SoundEffects - An Interdisciplinary Journal of Sound and Sound Experience 2021-04-18T08:36:04+02:00 Iben Have Open Journal Systems Sound and Listening Spaces 2021-04-18T08:33:02+02:00 Birgitte Stougaard Pedersen Therese Wiwe Vilmar 2021-01-31T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Birgitte Stougaard Pedersen, PhD, Therese Wiwe Vilmar, Master of Arts The sounds of lockdown 2021-04-18T08:36:04+02:00 Meredith C. Ward <p class="p1">Modes of listening tell us a great deal about how Americans are coping with the feelings of the COVID-19 pandemic. Taking online listening culture in which amateur music remixers repurpose known pop songs to produce an effect of loneliness in virtual public spaces, this essay traces the movement of online sound subcultures from late 2010s YouTube into the modes of listening, employed by a much larger viewership on lockdown during the COVID-19 outbreak of 2020. Analyzing the act of listening to empty public spaces online since the inception of a particular family of memes that ran from 2017-2018, the essay showcases how that music subculture prefi gured a wider response to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns. Covering the psychological response to pandemic, its manifestations in phenomena, such as grief over the loss of public space as mediated by EarthCam, #StayHomeSounds, and the quieting of neighborhoods and cities, this essay shows how the range of modes in our listening network is evolving at this time. It also responds to how the social and emotional needs that arise during lockdown are met in forms of virtuality we have crafted to connect us to the wider world. Moreover, it emphasizes that virtuality crept into our connection with public space earlier than the pandemic – and that playing with the notion of nostalgia recreationally through online media before the pandemic made us better equipped to handle the pandemic’s isolation, when it came. Showcasing how alienation is at the root of both experiences, it also hypothesizes that mediated communion permits us both to engage with the inevitable loneliness and an ability to deal with it as time goes on.</p> 2021-01-15T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Meredith C. Ward, Dr. Sleep/relax/work/study/read 2021-04-18T08:35:49+02:00 João Francisco Porfírio <p class="p1">Sleeping is a basic need, but all persons have their own unique way of doing it. Some people need total silence, whereas others need the presence of specifi c sounds to fall asleep and enjoy a restful night. On YouTube, users share playlists and original compositions to promote sleepiness and relaxation and help people to get a good night’s sleep. Some of this content is also intended to help people study, work, or read, as indicated by the titles, descriptions, and tags that accompany the compositions. In this article, I examine YouTube as a source of sound, music, and other audiovisual content that aims to help people fall asleep. I also analyze the role of this type of content in the construction of listening spaces suitable for the activity of sleeping and look at why the same kind of compositions and genres of music are likewise recommended for other activities such as reading, working, or studying. The main argument is that this kind of content is the result of shared and distributed subjectivities constructed from the relationship between users, content, and producers. The alleged effectiveness of this kind of content comes from these subjectivities and from the audio characteristics that enable these videos to mask other sounds. For this reason, they can be considered to be orphic media with the capacity to build listening spaces that can function as sound asylums.</p> 2021-01-15T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 João Francisco Porfírio Reading spaces 2021-04-18T08:35:34+02:00 Sara Tanderup Linkis <p>Following ‘the audiobook boom’ of recent years, born-audio narratives have emerged: texts produced specifi cally for the audiobook format and intended for mobile audio consumption. Focusing on this category of works, this article examines how the audiobook draws attention to places and situations in which we read, and how these places, in turn, infl uence the content and experience of literary works. Drawing on theories on mobile reading and listening by, for example, Michael Bull (2007), Lutz Koepnick (2013, 2019), and Iben Have and Birgitte Stougaard Pedersen (2015, 2020), I investigate the case of Storytel Originals, texts produced specifi cally for sound by the Swedish subscription service Storytel. Focusing first on the Danish Originals series Askehave (2019-2020) by Jakob Melander, I examine how Storytel promotes a situated reading experience for a mobile listener. Next, I move on to investigate what happens to the audiobook experience when the listener is not mobile: Cecilia Garme’s Original series Dagbok Från Coronabubblan (2020) describes everyday life during the corona crisis in spring 2020. Analysing the diary’s refl ections on the isolation at home and the listeners’ response to this text, I examine how the audiobook produces a social and intimate listening space. Based on these two examples, I point to two different tendencies in the content and usage of original audiobooks, one refl ecting how mobile listening promotes situated reading experiences in public and another focusing on the construction of social reading spaces at home.