Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Soundwalk in Trehörningsjö, Sweden on the World Listening Day

Ljudvandring in Trehörningsjö
happened on the 18th july 2010.
This coincided with the first World Listening Day and was held around the globe in different places to bring focus to the listening. A soundwalk can be realized in many different ways and the one happening in the woods of Trehörningsjö was following the concept of walking together with a group and make stops wherever someone finds something they want to explore. The original idea of soundwalks is maybe more of a scientifical method to analyse the soundscape in different locations, but I think the usages of making a soundwalk can be many, like just for the sake of refocus on sounds itself (as it is rather usual that we don't stop and reflect about the sounds around us). I made a number of recordings during this soundwalk and have now posted them to both Aporee radio and Soundtransit, which are both two great soundmapping websites/projects.

As this was the first public soundwalk I have initiated I had not any expectation on what should follow. In fact I would not be too surprised if noone would show up, as I had planned to do the soundwalk in a rather remote location in the inlands of Ångermanland. Trehörningsjö is located here in the relative calm surroundings of woods and lakes and small villages in the inlands of the region Västernorrland, in the landscape called Ångermanland.
View Larger Map

The plans where to walk was very vaguely outlined on before hand, but I strongly felt like walking up the small rapids through the woods up to an old watermill that I had been hearing about, as a start, and this was what we did. In fact the time would run fast during the two hours the walk was scheduled to happen, and this route was to bring us many different experiences.

First we made a stop just at the entrance of the small rapids Husån in the lake Inre Lemesjön, where it was a place where beavers had made a big home. The wind was playing very nicely here with the grass. Then we continued upstreams and made several stops to listen. Both to animal life and the wind and the water streaming just along our trail.

Here can you follow and listen to some recordings made during the soundwalk on the radio aporee maps and also at Soundtransit.

One of the most exciting things with being in this soundwalk was for me to discover a new unknown location soundwise, and not visually. For instance afterwards when uploading the sounds I listened the sound of waters in a different way, the small rapids, and the brooks that are coming into the rapids all do different sounds, as the waterstreams into the old watermill. Of course this is obviously, but walking alongside the rapids and doing these different listening and recording stops was making it clear in another way.

The birds was not very present this day, or maybe they where behind the wind... As it was a rather windy day we often listened different varieties of winds in different trees and grasses, and the birds where somewhere else. I recorded also the day after just to see the difference in the wind-soundscape. Listen here.

The soundwalk led us to an old watermill that we could go inside in and do some recordings while the water was led into it turning the millstones. Was interesting to go inside this watermill and listen to the sounds of water from inside through the floor and walls.

To make a summary of the soundwalk I can just say that it was very interesting time and made me think of many things. The following and final coffee-break at Kerstins Udde where we reflected about our sound experiences during the walk felt like a nice ending of this first soundwalk. Looking forward next time it will happen... maybe next year on the WLD. Here on aporee you can follow all the recordings made all over the world on this day.

For me this soundwalk was very rewarding and I have come up with a number of new ideas on both further sound explorations and also to compose some sound piece around the waters sonoric qualities. Really not a very big surprise as streaming waters is containing endlessly different frequencies and combinations of different periodical changes both in pitches, volume levels including the sound clouds of splashing water drops.... and also the sounds under the water surface. Indeed a lot to explore.

In fact approaching streaming waters with sound perspective brings me inspiration to maybe do some live sound performance in the future where different parts of a rapid can be captured live for some more or less live processing. Hmm... maybe a great way to spend some days in the woods camping and do some sound fishing! As a final reflection I want to add that the sounds of nature are of course as every else soundscapes composed of a number of dynamic sounds happening all the time, also not a very big insight one can think but anyway stepping out a bit of the city ambiences sort of opens up the ears a bit and made me feel the sound more related to the topographical and vegetational landscapes including the variations of the winds and temperatures aswell as rains and streaming and moving waters. All these things can of course also be very present in the city soundscape but again, sometimes I forget that! ... but now I remember...
... like the sound of the city in the morning just after a nights falling of new snow embedding (lowpassing) the traffic sounds, or a foggy weather changing the acoustics in the air. (I think it can do, but I don't know how, but it feels like that, maybe it's again the water particles/molecules interacting with the molucules the sound are travelling in... hmm... ?) If anyone has some good article explaining some of the misty acoustics, please forward to me!... ( miulew at gmail.com )


At Monday, January 02, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there,

I just found, as a new audiomulch-user, your example song there.
Funny, I also record (albeit with very poor equipment, an in-and-out-of-work minidisc recorder^^) found sounds since years, and contributed to a site in Canada, a more private one that was closed. I would have loved to join the Trehörningsjö soundwalk, as I am learning svenska diy at the moment after a very short trip to the Vänern lake last September.
All the best wishes from Hamburg, Germany, I'll explore your "chord progression" now to learn Audiomulch, and I see this charming upbeat-mood song is based on en svenska folk song, "Kristallen den fina" :).

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