“A Sound Walk: Reclaiming Our Ears”
Hearing is the most acute human sense (Shepherd & Billington, 2011), but also the least controlled—we cannot shut our ears to sounds, and even in our sleep we remain aurally receptive (Johns Hopkins University, 1998; Issa, 2008). Hearing and listening are related but distinct practices. Hearing is involuntary, while listening is a voluntary act, which through “training and practice produces culture” (Oliveros, 2002). Training the mind to listen in new ways provides us with insights about the (external) environment and the (internal) workings of our perception, attention, intent. It enriches our understanding of our place in the world and society. It gives us tools for strengthening a connection with our surroundings and with other beings—animal and human. In this workshop participants will be invited to “clean” their (inner) ears and reconfigure the way they listen to the various sounds around them. They will be guided to dismantle sound to its core components, rearrange it, and find new meanings. Through various guided tasks we will share our sharpened sonic space through discussion and interaction.