</p> 2021-01-15T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Sara Tanderup Linkis, PhD Literature’s listening spaces 2021-04-18T08:33:18+02:00 Therese Wiwe Vilmar <p>Literary descriptions of music are – of course – pure fi ction. However, such narratives are also windows into the phenomenological and sociological workings of music in modern society. Many novels share detailed descriptions of music in their fi ctional worlds, and this article examines what two contemporary novels reveal about modern-day music listening as both a cultural and private practice. The article will analyse the nature of ‘listening spaces’ represented in A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (2010) and Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami (2005). Both novels have been published within the fi rst decade of the 21st century and describe Western popular music. Music experienced by fi ctional characters can be valuable empirical data, because novels represent different listening situations varied by geography, epochs and genres, and they depict characters with different demographics, lives and musical/cultural backgrounds. This enables scholars to collect and compare multi-faceted datasets. The aim of this article is to use literary descriptions to ask qualifi ed questions about sociological and phenomenological aspects of contemporary music listening practices. The analysis will focus on the atmosphere of listening (Böhme, 2017) – and especially the fi ctional listeners’ bodily presence in musical spaces – in dialogue with sociological studies of music listening by especially Tia DeNora (2000), David Hesmondhalgh (2013) and Even Ruud (2013). The analysis indicates how fi ction articulates a connection between music, body (in space and place) and mind (emotions, temporality and memory).</p> 2021-01-15T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Therese Wiwe Vilmar Virtual auditory reality 2021-04-18T08:35:19+02:00 Iain Findlay-Walsh <p>This article examines popular music listening in light of recent research in auditory perception and spatial experience, record production, and virtual reality, while considering parallel developments in digital pop music production practice. The discussion begins by considering theories of listening and embodiment by Brandon LaBelle, Eric Clarke, Salomè Voegelin and Linda Salter, examining relations between listening subjects and aural environments, conceptualising listening as a process of environmental ‘inhabiting’, and considering auditory experience as the real-time construction of ‘reality’. These ideas are discussed in relation to recent research on popular music production and perception, with a focus on matters of spatial sound design, the virtual ‘staging’ of music performances and performing bodies, digital editing methods and effects, and on shifting relations between musical spatiality, singer-persona, audio technologies, and listener. Writings on music and virtual space by Martin Knakkergaard, Allan Moore, Ragnhild Brøvig-Hanssen &amp; Anne Danielsen, Denis Smalley, Dale Chapman, Kodwo Eshun and Holger Schulze are discussed, before being related to conceptions of VR sound and user experience by Jaron Lanier, Rolf Nordahl &amp; Niels Nilsson, Mel Slater, Tom Garner and Frances Dyson. This critical framework informs three short aural analyses of digital pop tracks released during the last 10 years - Titanium (Guetta &amp; Sia 2010), Ultralight Beam (West 2016) and 2099 (Charli XCX 2019) - presented in the form of autoethnographic ‘listening notes’. Through this discussion on personal popular music listening and virtual spatiality, a theory of pop listening as embodied inhabiting of simulated narrative space, or virtual story-world, with reference to ‘aural-dominant realities’ (Salter), ‘sonic possible worlds’ (Voegelin), and ‘sonic fictions’ (Eshun), is developed. By examining personal music listening in relation to VR user experience, this study proposes listening to pop music in the 21st century as a mode of immersive, embodied ‘storyliving’, or ‘storydoing’ (Allen &amp; Tucker).</p> 2021-01-15T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Iain Findlay-Walsh, Dr. Listening from the in-between 2021-04-18T08:35:04+02:00 Ed Cooper <p>With homelessness being prevalent across the United Kingdom and showing no sign of decreasing, it is imperative to better understand the experiences of individuals who fall into these diffi cult circumstances. A previously unexplored aspect of homelessness is engagement with sound. This article addresses this lacuna by investigating how the understanding of sonic space is related to individuals’ experiences of homelessness. The article considers homelessness through the analytical lens of ‘liminality’—a period when an individual or space has neither a former nor future identity, whilst simultaneously, paradoxically, possessing both (van Gennep, 1960). Taking a phenomenological approach, interviews were undertaken with residents of a halfway house in Leeds, UK, whose circumstances are between ‘literal homelessness’ and social housing. The study demonstrates the ways in which participants actively engage with sound and liminality in day-to-day life, regularly curating inhabited sonic environments which are often seen by members of ‘mainstream’ society as ‘non-places’. A distinction is made between quietness and silence: whereas quietness offered the participants an escape, the prospect of silence—being left alone with one’s thoughts—was often worrisome. Further differentiation is made between actively ‘listening to’ and ‘hearing’ (Oliveros, 2005) these individual sonic spaces—the participants’ focus is positioned between external sonic stimuli and their own internal thoughts, highlighting a betweenness of consciousness. Overall, the article fi nds that interactions with sound are key components of the liminal experience of homelessness.