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Soundwalking: Follow your ears

Fast Bike
by Gregg Wagstaff

Soundwalks are in essence quite simple–one walks and one listens. They can happen anytime, anywhere. You can practice them without anyone knowing (perhaps by just stepping outside your front door and ‘following your own ears’) or you might organise a public walk with a planned route and guide. In any case, Soundwalks are a way of engaging yourself and others in the conscious act of listening to one’s sonic environment.

Correctly speaking, there are two types of walk. A Soundwalk encourages those on it to sound or voice that space by promoting interaction with the objects and your surroundings (for example drumming on a fallen tree or shouting to hear an echo). A Listening Walk asks that you only listen and make as little sound as necessary during the walk. There are other derivitives including the application of blindfolds and combining other listening originated activities, like sound-mapping.

Photo by Stefan Rose

Excerpt from “Dartmoor Soundwalks Earshot No.2,”
The Journal of the U.K. & Ireleand Soundscape Community,
December 2001.

Gregg is a freelance Sound Artist/Designer living in Scotland, a director of the U.K. and Ireland Soundscape Community (UKISC) and WFAE.