Sonic drifting: sound, city and psychogeography
Studying and perceiving an emerging city by listening to its sounds might be phenomenologically reductive in approach, but it can lead to a framework for understanding the fabric of the urban environment through artistic practice. This paper describes a sound work, Elegy for Bangalore, and examines its artistic processes in order to shed light on the methodologies for listening to an expanding city by engaging with multilayered urban contexts and, subsequently, evoking the psychogeography of the city through sound-based artistic practice. The paper further investigates the project’s approach, development and method to speculate on present urban conditions in countries like India experiencing rapid growth. Devising the unfolding auditory situation of an Indian city in corresponding acts of drifting, listening, recording and composing, this paper examines the processes of perceiving an apparently chaotic and disorganised urban environment with its multisensory complexity.
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