</p> 2021-01-15T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Ed Cooper Sound installation art and the intervention of urban public space in Latin America 2021-04-18T08:34:50+02:00 Mario Alberto Duarte-García Emma Wilde <p>This paper explores the relationship between sound installation art and the appropriation of urban public spaces in Latin America. Latin America is a continent full of contrasts, and in various places throughout the countries, space refl ects the history of each nation through its architecture. We fi nd pre-Hispanic pyramids coexisting with colonial churches and modern buildings. In the last two decades, these sites have been used for purposes other than those for which they were created. On the one hand, these spaces have been used to provide cultural experiences for people in areas that cannot access traditional venues such as concert halls. On the other hand, political manifestations have adopted such places as icons of social change, and sound has been used to provide a social/cultural meaning, using the space as a medium. These activities have changed the ways in which audiences and creators relate to sound and space. This research paper explores how sound art and technology have been used to re-formulate public space in cities. The study analyses the strategies of major works and installations (that have used space as a medium of creation over the last twenty years in Latin America) from social and spatial perspectives. This paper highlights the potential of sound installation art and intervention of space as a way to engage audiences in urban contexts.</p> 2021-01-15T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Mario Alberto Duarte-García, PhD, Emma Wilde, PhD Designing the user experience of musical sonification in public and semi-public spaces 2021-04-18T08:34:35+02:00 Niklas Rönnberg Jonas Löwgren <p>Sonification refers to sonic expression of data or information. It is often thought of as an auditory complement, providing additional information about data which can reveal patterns and facilitate interpretation and understanding of the data. Hence, the listening space created by a sonifi cation is always a hybrid where auditory augmentation complements other information modalities and, in some cases, also spatial qualities. In this work, we focus on sonifi cation in public and semi-public spaces, and specifi cally on musical sonifi cation – the use of musical sounds to create a sonic environment, augmenting or complementing a physical shared space. We draw upon established approaches in interaction design to focus our work on the user experience of musical sonifi cation in public and semi-public spaces. Specifi cally, we fi rst identify the experiential qualities of sonic atmosphere and performativity as important aspects of sonifi cation in public and semi-public spaces, then use those experiential qualities generatively in the speculative design of a musical sonifi cation sketch. The design sketch comprises a dynamic musical sonifi cation of air quality data, intending to give citizens an awareness and an enhanced individual and interpersonal understanding of air quality in their city.</p> 2021-01-15T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Niklas Rönnberg, Jonas Löwgren Transient soundscape production 2021-04-18T08:34:19+02:00 Daniel Walzer <p>Over the past decade, there has been a steady increase of scholarly output examining the multidisciplinary, creative, and theoretical aspects of sound and music production in the recording studio and beyond (Zagorski-Thomas &amp; Bourbon, 2020; Bennett &amp; Bates, 2019; Hepworth- Sawyer, Hodgson, &amp; Marrington, 2019; Thompson, 2019; Zagorski-Thomas, 2014; Frith &amp; Zagorski-Thomas, 2012). Accordingly, a broad range of literature examines sound as a widespread cultural phenomenon (Papenburg &amp; Schulze, 2016) and an essential source for pedagogical and ethnographic modeling in music technology education (Bell, 2018). Advances in technology make the “studio,” long viewed as a site of artistic and commercial production, available to a broader group of composers, musicians, and artists. Similarly, portable digital recorders afford sound artists and fi eld recordists an expansive range of choices to conduct soundscape research and creative practice. What emerges is a hybrid “composer- producer” identity and a studio’s function in the artistic process. This growth is the rise of an independent and transient practice in soundscape production among multidisciplinary composers and musicians. This article advocates for an updated notion of soundscape composition that integrates fi eld recordings, studio production, and collaboration from musicians representing a broad range of stylistic infl uences. Positioning the studio as a site of cultural production and creativity has implications for how soundscape production is taught to young composers. The author argues for a more inclusive, process-oriented view on both creativity and the places where musicians, composers, and producers work. The article includes a case study from the author’s recent album project, narrative analysis, concluding with a discussion on the pedagogical implications of independent soundscape production in education.