Returning the ear is an on-going collaboration with Tim Shaw, Newcastle based sound artist and scholar.
The collaboration has resulted in a particular method for attending to,
documenting and mediating the space through variety of sonic interventions.
If traditionally the understanding of places and experiences they yield has been
focused on their visual aspects, our approach attempts to bring attention to practices
of listening and audio-recording seen (or heard) as at least equivalent forms of being in the world.
We question and test diverse natures of listening and recording through performative walks
within urban and rural spaces. Drawing on traditions of soundscape research, soundwalking,
DIY technologies and experimental musical practices, our work engages with listening as
a generative act in which spaces become open for diverse and experimental modes of attention and interpretation.
'Returning the ear' took place in several cities including Barcelona, Newcastle and Romainmotier.
'Returning the ear in Newcastle' was a sound walk and performance resulting from the exploration of Newcastle's soundscapes.
A 40 minute silent soundwalk with participants was followed by a 20 minute performance at Northern Charter based on previously
recorded and catalogued field recordings.
Amble, a work prepared for the performance festival 'Weeksends du Roy'in Romainmôtier in September 2016 was a hybrid soundwalk and performative
collage of previously conducted field recordings. Tim Shaw and Jacek Smolicki invited participants to re-enact the trajectory of the exploration
they had been performing consistently over a period of four days. After a 30 minute walk, taking place in complete silence,
the participants were invited to distribute themselves in a performance room where a dozen of stations were placed hosting
various recording devices, players, speakers and radio frequency receivers used throughout the residency. During the 30 minutes that followed,
the artists created a semi-scripted and half-improvised composition drawing on the majority of recordings made over the previous days.
While physically moving across the room, they performed a live montage of the material, conceiving of a multilayered mnemonic soundscape
which concluded with the real-time sound of a bell coming from the courtyard outside.
Audio recording from the concluding performance at 'Weeksends du Roy'at Arc residency in Romainmôtier, September 18, 2016
'Returning the ear in Barcelona' was a semi-scripted sound walk designed over a period of two intense days of the exploration of Port Fòrum,.
The walk combined various forms of improvisatory interventions based on listening recording and casting the recorded back into the space.
Port Fòrum is a partly dysfunctional area constructed before the economical crisis with an intention to bridge various cultural and business initiatives.