Our encounters with sounds are fleeting, temporal. Sounds come and go almost instantly and they never come back. Even recorded sounds played by different people in different contexts are something else. Become something else. I always had the feeling though that they leave traces, like they imprint on places, objects and people in a spectral kind of way. I have stated before that sounds can be haunting. That’s what I meant.
This way of thinking was always leading me to try to listen to my surroundings. We can listen to photographs, to letters, to clothes, to books. We can literally create whole audiotopias just by our imagination triggered by visual, sensorial or other stimuli. People write songs or improvise vocal pieces just because of these stumuli. This is not a rare practice. Some cultures can even listen to their past and their ancestors just by getting attuned to their surrounding environment and its sounds.
All the forementioned are thoughts that flood my mind when I’m in an audience, when I play music or when I just listen to it. I find it so creative and so inspiring and that’s why lately sensorial and multimodal practices have become prominent in ethnography and researching. This way of ethnography-making helps to learn sound through sound and not just by writing -which is also important- about it.
That is the reason why I lean toward this kind of approach but I don’t know exactly how I’m going to do it yet. Some days I record sounds that are distinctive, that represent the particular day they were recorded in. I call this my “Sound Diary” and these pieces -you have listened to one of these before- “Soundtracks of Everyday Life”.
This is what I’ll leave behind…