</p> 2021-01-15T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Daniel Walzer The Environmentalization of space and listening 2021-04-18T08:34:03+02:00 Valentin Ris <p>This paper aims to analyze the relationship between listening techniques and technologies and forms of subjectivation in our current auditory culture compared to mid-20th century practices. Applying a media archaeological approach in order to unearth underlying histories of knowledge of the discussed technologies and practices offers a way of understanding how subjectivations and the constitution of environments in the context of large power regimes are intertwined. Against the theoretical backdrop of Gilles Deleuze’s text on “societies of control” and Erich Hörl’s notion of “Environmentalization”, the paper outlines conceptualizations of environments in different forms of sonic control that are inherent in practices and technologies of noise-cancelling headphones and specifi c Spotify playlists. The listening spaces that emerge in the analyzed practices/technologies reveal continuities as well as discontinuities when compared to their historical predecessors. Both the current phenomena are characterized by a process of advancing cybernetization and thus the formation of controllable environments. The depicted transformation corresponds to Deleuze’s observation of a new paradigm of power which he characterized as a shift from “molding” to “modulation”, i.e. a shift from a form-imposing to a self-regulating mode of power. Spotify’s concentration playlists and noisecancelling headphones both operate based on the principle of modulation and represent modes of environmental technologies. In the consideration of the subject-environment relationship on the other hand, current forms of subjectivation become apparent in cybernetic visions of control and environmental power. It is thus shown that listening spaces offer an approach to analyzing power and subjectivation.</p> 2021-01-15T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Valentin Ris The folded space of machine listening 2021-04-18T08:33:48+02:00 Domenico Napolitano Renato Grieco <p>The paper investigates new machine listening technologies through a comparison of phenomenological and empirical/media-archeological approaches. While phenomenology associates listening with subjectivity, empiricism takes into account the technical operations involved with listening processes in both human and non-human apparatuses. Based on this theoretical framework, the paper undertakes a media-archeological investigation of two algorithms employed in copyright detection: “acoustic fi ngerprinting” and “audio watermarking”. In the technical operations of sound recognition algorithms, empirical analysis suggests the coexistence of a multiplicity of spatialities: from the “sound event”, which occurs in three-dimensional physical space, to its mathematical representation in vector space, and to the one-dimensional informational space of data processing and machine-to-machine communication. Recalling Deleuze’s defi nition of “the fold”, we defi ne these coexistent spatial dimensions in techno-culturally mediated sound as “the folded space” of machine listening. We go on to argue that the issue of space in machine listening consists of the virtually infi nite variability of the sound event being subjected to automatic recognition. The diffi culty lies in conciliating the theoretically enduring information transmitted by sound with the contingent manifestation of sound affected by space. To make machines able to deal with the site-specifi city of sound, recognition algorithms need to reconstruct the three-dimensional space on a signal processing level, in a sort of reverse-engineering of the sound phenomenon that recalls the concept of “implicit sonicity” defi ned by Wolfgang Ernst. While the metaphors and social representations adopted to describe machine listening are often anthropomorphic – and the very term “listening”, when referring to numerical operations, can be seen as a metaphor in itself – we argue that both human listening and machine listening are co-defi ned in a socio-technical network, in which the listening space no longer coincides with the position of the listening subject, but is negotiated between human and nonhuman agencies.</p> 2021-01-15T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Domenico Napolitano, Renato Grieco, Dr. The Bloomsbury Handbook of Sound Art. Edited by Sanne Krogh Groth and Holger Schulze. Bloomsbury, 2020. 2021-04-18T08:33:34+02:00 Vadim Keylin 2021-01-15T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Vadim Keylin, PhD