess as I thought thanks to the sound process settings. Instead, they created a surprising hum that unified all the elements into one drink.
The surroundings spoke. Muted. Muted. Exempt from the simplicity of ubiquitous conversations.
There was a man playing guitar around the corner. I found it fascinating not to see him and at the same time to listen to him altered. Again, I had an almost LSD feeling from the guitar melting into my ears, plus there was a looped cosmic sound.
The delay of all sounds and their echoes create hallucinogenic feelings, the regular tapping of the electronics holder calms me down. The snoring humorously evokes percussion.
While sitting in the tramway, I recorded my surroundings.
Inside a supermarket touching packaging. Playing with our voices and our environment around, trying to find some rhythms by slapping a metal bottle on different materials.
Knocking on the steel bars laid by the house on the estate.
We went to the supermarket and used to rustle up pasta and all sorts of things in packaging that could be played.