Footpath for Otic Ghosts

Walking piece details

Duration40 minutes
CostFree

Where do you go to listen to your thinking?

Which sounds steer your choice of direction?

A walk in the park is inherently about listening. It is a way we allow a conversation with a friend, as well as our thoughts, ideas, or emotions, to resonate freely. A path along an edge of water, a park bench, a clearing in the trees—each is its own type of resonator. And then there is that chink in a wall and the creek stones with water falling through them. The notch in a dying tree. A hollow metal handrail faintly ringing. A cupped hand at an angle to the wind.

Features of the environment insulate the listener: doors, walls and windows, of course, as well as hedges and overhangs, sunken walkways and enclosures. Maybe even clouds? Materials play a part too.

How can you make sounds with leaves? With two small round stones?

How many sounds can you make with your feet on different kinds of ‘ground’?

Where along the path can you find a wire to pluck?

Find a ringing sound or find a way to make one.

Explore the idea of an instrument from scratch.

A walk that is designed for listening might encourage someone to go on and listen more intently to the world; to acknowledge the possibilities for a place being a composition of sounds as much as it is of fauna and flora, sediments, structures, smells, human activity, histories and times of day; and to engage with a place, naturally, as a sound-making being, realizing the potential of a place, its situations and its objects, for becoming instruments in imaginative and otic hands.

Consider how a microphone, used as an extension of the ear, can get us listening to places otherwise inaccessible. Imagine what sounds may have been there before you arrived in that place of silence?

Try knowing a place by finding out about its sounds.

Third Angle New Music

Third Angle New Music

SWS Award winner

The music of our time creates a soundtrack to contemporary life, existing at the intersection of musical forms from jazz and classical to rock and electronica. For more than 30 years, Third Angle New Music has played outside the lines of the expected with ...

Loren Chasse

Loren Chasse

Loren Chasse is an American musician, sound artist, field recordist and teacher, most notable for his association with Jewelled Antler and his work with Thuja, The Blithe Sons, The Child Readers, Of, and many others. He primarily works with natural setting...

Near Sellwood, Portland, OR, USA

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