Composing Sonic Futures (2020)
Compositions and contributing texts by:
Andrée Burelli, GCKNG, Myroslava Kuts, Nour Sokhon and Samuel Thulin
In April 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis,
at the Spatial Sound Institute
about our circle of influence in these changing times. In different parts of the world, societal life as we know it has come to a standstill. Terms such as ‘social distancing’ and ‘self isolation’ become a part of our habitual vocabulary and every day routines.
The flow of the days from dawn to dusk blurs into different substance, as the virus, wandering freely and fluently, turns into the kind of unhinged event that incorporates everything in our life that we can affect and influence - hovering long enough for us to start studying its components and contemplate our existential puzzle.
At such a time, we observe glaring poverty, migration, climate change, right-wing populism, racism and anti-refugee rhetoric treading to the fore — and along comes the flux of inadequate state policies, civil unrest and forced lockdowns, threathening to displace many lives and cripple economies all over the world.
illustration: Ana Amorós López
In the midst of rising uncertainty, the crisis provides opportunity to rethink and reimagine those bridges into the future that offer us new perspectives. After all, it is our universal condition to get inspired and encouraged to build - especially when faced with the lack of prescience or anticipation into the course of events determining our lives.
As an institution dedicated towards the process of personal and collective learning through listening, with this publication we probe to transform our present sense of isolation into future explorations through the lens of sonic experience, art practices and methodologies.
Space To Listen
To understand a crisis as an opportunity to listen in to the future, complex questions arise that allow for new worldviews to emerge. Composing Sonic Futures embeds speculative and experimental approaches to this attempt and is addressed as a broad examination that encourages diverse personal connection of the artists to tap into this stream, letting its energy and intensity flow into personal creative spaces that provide insight, expressed through combining compositional process with writing.
We received fifty-five entries from over eighteen countries, out of which three winning proposals were meant to be selected. The high quality vigour of the entries eventually led the jury panel to award five commissioned grants for winners to realize their projects. Proposals have been influenced by many topics and modes of sonic attention: from sound environmentalism, field recordings, electroacoustic experiments to manifestations of voice and speech, language, sonic materialism, bio-acoustics, eco-acoustics, city sounds, urban quietness; to poetry, alchemy, ambience, space travel, the sound of sleep, silence, sound and healing, sound affecting mental and emotional states; war, politics, climate change, ecologies and agencies within human and non-human relationships — attributing to the most inspiring array of impressions within reading and listening.
Many have predictably provoked futures as an alternative notion of what might be possible — a different way of doing something, a different way of thinking — followed by a time when unfamiliar and challenging conditions arise out of ordinary boundaries. There are those who have tried to understand it addressing the personal aspect with curiosity, openness, exhaustion, awakenings, emptiness and patience; frequently surrendering to a vision of the work that frees sound from intellectual comfort to a crossover point within us and our surroundings.
Some have probed as novices and hobbyists with sound who believe that “this is what they need to do” and we greatly appreciate and encourage this form of participation that can open up the much limited nature of regular granting instruments that usually seek those with the strongest profiles and repertoires. To put forward ideas that have a bearing to the range of listeners can arise from the sonic leaps of many. And to our observation, these conscious and often unheeded provocations should be acknowledged and are needed to help uncover assumptions and considerations that might otherwise remain implicit.
The deeper questions that have motivated the selection of following works responds to an approach that effects and undergoes a time of solitary inspection, withdrawal, and for some mourning. It brings together research, fiction, personal experience, interview accounts and advocacy into listening encounters that are channelling a deeper search: exploring dialogic meaning making during a time of repression, being awake in a world of sleep, past-life memories, humanity’s awareness of higher consciousness, obscure non-places and sudden distant journeys with cosmic forces that reveal our levels of cognizance.
This might be called a house of portals — anomalous experiences with a universal source; we can’t know or always understand why anomalies occur, so while they are open to interpretation, they shake us when we pay attention to it.
Here, the continuum of human capacity is the most important dimension. It is through inner inquiry of our conflicts that we can give birth to entire worlds and bring light into the darker powers that play upon us. This is not to suggest a beguiling worldview. Portals may arise again to create division within us or with others; what matters is how we experience its possible meanings personally, as an ephemeral vehicle and a space to dwell — as it invites us for listening ingress.
