The Memory of Sound

November 24, 2010 § 1 Comment

Most of us will find it relatively easy to, more or less vividly, picture persons, things and events from the past. But – though the hearing of sounds and music, like tasting and smelling madeleine, can be a very powerful memory trigger – the human mind seems little capable to, all by itself, evoke the sounds that belong to these gestalts from the past. On the other hand, few will insist that there simply is no such a thing as a ‘memory of sound’.

But then what do we remember when we say that we remember a sound?

This fascinating question is at the heart of Soundtracks, a recent and ongoing work/project by the Belgian sound artist Stijn Demeulenaere. Soundtracks is basically an archive of handwritten notes containing memories of sound. At a presentation of the work you will find yourself in a quiet room, the walls of which are lined with wooden racks. On the racks there stand jars, each of which contains a small piece of paper. You may open the jars and read what is written on the papers…

Stijn Demeulenaere invites each of us to contribute to Soundtracks, by sending him our personal – handwritten – memories of sounds. Find out where to send your memories and some additional information on his Soundtracks page.

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The ‘Panels’ Symposium – a picture book

November 11, 2010 § Leave a comment

On Friday October 29th and Sunday October 30th an impressive international group of sound artists and sound scientists gathered on the – from an architectural & acoustical point of view near to magical – upper floor of the Wiebengahal in Maastricht, home to the Bureau Europa/NAiM and (until january 16th, 2011) Paul Devens’ installation ‘Panels’, for a dense and concentrated series of lectures and performances around the themes of ‘the public, the sonic and the spatial’.

The title of Karin Bijsterveld’s lecture aptly summarized the central concern of this 2-day symposium: “Listening in Space and Space for Listening”.

The following picture book gives a succint atmospheric overview of the event. It is also sort of a teaser: for I am pretty sure that it will make you wish you had been there …

All pictures were shot by Ton Eyssen.

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