This edition of framework:afield has been produced in the Netherlands by students of the University of the Arts, The Hague, in conjunction with Raviv Ganchrow’s Aural Tectonics seminar at the Institute of Sonology.
The following series of works are derived from an intensive exploration of the auditory context of Den Haag Central Train Station. Instead of seeking a soundscape, the team alternatively set out to uncover auditory affordances latent to the terminal. The following results reveal various phenomenal, material, spectral, temporal as well as social dimensions of the site. By intentionally avoiding the ‘sound portrait’, the sequence instead becomes a collection of studies or maps with which to navigate the variety of interlocking yet distinctive auditory spheres inhabiting the station.
The Aural Tectonics seminar at the Insitute of Sonology explores site-specificity and context- dependency of sound by fostering a critical awareness of, and attitude towards, environmental ambiance. Founded in a practice-based approach, the seminar develops site-dependent strategies for listening, recording, mapping, synthesis and sound intervention. Each year a particular location is chosen around which a sequence of intensive projects are developed. Within that framework, alternative approaches to ‘hearing place’ are fostered by adopting locational modes of listening and encouraging personal approaches to contextual ambiance.
Amir Bolzman, Sjoerd Brill, Ana Guedes, Aslakur Ingvarsson, Donia Jourabchi, Jeyong Jung, Nikos Kokolakis, Carlo Maria Amadio, Sohrab Motabar, Joel Thurman, Return3r, Timo Witkamp
Audio Mastering: Donia Jourabchi
The Institute of Sonology website: http://www.sonology.org
Contribution credit, title and descriptions in order of appearance:
////// Nikos Kokolakis
Deze lift gaat naar beneden (This elevator goes down)
This piece is based in the experimentation around the physical phenomenon of sound wave diffraction through recordings from the area of the central station of The Hague. The recordings were conducted in motion parallel to walls or obstacles, registering the different soundscape that emerges when an opening in a wall or obstacle occurs. The studio editing focuses in emphasizing specific parts of the spectrum and developing a narrative structure through the piece.
Sites as time-variant systems come in different moods shapes and dependencies to the external source of actuation, while this study examines the contribution of the “higher order chaos” to the fractal dimension of the temporal topology of the air mass filling and encapsulating an instance of the latter. These emergent forms are often potent becoming nodes of strong repulsion and attraction within their environment due to their caustic property. It might be overwhelming to be around them, but they become deities once having listened.
////// Jeyong Jung
The piece consists of sounds that have been recorded near automated doors. A door is an end point of an interior space but also a beginning point of an exterior space. The piece intends to expose that the contrasting spaces (interior / exterior) are at times merged and at times distinctly separate as the doors open and close.
////// Joel Thurman
////// Sjoerd Brill
Trajectory is a piece played by dozens of commuters, coming together at The Hague’s Central Station. Diving through different aural perspectives, the fragments are strung together like a pearl necklace. The empty footsteps and deep resonant treads alternate between one another on the wooden floorboards, while the normal life continues, far in the distance.
////// Ana Guedes
on waiting. was mainly captured with contact microphones in order to establish an image of the structural vibrations at the site; unveiling a realm of “infranormal” instances that exist beneath the spectrum of everyday life perceptions.
////// Aslakur Ingvarsson
Not going anywhere
////// Carlo Maria Amadio
Voice of the Noises
For this piece I decided to focus attention on various aspects of my auditory and creative experience: the playfulness of listening, the playfulness of collecting sounds, the attention to cultural and psychological backgrounds, having fun, story telling, creating memory. The ultimate aspect of the piece is about sharing my personal experience with others. This aspect has been incorporated in the recording experience itself: I asked people at the station what they were hearing in that specific moment and requested them to reply without thinking too much, in other words to respond impulsively. The second part of the “interview”, that was more challenging to achieve, involved requesting people mimic these sounds with their voice. The final result is a narrative description of the sonic surroundings of the station conducted through people’s voices, along with traces of my personal recording and auditory experience.
////// Donia Jourabchi
“Don’t keep forever on the public road, going only where others have gone and following one after the other like a flock of sheep. Leave the beaten track occasionally and dive into the woods. Every time you do so you will be certain to find something that you have never seen before. Of course it will be a little thing, but do not ignore it. Follow it up, explore all round it ; one discovery will lead to another, and before you know it you will have something worth thinking about to occupy your mind. All really big discoveries are the results of thought.” (Discovery and invention – Alexander Graham Bell – The National Geographic magazine, volume 25, 1914 – p650)
////// Timo Witkamp
Study of Aural Tectonics
The study consists entirely of synthesized sounds. These synthesized sounds are characterized by the temporal and spectral aspects of the sound of a stopping train. The consecutive and overlapping segments constitute the sound of a stopping train from various perspectives.
////// Amir Bolzman
Walking near Babylon
Walking near Babylon was made from recordings of Central station Den Haag.
Most of the sounds were recorded from moving up and down 6 different escalators in the central station. These rehearsed movements were performed in the same way for all 6 of them. The idea behind this method is to try to compose a movement in a space , and to record it. Then make the same movement/composition in similar locations.
This composition was originally made as an 8 channel piece and was mixed down again for a stereo version. On the 8 channel mix you can hear more clearly the different locations and movements.
////// Sohrab Motabar
Central station is different than other stations in town, this station houses a city inside: shops where you can find passengers in transit or people looking to buy something to make their journey more pleasant. I tried to explore some experiences of the space in The Hague central station by utilizing different recording methods such as binaural and distance miking. After recording I listened, edited and transformed the material in order to try and find which aspect of space are most compelling for me. One aspect that I found most interesting was the merging of two spaces by recording in parallel through two omni-directional microphones. The edited piece is an investigation of the sequential experiences along one walking trajectory from the threshold of a shop towards the train platforms.