Lyra: How To Survive Difficult Times by Andrée Burelli
Burelli’s work enters into a wisdom and astrometry of the seers — where one experiences a guided presence into coming or alternative world tales. She slowly pulls focus on a complicated environment where nature is taking what it needs to survive and re-establish the balance with humanity.
To postulate new ways of life is inherently an isolating experience; as we are on the brink of an evolutionary change in human consciousness, and thus find ourselves in uncharted territory.
As a prelude to her existing volumes in the series ‘How To Survive Difficult Times’, Burelli illustrates her field of vision:
Humans live entirely indoors, in cities enclosed in transparent material that serves as a window over their existence to an infinite sky, shielded from a world made mainly of sandstorms and empty oceans. People spend their time reflecting on the sunset, the stars shining and the moon rising every night. They have developed technology and consciousness but pleasures of outdoor life such as being on the beach, swimming in the sea or breathing real air, are just memories of the past. The incomplete puzzle of their lost world remains a treasure in the form of audiovisual reality, projected as a kind of cinema in the evenings. It is onto those screens where that generation lays its eyes in tears. Humanity has learnt its limits.
This internal space of conflict that she predates in her Berlin abode in the late summer of 2019, has seemingly manifested and come to embody the very essence of the pandemic months later. At present, while being remote on the island of Sardinia in her native Italy, Burelli ignites sonic portals of visionary states in which great elemental forces struggle to keep humanity at bay.
Living in such a state in the world shakes us out of all systems, all conventions and becomes revealing of our connection to the body and mind that tend to keep us alive.
Humans obliged to dwell in their homes, within those cities isolated from what remains of nature, have evolved techniques of different kinds which help them to survive in harmony with themselves and others. Many of the most effective meditation techniques for the well-being of their minds and bodies alternate between movement and stillness. Extended practice into these methods helps them to perceive and understand their own inner energies and find balance with the environment around them, to bring calm to their minds, and to help them gain focus in order to carry out daily tasks. These meditations are also accompanied by musical reach that hits harmonics and soothing frequencies. The inhabitants of this dystopian period have no questions about the facts of the influence of meditation and music, as they are mindful of the therapeutic benefits they offer.
The work Lyra is imagined as a succeeding chapter in Burelli’s vision of a world withdrawn.
To this she writes:
Some of the new cities are found in the deserts of what had once been Northern Europe and have the constellations’ names over the sky above them. In a city named Lyra, the sonic art of inhabitants is based primarily on vocal daily practice, through which they explore their own bodies’ needs and vocal extensions. Each day, magnificent melodies and harmonies can be heard amidst the vast emptiness of the oasis. Lyra’s inhabitants appropriately respect these practices according to which breathing, relaxation and vocal vibration in resonance within the body may become energy sources and mechanisms for physical and mental well-being. As in other forms of meditation, they find in vocal practice a healing tool.
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In Lyra, Burelli’s voice becomes a search and is explored in connection to deep prolongations of sound as a strong but delicate current. She projects that to align oneself, some form of somatic activity should be taken up and the body should be strengthened; as well as the mind in will, initiative and self-expression.
The lucid imaginary portal she evokes is bereft of human influence on nature; revealing such a world that has given up on its native species, she reflects on proclivities of our psychological stability, emotional contentment and individual soul work.
In doing so, Burelli confronts our human potential to harmonize and pierce through the veil of ignorance by yielding energy to the hidden side of life and the psyche.
Sleepwalking by Myroslava Kuts
Dependent on factors such as individual history, genetics and neurodynamic brain patterns, sleep processes for the larger part remain to be an enigma in the range of human experience. Plunged into vast dimensions of a darker space, there can be little resistance to what is; we may experience confusion, lucidity, visions or streaming thoughts, anxiety, stress, disturbances and involuntary reactions.
The practice of Ukranian sound designer Myroslava Kuts resonates and vibrates into the possible forms of spacious and perceptive awareness encountered in the process of sleeping. Approaching it from a sociological and neuroscientific perspective, the examination of sleep patterns and associated disorders reveal to her the many questions, challenges and complexities of human consciousness — through which we get in touch with our inner experiences.
