Sounds and noises are a part of human culture. They surround us in everyday life, at all times and places. They help us with orientation, awaken emotions and inner images in us, create an atmosphere, communicate with us, resonate with us; they are in effect, created by our actions and are unique in their quality at every moment.
The modern urban auditory atmosphere is so multilayered and complex, that we are rarely able to perceive it in all its details and facets. It often seems too much to us, comes too close to us as an acoustic overload, and yet in urban space it consists primarily of a hard-to-define multitude of individual noises, which we usually only understand as a permanent hiss. Thus, modern city dwellers are increasingly practicing the culture of listening away, protecting themselves from acoustic overload, withdrawing into the self-determined soundscape with headphones.
So what if,
if instead of running away, we opted for curiosity?
For listening, for actively shaping our urban acoustic environment?
Which sounds accompany us everywhere every day and
what qualities do they have?
Which sounds are worth preserving and which are so
disturbing that they should better be silenced?
What if we were to become designers of our modern
soundscapes together in an interdisciplinary exchange?
We, Nadja Rix and Joana Welteke, are an artist duo in search of everything that is acoustically present. We practice listening- exact, active, curious, creative listening. We deal with the acoustics aesthetically and let it become audible again in public, newly arranged and transformed into a different experience.
In different projects we have worked with sounds, field recordings, compositions and performances in public space and have explored the urban and natural soundscapes that surround us. We explored everyday sounds and sound generators together with people with different limitations in a playful way, recorded them and transformed them into a sound collage. Short snippets of sounds collected here and there and vocal imitations of all sorts of things became a multi-tracked mysteriously surprising sound collage for an intervention in the S-Bahn.