JOURNEY: sound walks, travel, and traversing the land
Hosted by Wayne Garrett & Caitlind Brown.
Although The Hibernation Project has come to an end, our spinoff sound art radio program EARS HAVE EYES will continue to air monthly for the rest of 2022. This month, artists responded to the theme of JOURNEY. From road trips to immigration, meditations on nationhood to outer space travel, the upcoming sound works meditate on place-ness – the places we’ve been, the places we are, the places we move through, come from, escape, dwell in, get stuck, stick out, are displaced from, yearn for, and aim towards.
The idea of ‘place’ is not solid, but unfolding in simultaneous layers, dependent on personal embodiment, acknowledged histories, and cultural perspectives. Lucy Lippard talks about place as “multicentred,” localized in a map of memories, political and personal. “All places,” she writes, “exist somewhere between the inside and the outside view of them, the ways in which they compare to, and contrast with, other places.”
Thanks to the participating artists and our friends at CJSW!
Calum Robertson (they/them) studies Communications, History, and the overlap of the two at the University of Calgary. They tinker with noise and music outside of academia as well, find them on SoundCloud under “Broodmare” and “MarigoldDefeat“.
“Wordless Sound Poems” Made Mainstream is a sound collage drawing from the use of real-world noises in music originally made for a presentation at a Research Symposium. It includes clips of the songs and sounds Calum studied alongside snippets of the artist reading key lines from their paper. Experimenting with feel, rhythm, cacophony, pace and volume to make an experience felt more than heard, this project took them on a journey through history (from the Renaissance to present day) and place (recordings from across the world) and a thematic journey into their own experience of diving deep into “what is music and what is noise?”
Curved Walls (Richard Gallant)
Curved Walls is the solo project of Calgary based multi-instrumentalist session musician and Hermitess member Richard Gallant. Utilizing a diverse assortment of stringed instruments both ancient and modern, Gallant constructs rich sonic tapestries that contrast and build on the distinct timbral identities of his wide collection of traditional instruments. Expect to hear the medieval tones of the Hurdy Gurdy and Psaltery contrasted against ambient electronics and heavy electric guitar riffs, all blended together into intricately organized studio confections designed to delight the ear of the headphone aficionado. Boldly experimental, while still maintaining keen melodicism and meditative, harmonic grounding, Curved Walls takes the adventurous listener along on a rich and rewarding sonic excursion.
JOURNEY features CURVED WALLS’ track Trip Around.
D. C. Gale is a composer and musician originally from Mohkínstsis (Calgary) currently residing in Tiohtià:ke (Montréal). Fascinated with deep listening, the patient and a more durational musical process, he is currently composing for his private portfolio and competitions as well as finishing a degree of study in electroacoustic music.
Undergrowth is a short piece completed in March 2022 about revisiting memory, personal growth and new perspectives in listening through a soundwalking practice. The undergrowth of a city, in this case a busy city underpass, is just as alive as the undergrowth of a memory; they each give rise to new landscapes in their own ways.
Edzi’u is a Tahltan and Tlingit artist, based in Vancouver, Canada on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. An innovative songwriter and composer, they paint stories of the past, present and future with textures, elders stories and words, and ethereal voice. Their music and sound installations have been featured on CBC Radio Reclaimed, Talking Stick festival, shown in Tkaronto’s film festival imagineNATIVE 2018 as well as 2019, while debuting internationally in 2019 at the Document Film Festival in Glasgow, Scotland.
JOURNEY features compositions What Does Nation Mean? from Edzi’u’s debut album, Kime Ani. Featuring three generations of their grandmothers voices, as well as audio of future generations, What Does Nation Mean? asks the listener to examine their hearts, mind, and place amidst colonial so called Canada. Being rich in culture, full of passion and spirit, the power behind their use of sound goes deep within the listener, inspiring them to be bold and genuine, while living fully within their hearts.
Eduardo Gama is a Portuguese Sound Artist and Sound Designer based in Bristol, UK. Using experimental approaches to sound recording and design, Eduardo’s main focus is on the performative power of the voice in documentary filmmaking.
In the words of the artist, “Aural Postcards derived from my research into the idea that everyone is a migrant and has felt displacement at some point in their life. […] Displacement can often be associated with a desire for communication with distant meaningful people, evoking memories and feelings of belonging that have either been lost or transformed. This is most noticeable when individuals are either on a journey or have been through one and find themselves in unfamiliar territories, separated from their loved ones.
With the Aural Postcards, I focused on the uniqueness of every person and how they allow for powerful stories to arise from each individual’s experience. These processes of dislocation, being more or less forced upon individuals, shape the way in which they perceive their surroundings as more or less familiar territories. In this respect, it could be argued that all stories share a certain common core, particularly manifested in people’s need for connection to others through space and sound.”
Kathleen Moors is an artist, writer and retired teacher, and at the age of 67, is completing her BFA at AUArts. Her work concerns itself with a ritual of walking and with the body’s orientation with routes and pathways.
With Worlding, six globes enter from six different locations in Calgary. Acquired along with each globe, in the artist’s words, is a “brief narratives about their procurement, the connections made (human and non-human) and the body’s moving in and out of urban as well as feral spaces. The surface of six spheres becomes the structure where the striation of the urban landscape informs the smooth and welcoming feral landscape during rituals of walking. On these surfaces, my own shadow becomes a veil between place and no place, an ephemeral moment of recognition of the self as it merges with experience, place, memory, loss, and celebration. The veil is lifted when this moment of recognition collides with the daily experience of emergence and enters the portal of deconstruction, the falling away from the grid and breaking loose of containment, whether known, questioned, feared, or forced upon us. The work concerns itself with colonial representations of place, the routes and pathways that lead into other worlds, and the orientation of the self in the context of reference points drawn by the people in our lives, or the vocalizations inside our own heads.”
Lauren Wong is a sound engineer who lives in Hong Kong and likes experimental sound.
The Journey to the Moon asks “do you know the shortest route to the moon?”
Tyler J Stewart is an interdisciplinary artist, curator and writer of settler descent, living and working on Siksikaitsitapi (Blackfoot) territory in the city of Lethbridge. His current research focuses on the role of sound within the ongoing structure of settler-colonialism in Canada, and how artists use sound as a form of resistance and refusal against imbalances of power.
Detuning the Anthem: A Choose-Your-Own Audio Adventure is an interactive web-based artwork that encourages a process of critical reflection and self-education about the role the Canadian national anthem plays in our society. While national anthems attempt to unite citizens of the nation through music, this project unsettles the peacemaker myth of Canadian history, examining both the content and context of the anthem’s continuing evolution. Through this unique and interactive listening experience, participants are invited to consider their own position within the ongoing structure of settler-colonialism in Canada, and to address their individual and collective responsibilities as Canadians.
The audio adventure consists of five orchestrated musical compositions, along with a series of listening invitations and reflection questions to guide participants through a sonic journey in and around their community. Participants are invited to choose their own listening locations and determine the depth of their experience based on their own motivations, resulting in a unique and personalized affective listening adventure.
WalkingLab is a research-creation project co-directed by Stephanie Springgay at McMaster University and Sarah E. Truman at the University of Melbourne. WalkingLab studies the theory and practice of walking methodologies, exploring and developing innovative interdisciplinary practices. Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, WalkingLab’s podcast captures their intersectional research and can be heard in its entirety on walkinglab.org.
JOURNEY features an excerpt from Introduction to Critical Walking Methodologies from WalkingLab.
Thank you to the artists & listeners! Special thanks to CJSW.