In professional and situation-related hearing we are dealing with hearing - listening - understanding as the function which makes a place, which defines historical and present time, and which creates something that can be called home or world. In the social context listening to the overall soundscape is manifold listening, hearing in plural, implying a multitude of local, unexchangeable and existential cultural techniques.
So, is listening to the totality of the sonic surrounding, to the soundscape, as the root of all listening, is it a cultural technique? Can it be that with respect to the many worlds created by the local and individual ways of listening?
I contend that this is the case. The soundscape helps us to free ourselves, on the one hand from all kinds of normative listening, on the other hand from an understanding of cultural technique that presupposes, as with music or word, formalized teaching. Forms of listening that are bound to the concrete existence can be highly specialized listening. Such a listening is not just confined to place and time, as the critics from music and poetry will ask to consider, but creates perceptive and social places and times.
Still! Es rauscht die Welt.
Individuelle und gesellschaftliche Orientierung in der Klanglandschaft der Gegenwart
This part of text is taken with the permission of the author from:
Lecture during "Ganz Ohr", Symposium über das Zuhören, Kassel, 26. September 1997. In: Zuhören e.V. (ed) 2002, Ganz Ohr – Interdisziplinäre Aspekte des Zuhörens, 53-63. Edition Zuhören, Band 1. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen.
Justin Winkler is a senior lecturer at the Department of Geography of the University of Basel. The whole lecture and further texts can be downloaded from the website of the author.
SOUNDBAG is an internet project by Rolf Langebartels. A collection of items relating to Sound Art and Audio Art. Contributions are welcome. Please send them to the email address below.
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