The Madison Hotel in Belfast
is composed form low rumbling, higher pitched vibrating and strangled singing. The sound builds the room as a dense slow throbbing timespace, accelerated by shriller penetrating sounds, infused with strumming and yelping that rise as an alcohol imbued resonance through the grey carpet adding a beat and a shriek.
xxxxx she talks just like this girl I know nananana maybe it`s her xxxxx hahaha, she goes xxxxx he`s silent, maybe xxxxx I love trains xxx would stay here forever, better just sleep xxxxx never wake up nananananana xxxxx nanananana again xxxxx I forgot to call my doctor xxxxx pay my bill yesterday xxxxx hahahashe, she goes again xxxxx just shut up xxx I want to be alone xxxxx not lonely xxxxx...
not the first time me in between four others. two to the left. two to the right. the conversation evolves. damp, cautious, controlled, careful circulation. i slowly press myself backwards into the leather sofa. you know. leaving this circulation of words, being brought from one point to the other. words enfolding meaning, power, intention, emotion, sight. trusting in the steady...
at the local pool sounds the hollowness of my head. Droning over skin and through bones it uses my body as a speaker, whose sound I alone hear. It is an internal amplification of my cranium, my neck and my spine sounding its resistance against the water spray that loosens it. My ears, immersed under water, hear this private and intimate soundscape playing out against the visual background of...
on the mantelpiece sounds its own purpose. Relentlessly, unstoppably, always the same. Tick tocking rhythmic constants, it sounds the interdependence between what it is and what it does. Disappearing into the domestic soundscape of the living room for a while, emerging again in a quiet moment, only reminding me that it never went away. I wait for a change, hoping to trip up its regularity with my...
Other people’s parties
sound the uncontrollable and produce the anxiety of cheerlessness.
Hong Kong SoundWords*
move / wolf / wind / murmuring / run / cling / crash / smash / air pressure / hit / resonance / presence / rotation / motor / refraction / vibration / huh / echoes / breathe / tweet / whisper / blow / slow / heartbeat / leave / lever / shout / howl / laugh / whistle / palpitate / bake / loud / chat / hum / sweat / evaporate / tsang sin yu *This is a guest edition of SoundWords...
Hong Kong SoundWords*
6:00pm , Yue Wan Estate, Chai Wan, workdays. Birds are super excited and crazy. I can’t imagine if they are sparrows. That will make more sense if they are living in a big cage all together. The banyan implanted in the middle of the public square in the public estate. City skyline Winds in leaf Public estate Atmos Medium busy traffic Park Ambience Old men talking and gambling Metal...
Hong Kong SoundWords*
Wednesday night and Thursday morning I was jogging along the route of the river in a gentle night, by one glimpse stopping my hasty steps accidentally, and sacred wonderful-lonesome white in sight yet pure harmony in sound Come, listen within same vocal cords we are speaking principles that always different How do you sure To eliminate this little hiss which not such matter? sound...
Hong Kong SoundWords*
It seems that we’ve prepared all these years for the coming of the day. Death is always a mystery to me and so many others. No matter you are ready or not, it is always in front of us and we can never catch it until the day comes. Indeed…. The invisible force will pull us into the ‘light’ when the buzzing sound fades in, to wrap the surroundings. This is my imagination of death. ...
Hong Kong SoundWords*
Walking by the harbour. Singing with the sounds I hear: eeee/ beep-beep/ OOooh/ khkeee/ ssssst/ krak!/ wee-ee/ mmM/ yip!/ gagagaga Pause. I trill: drrr? A chorus of birds joins in: DRRR/ PRRR?/ BRRR/ TRRR?/ RRR?/ DRRRRR! Viv Corringham *This is a guest edition of SoundWords featuring writing by the artists in residence at Around Sound art festival organised by soundpocket Hong Kong...
Hong Kong SoundWords*
Shau Kai Wan MTR Station I am drawn by music for the blind. This sound gets glued to my consciousness, somehow uplifting and melancholic at the same time. It has an air of the psychedelic, shifting between nursery rhyme and experimentalism in a blink like the theme music of a video game, it guides my feet to feel shapes on the floor meant to move the visually impaired around the vicinity on a...
Hong Kong SoundWords*
1 If the thinging of the thing is an act of elongation, an act of stretching (with Elaine Scarry somewhere at the back), what is the voicing of the body, and does it matter if the body is human? Naming may exclude by way of that notion of actuality manifested in the authority of the object, as Salome proposes. Does actualizing that which comes before the naming not require a level of fluency (in...
