The Sound Walk

The Sound Walk

This experience is:
for 2 or 3 people
less than 1 hour long
aesthetic, relational, physical, auditory, urban

  1. Gather one or two friends for a sound walk through the city or through the country.
  2. Pick a starting point, take turns leading.
  3. 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?
  4. When something interesting is discovered, the leader should bring the others to hear. Then another person takes the lead. Follow no prescribed route.
  5. 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

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