The Sound Walk
This experience is:
for 2 or 3 people
less than 1 hour long
aesthetic, relational, physical, auditory, urban
- Gather one or two friends for a sound walk through the city or through the country.
- Pick a starting point, take turns leading.
- The leader should let his/her ears lead the way. You are looking (listening!) for variations in the qualities of sound. You are a tourist of these variations. How is sound different when close to a wall? How is it different when people pass? Can you differentiate the rising pitch of the doppler effect as a car approaches from the increasing volume?
- When something interesting is discovered, the leader should bring the others to hear. Then another person takes the lead. Follow no prescribed route.
- After 45 minutes, find your way back.
It’s not entirely clear who invented the soundwalk; it’s an idea that’s been around for ages. Check out this article on soundwalking from 1974: Soundwalking, by Hildegard Westerkamp