Hong Kong SoundWords*
Orange plastic bucket Six five and four inch nails Akio Suzuki takes his time hammering Each one into a line sound Along each of several lengths Of 4x4 timber laid end to end On wooden trestles That have three legs He takes his time Ferry boat arrives waves wash Concrete disturb fish and rubbish Floating sound Walk away toward Viv Corringham’s Shadow Walking siren sounds...
a bad Skype connection
sounds its own failure. Halting sound in a space of time, an echoing hall of nothing, interrupted by crackling anticipation and finally silent defeat. I hope for some drawn out words that have lost their shape to reform and extend themselves to me. Instead I get digital clicking, grating, grazing the listener and the talker in a material of their connection that does not connect to speak but to...
the Exhibition Road tunnel
sounds the geography of its own location in the shape of a dinosaur roar. Children trying their own voices in the tummy of the beast bend its unyielding structure. Visually the tunnel has a certain shape that explains the acoustic properties of its built and outlines the function of its design: to unremarkably direct people in two directions. Sonically it is more complex and confusing, expanding...
sounds the motion of hitting a liquid into a firm shape. It sounds not the beating nor the egg but the chiming of metal hitting metal through nothingness until the nothingness offers some resistance: the sonic resistance of viscous foam cushioning itself. Vigorously sounding what it beats it slowly changes sound, producing a sonic tautology, the materiality of ephemeral fluff.
The shower drains at the Hotel Grand Terminus
sound a fluid shape. Timorous and soft it moves apart from the harsh and purposeful stream of the shower. Trickling and rolling it gathers around a metal grid that it holds on to and lets go of to drip, slowly and fast, together and alone, into the gully, dinging and ringing on its way. Not purposeful yet necessary it sounds as a thing thinging the relationship between water, shower, drain and...
sounds a constant of compressed volumes generating a thick immovable form, unbroken and steadfast that does not blend with the auditory space of my perception but superimposes the place of its production. Pressing unresponsive into the room.
sound a menacing shape in the dark. Periodically bursting forth from nowhere, to pierce a thin whining line that eventually flattens out into a thick form that covers my space, formless but determined. A small murmur becoming large; a great big dragon fly enveloping my room, expanding its body and imploding its shape to enfold the whole space with the force of its cry, until it moves on, lighter...
sound the contact between wheels and track. Metal intimacy of stop and start, one clamping around the other to push itself away again and again. I don’t hear the wheels and track separately but hear their relationship, the necessity of their coming together in the purpose and aim of the tram to move, to stop and start, to go forward in order to halt again. They sound what they do together, alone...
a Straw-bale House
sounds a crushing hollow, pressing into me and down on me, enclosing me in its own breathless heat. The world outside a deadened scene unseen - inside ticking and clicking whispers and rasps sound the brittleness of this house; declaring its temporal materiality and makeshift nature. Listening I inhabit this time built from unstable things, hearing the fragile complexity of its rickety pickety...
Surfing the Internet
sounds the struggle of too little ram. Whizzing and clicking, blowing and whirring, the computer trying to cope, employing little sounds of exhaustion to work towards exposing the full page. It sounds frenetic but very small activity locked into a metal case, no windows, no air, just heat and desperation, striving to makes things visible. Tap, tap, tapping to help along; to stop the entropic whine...
sounds the exclusiveness of my own listening. It produces in sound a bubble against all other sounds, demanding to be heard, however silent it might be. Noise does not have to be loud, it has to be exclusive, excluding temporarily all other senses in the insistence of its sensate moment. This moment is invisible but physical: it pulls my listening down to my feet, vertical, intense, isolating;...
barking all night sounds the hurt, anguish and incredulity of abandonment. But that is my rational and benevolent listening before the lights go out. - Later on, the sleepless night unites the barking with the sounds of my insomnia and comes to yelp my resentments. It brings certainty to the ambiguity of my hatred that in the daytime is directed at motionless and quiet dog excrement on the...
sounds voices reverberating deferential halls. The whirr of humankind staring at reflections of their own making. Every hush escalates and spreads out into its space, confirming its authority and rendering it a hallowed hall. My sonic body shrinks into itself, self-consciously aware of the space I take; children’s voices confidently fire up the echo, expanding themselves happily into the...
sounds sliding off roofs, down drain pipes, into meadows, onto rivers; invisibly slipping away all night and all day. Spattering and splattering, gurgling and murmuring away away…under my feet, above my head - sounds sucking on the landscape, giving it a formless form, awkward and dirty. Slurping cavities, gaps and hollows, through which it sifts their entropic shape until spring fills it with...
sounds the vacuum of absolute silence.
sounds tremmers in the trees: regular soft explosions that spread across the treetops and open a space in my thoughts. It marks not a precise location but a diffuse timespace, coming from all directions, switching from the right to the left, ahead of me to what is behind, to confuse my ears and make my head swivel in vain to locate its source. Escaping visual capture it produces the forest as an...
The Central Heating System
sounds the promise of warmth. - The flat becomes that sound expanding and diffusing into the room periodically until it is temporarily warm enough and quieter clicks and clacks denote the beginning of a pause. Sounds trickling away until there is nothing more and silence hovers on the target temperature, until that drops and the next round begins, starting with a faint click from the hallway,...
sounds the heavy and expansive silence of assured privilege that overshadows the adjoining park and weighs heavy on its land. It’s a space hogging nothingness that is punctuated and confirmed in deliberately slow but regular intervals by a metallic bursting forth - shot like - followed by a male bellowing - shaping and carrying the silence in a confident and self-evident air.
sounds the awkward commotion of people shifting out of tightly organised chairs all at the same time while trying to keep the reverence of the moment. This moment is made of small sounds, tiny self-conscious sounds that reflect the uncertainty of individuals as they gather up to become a group. The boom of the organ exposes bare and discomfited bodies lined up together alone, opening a vast and...
