is an informal platform uniting people interested in attentive listening, sound-walking and field-recording.
Every now and then we meet in different places to engage in a listening exercise.
Sound is always the guiding actor. One kind of exercise includes walking in an urban or rural area for about 45 minutes while remaining completely silent.
We ocassionally stop and listen for a minute. From that point the ears of another participant lead the group further,
until all have taken the lead. In some cases we might consider recording selected soundscapes.
In other cases soundwalks take more performative form and include various interventions with pre-recorded material.
So far several walks have been organized in few different cities (Venice, Oslo, Stockholm, Palma among others).
On the dedicated website (www.fragmentarium.club
) you can find
audio documentation from the walks along with written reflections on the acts of listening,
field recording and sonic archiving.
A GPS trace from the soundwalk taken in Venice on November 18, 2016
Fragmentarium Club also refers back to the history of developments in technologies of record.
The proliferation of recording tools such as cheap photo cameras at the beginning of the 20th century or tape recorders few decades later
gave rise to amateur clubs and survey movements. These initiatives promoted the use of personal recording equipment for archival and cultural purposes
rather than mainstream, consumerist ends. One such example is a London Tape Recording Club uniting enthusiasts of sound recording
of everyday life. It was a group of people who would gather regularly to exchange their field recordings and talk about different aspects of urban soundscapes.
Other important reference is the tradition of soundscape studies and soundwalk as a method for exploring urban space and transformations it undergoes.
Both terms are linked to Simon Fraser University in Vancouver and Raymond Murray Schafer's World Soundscape Project
emerging there in the late 60's of the 20th century. World Soundscape Project
was a group of scholars and sound enthusiasts (such as Hildegard Westerkamp and Barry Truax)
whose aim along with raising awareness about the role of sound in culture, society and environment,
was to consistently record and catalog soundscapes at risk of disappearance, intensified at the time by industrial transformations.
Jean Routhier who also comes from the Vancouver soundscape tradition, has been performing collective soundwalks for many years.
The principle of his approach is to give priority to listening, while on the move, as a form of attentive engagement in space around us.
This is why during his walks participants are not allowed to speak to each other.
Today soundwalks are often used in cultural heritage, tourism industry or entertainment.
They often include complex technological infrastrutcures, locative media and GPS-responsive systems.
But in Fragmentarium.club we try not to become too much dependent on technology.
Rather, the idea is to forget about technologies and their function as a mediator between us and space.
That is why during the walks devices such as smartphones are usually switched off,
(unless we deliberately agree on using them as recording devices or speakers for pre-recorded material).
The photograph comes from the soundwalk organized on the World Listening Day, July 18, 2017, Stockholm
Fragmentarium Club is currently based in Stockholm, although it is envisaged as a mobile concept.
As a founder of Fragmentarium club, my role has been primarily to facilitate walks and take care of the audio documentation