VIDEO + SOUND - Soundwalk 9:09

Updated: Dec 17, 2019

I listened to Soundwalk 9:09 ‘Uptown’ while I was walking from The Met Breuer to The Met 5th Avenue, and listened to ‘Downtown’ track on my way back.

As I started the walk, I began to feel like I was dreaming. The first part of the street that I was on was quiet, and I could hear the track loud and clear. To me, the music was dreamy and unreal. Having known that John had only sculpted and filtered the street sounds without adding any extra sounds to this piece was very impressive.

I continued to listen to the music and imagined myself under the sea, flowing with its current.

The street became more crowded when I reached the walkway alongside Central Park. However, even with many people walking around me, the music made me feel like I was in another dimension and that I was also invisible. I also realized that the music was a bit too loud. I lowered it down and tried to listen to both the music and the street sounds. Surprisingly by listening to the music, I became more aware of the surrounding sounds. I could hear birds chirping on the park trees, even my footsteps when walked on a pile of leaves and dry twigs. One ambulance drove pass and just a few seconds after that. I heard a series of sounds from the track that sounded like siren echoing and repeating. I could also hear kids talking in the background, those sounds made the track less unreal and more lively.

Listening to Soundwalk 9:09 made me very conscious but also peaceful at the same time. I think deep sounds and slow tempo of this track made me feel at ease. High pitch and sharp piercing sounds made me very conscious of the place and sometimes anxious.

I think that this non-narrative soundwalk encourages the listeners to open their minds, be imaginative. They can interpret this music in their ways, it makes each person’s experience very unique and interesting. It also makes people think positive that street sounds are not always annoying and that we can always enjoy life, even with small, simple things. I enjoyed the music and had fun trying to figure out the sources of the sound before it has been altered. I tried to match them from the rhythm of the sounds, because some sounds have a unique rhythm to them, like when dogs bark or when it’s raining.

To me, I think a non-narrative soundwalk like this work will allow the listeners to be more open and creative when experiencing it; however, I trust that a narrated soundwalk will also be equally interesting. And for the sound walk assignment, I think it will depend on what we want the listener to achieve from the soundwalk. Do we want to send them a message about something or only to let them be creative and to explore more.