Sirens in Chicago
sound the roar of a wounded animal, moaning intermittently but with persistence, in great pain, despite which it is ramping up in increasing fury. Coming closer and closer yelping and howling disjointed salvos merging into a continues scream that stretches and contorts the city’s architecture. The concrete canyons are elastic in its whine, which elongates and intensifies its place like a rubber...
sound the rhythm of my walking as a recurrent surf. Each movement blends into the other. No single footsteps, just waves. I adjust my gait to its sound and deliberately exaggerate the stretched-out continuity. Searching for more pools of leaves I avoid naked pavements exposing my tread, preferring instead to stay in the shadow of my sound. It is a sound of memory and perennial joy at the weather...
sounds my attitude of listening to tiny sounds with reverence and attention. It breaks the tension of silence in silence by giving it form; and invites contemplation and meditation without the anxiety of boundarieless nothingness. This is composed nothingness, full of intention, which we realise in listening, individually and contingently. In this contingent contemplation it sounds a silent shape...
sound uninhibited verbal non-sense that is the self-evident sense of immediacy between hearing and sounding. Their voice sounds “direct speech”: verbal expressions unconstrained by the infrastructure of language. These expressions sound not pre-lingual but onomatopoeic: sounding their own formless physicality unbound by conventions. Formless bodies performing the soundscape of their own shape:...
sounds the silent tension of being listened to.
The swimming pool
at the Lyskirch Hotel sounds its own exclusive emptiness flapping against tiled walls.
the art museum of the Archdiocese of Cologne apparently sounds pigeons. I cannot hear any and so I strain my ears, which start to breed them from anything vaguely recalling coo cooing, flap flapping, rustling and picking. I imagine them from their absence; conjure them from my memory that sounds their presence as what I hear now. I add them to what there is. Inside and outside the building. The...
along the Seven Sister’s road I ask my son walking next to me what he hears. His answer: “nothing”. He had zeroed the acoustic environment to the steady stream of sounds constantly moving at our side, creating in concert a solid wall, rushing onwards, up and down its concrete path and determining ours. Its dense drone, differentiated only where a particular hum perforates the concerted wall, is...
sounds the coincident state of your own body most accurately. The increasing gurgling noises of your tummy sound the fragility of a liquefied gut. It sounds the sense of organs losing their shape and function. It hums foreboding; there is no escaping it. It is the sound of what it feels like, compelling action and yet demanding stillness and eventually producing utter lethargy and a weird faint...
at an open window sounds my simultaneity with my environment. Singing birds, humming traffic, the clanking of scaffolding being taken down and the spinning of the washing machine sound simultaneous with my hands tapping the keyboard and the movements of my cotton jumper. I experience an equivalence of inside and out that engages me in the environment. I write about it through taking part in it:...
A warm spring evening sounds its light.
sounds the tension of my own motionless position in the midst of activity. Everything sounds but I sit still, ineffectual on the periphery of activity, staring. I am at a distance, all eyes rather than ears. My listening is in a vacuum, deafened by the noise of others’ busyness, while my eyes see what I am not part of. I am watching as if a film that has been slowed down and thus has lost its...
distant football games
sound quiet intermittence. Waves coming out of nowhere, gliding over my head and body, almost inaudible but with persuasive physicality. They sound without a source, disorientating and confusing in their unseen immanence - a sonic mirage. The game breathes irregularly through its surroundings, making us aware of it as an organic mass that projects the rhythm of its play through streets and...
of a sick child sounds heat, discomfort and anguish - I am not sure hers or mine. The laboured in and out, in and out, takes hold of my body as I lie next to hers. Her sound makes me feel our bodies, we become one, hot, feverish clump of sensation. The struggle sticks in my throat as it breathes out of her mouth. Listening is forensic in this moment: I am trying to understand her illness from her...
has sound behind its walls, under its floorboards and on top of its ceiling. They make it shrink and expand, move and be still. What is in the room is visible, present, objectively here. The sound is invisible, not here, but present all the same. It is generated in my subjective hearing of it: Rushing into the objective and changing what I see. The walls are less stable in sound, wobbly even,...
My own singing
presses into my soft pallet, drives into my molars and glides up my nose - all at the same time. Tingling my gums and the top of my mouth, making me yawn sound: A circling yawn from the back to the front to the back to the front, round and round, as it goes up it goes down and as it goes down it goes up. I hear not my song but its movement, rushing through my hollowness it makes use of me as a...
sounds mid-atlantic confidence: different languages booming through a snowy valley, spoken without the shame and hesitation of immigration but with the certainty and right of belonging in the global community of the monied.
do not sound at all until they get delayed. They have a clear vision of departure, shrinking the timespace of experience into pure soundless purpose of arrival. Instead of hearing the journey we are already at our destination, hastening the now into the over-there. But when waiting starts the airplane becomes a most definite here: a vibrating humming drone that is not going anywhere. Its time has...