Sonntag, 23. Oktober 2022, 23:00 - 0:00, Ö1




Listening Biennial

compiled by Brandon LaBelle

  • The Inside Out // El adentro afuera by Mene Savasta
  • Arrullo by Fernando Vigueras
  • Tadpole Point by Wah-Yan Au & Yannick Dauby
  • Somos pájaros mensajeros / We are messenger birds by Sandra Monterroso & Manuel Estrella Chí
  • The boundaries of abstraction and complexity by Orsolya Kaincz
  • Three Suns in an Empty Room by Ish S

  • Within today’s intensely polarized environment, in which political and social debate often tend toward conflict or impasse, might listening enact an intervention? While focus is often placed on making statements, capturing history, and the importance of free speech, listening is radically key to facilitating dialogue, understanding, and social transformation. To listen is to extend the boundaries of the familiar, the recognized, and the known. In addition, listening affords more egalitarian, decolonized, and ecologically-attuned relations, staggering exclusionary systems and human exceptionalism by way of empathetic, attentional, and more-than-human orientations: to hear beyond the often fixed schema of self and other. Listening is a power, it may open and hold, it may support and attend, and it may afford escape and deep friendship.

    The featured artists presented here were part of the first edition of THE LISTENING BIENNIAL held in July 2021, which brought together participating artists and institutions from around the world. THE LISTENING BIENNIAL is an ongoing artistic and research platform, drawing attention to listening as a relational and creative capacity.

    Featured artists:

    The Inside Out // El adentro afuera (2021)
    by Mene Savasta

    Luna came into our lives one stormy morning two months ago. As if the cataclysm that was going through my body echoed in the sky, the rain and thunder were part of their arrival procession. That arduous and sonorous process of exteriorization had just begun. The following days with Luna would be a deep learning. The Inside Out portrays the intimacy of this little family in its effort to meet each other in exouterine life. Through sound recordings, it reflects on the ways in which listening unfolds as a process of interpersonal knowledge, of definition of identities and roles. The piece tries to capture how, in that initial time of the relationship, we learn to listen to ourselves, or rather, how we listen to learn ourselves. How the presence of a new being is heard: her new voice, her little noises and our voices shaped by everyday acoustic spaces. How the demand is heard: sounds as signs, as clues to interpret the need. How we rehearse responses with new sounds, lullabies, words, and soundscapes, yearning to be heard. And fundamentally, how we listen to the rhythm, the competing cycles: the calm and the storm, the interrupted sleep, the body-to-body feeding. Time and love in the process of phasing.

    Arrullo (2021)
    by Fernando Vigueras

    The voice is a mechanism of memory, an organism that establishes its own form in the course of its resonance. The voice is also a dispositive of the imagination and has an essential role from the moment in which a body in a state of formation is capable of perceiving it. Before becoming an instrument of language and articulating a complex phonetic system, the voice is established as a bridge with reality through song. In this sense, the lullaby could represent the primordial experience with language and its rooting in the body through sensitive listening. What do we hear in that murmur that determines the identity of each language? What resonates in that trace of language, where the word is originated as a deep vibration? Each voice recreates its own language that contains the memory of an accumulation of listenings, grounded in the sonorous imprint of its timbre. Singing is the catalyst of that language. Arrullo takes up this series of dissertations and questions to recreate a latent evocation of this first contact with the voice through chant and memory.

  • Fernando Vigueras: Concept, direction, strings, recording and editing.
  • Sarmen Almond: Voices, improvisation.
  • Maricarmen Martínez López: Voices, improvisation.

  • Tadpole Point (2021)
    by Wah-Yan Au & Yannick Dauby

    Too loud to speak or too noisy to listen. Can we see sounds and listen to pictures? How do the trees whisper? Would the sea cry? Mountains scream. An annoying mosquito barges into your sweet dreams. A Gecko hides itself at home but talks a lot at night, sometimes laughing, perhaps trembling. Can we listen to other’s muffled inner voices? Who are the others then? What pattern connects? How do we connect and communicate through dreams? Non-human species’ dreams. Dreams of a toad. A Pattern Which Connects. Bat's echo as messenger. One day, waking early in the morning, a sound message was received from Yannick. I recognized the dolphin's sound. Risso Dolphin recorded near the Eastern Coast of Taiwan, told by Yannick. Another day, while I was in busy hours on the way back to work, I listened to morning bird songs near Yannick's forest house. Here how we meet and connect. A visionary, a narrator. a Composer, a field recordist. How litho printing echoed with Yannick’s watery sound— my first time for a sound journey. Here we go. together. Hot, humid, and rainy. A night summer walk listening to mystical creatures, reading tales of mystery and discovering poetic and psychic otherworldly landscapes. Like papers like skin, they slowly absorb moisture. Colours with nature; shapes in dreams, with ink wash floating as catalyst. Speak low and sleep tight.

    Somos pájaros mensajeros / We are messenger birds (2021)
    by Sandra Monterroso & Manuel Estrella Chí

    The work is composed with sonic messages sent between Manuel Estrella Chí and Sandra Monterroso from their place of origin: water, night birds, among other field recordings. Manuel asks Nidia Patrón Canché, a traditional Mayan healer who works with plants to heal, for a remedy for sadness, and she sends a message in Maya Yucateco: a cure so that the body is not sad. On the other hand Sandra records a poem that she wrote in Maya Q'eqchi' where she makes an allegory to the nocturnal spiritual messengers that are beings and birds. The messages that are shown and that are hidden are a warning for the healing of the earth, because it does not belong to us, we belong to it.

    The boundaries of abstraction and complexity (2021) by Orsolya Kaincz

    Listening is always contextual and an action. It is no question that the fashion it is done by, depends on the physical and mental state, knowledge, cultural background, and experience of the listener. But does the sensual event of listening become different when the listener is aware of the process that resulted in the act they observe? Is there a contrast in how they listen to improvisation, jazz, or a composed piece? Or does the act of listening change if the shaping of sound is the product of a series of decisions by the composer. What happens when incidence also gets a role? Is it determinative if the listener is aware of the primary source of the sound, whether it is an instrument, a prepared instrument, ready made, or algorithmical? Is the composer obligated to share this knowledge, or is it enough to leave a sign? The deconstruction of musical traditions, the exposition of materiality of the music and the endless possibilities for manipulation that technology has provided all propose new challenges for the listener, the creator and the interaction between them. The listener eventually always holds the power to (re)construct the listening experience.

    Three Suns in an Empty Room (2021) von Ish S

    Three Suns in an Empty Room is a live session comprising of Guitar and Effects played within a spatial sound installation and then just the live session is recorded back on the 2 stereo channels, so one does not hear the actual installation in this piece. Here I am putting into practice a part of a Cyclic harmonization principle I am developing influenced by Indian Classical music. Apart from the modal standing, this technique has more of a focus on layers and intersections created herein. On how these layers can translate into colours, perspectives and experiences when juxtaposed against each other as an extended practice. I worked with 2 signal chains when I recorded this session live as an improvisation and I am trying to superimpose 3 variations/ layers on top of these two chains. The above-mentioned installation which shares the name with the track here, is based on a Sci-fi concept of 3 suns and their relative movement/ dance in space (based on their mass/ positioning etc.). I have been developing this installation for some time like some of my other works as ‘performative installation’, both for dance/ movement and for live electro-acoustic music performances. Therefore this stereo piece can be heard as a parallax to the installation. So here are 3 Suns from a stationary perspective in an Empty Room.... revolutions, spins and movements, a consistency of position along with inconsistency of speeds and locations, reacting- layering phenomenological events in space, while trying to remove time..

  • Links:
  • Listening Biennial