Sleep for me is sacred. Like all the brain's interesting work, the mind’s movement towards the inner self is the sleep for one's own experience. Falling asleep we truly become unobserved, alone, ourselves for ourselves. When sleep comes, our brain shuts down from the real world; our mental and physical activities work together to create tomorrow’s 'I'.
Building connections to understand such an awareness to go into sleep experiences, Kuts sonifies sleepwalking — “a type of sleep disorder characterized by walking while the person is still asleep and in a partially aroused state” — as a concentrated, veritable listening.
During the deep sleep level, somnambulism occurs, in which the slow delta wave will dominate. But the slow wave activity tends to continue with some faster rhythms throughout the walking sequence, such as theta (light sleep) and alpha (awake relaxed state activities). One part represents neurological processes in the brain, another stands for behavior and perception. Simply put, it's the body and the mind. With this separation, I want to highlight the way of studying or capturing, and then representing as well, the event or the happening. But I do not fully distinguish them, as perception reflects the body’s systemic and with the reflection influences it back — I want to allow the sleepwalking to be observed, at least a sample of the condensation of behavioral patterns and brain processes.
The resulting work Sleepwalking is focused on recorded voices and modulated feedback loops, where each instrument is generated separately from the narrative parts to recreate the disorienting landscape of the sleep condition where one withdraws from the world but there is still a lot happening with the body motion.
Exhibiting as such, Kuts piece also becomes suggestive of alien intrusion and external agencies arising and disappearing into a paradoxical mystery of dualisms - the human and the non-human, the mind and the body — that often remain elusive.
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The lo-fidelity sounding experience speaks to the errors of our sensory behaviour and the anomalous life of the sleepwalking realms — where the sound reflects the deep sleep state continuously disturbed by other deconstructed mono-rhythmic frequencies breaking through; there is an immediate recognition as we hear the voice talking to itself while performing stereotypical habits in an ordinary day cycle — templates that demonstrate how we feed, dress, think, communicate and perform our roles in life.
Reflecting on such a phenomenon of study in contemplating the pandemic crisis; sleep continues to pose a challenge to a large population around the world. Many contributing factors that disrupt a restful sleep are disrupted daily routines, inadequate daylight exposure, increased stress and even greater mental health challenges. Indeed, such disturbances find their way into our unconscious world, moving along with our energies.
Kuts proposes an opening that tries to comprehend the sleep spectrum with both outer and inner learning; bodily and non-material viewing. Sleepwalking as a portal that expands and alters our perception of reality - and that can be measured scientifically but is not just restricted by medical comprehension.
Addressing such terrain to face and explore the complex sleep experience; Kuts work becomes reflective of the factors that tend to keep us alive, in body and mind and a latent human ability that includes all possible paradigms — both mundane and abstract.
â€œSymbiotic Hybridizationâ€Â by GCKNG
â€œSymbiotic Hybridizationâ€Â comes from the abstract adventures of a curious personality who likes to go by the mysterious initials GCKNG —
The first time that I got in touch with Eco-Acoustics was at a Sonic Garden at Fonoteca Nacional de México.
He recalls this place as being situated as “an outdoor arrangement of a high-quality audio system within a colonial period garden with specimens of flora and fauna that may have existed since pre-hispanic times.”
This vivid experience had intrigued him and had a profound effect on his individual sense of place, showing a particularly new way of sensing environments and raising the question of how humans can sustain, preserve and protect natural areas for the fascinating diversity of life found on earth, their relationships with each other and their surroundings.
Working through these thoughts, GCKNG occasionally contemplated through sonic means, the mysteries and abundance of nature that lead him towards a deep interest in recording techniques. It is possible that with this work, GCKNG may have extended the scope of his initial serendipitous experience.
Triggered by the pandemic events, he feels urged to react by the disillusioning prospect of governments who don’t rely on scientific information:
Hearing frightening news about pandemic statistics, what we learnt in the quarantine is that there is another way to behave in order to achieve sustainable development, because the complicated ecological equilibrium relations showed great resilience and regeneration rates. The universe gave us some blinks of hope at the end of the tunnel: the view of the Everest from polluted cities, new sightings of species believed to be extinct, bioluminescence of the world's various non-virgin beaches are some examples of how quickly the environment can regenerate its elements.
Intensified, he also reflects on the loss of his livelihood, taking up a taxi driving shift and in this completely different setting, the ways in which every sound would draw him in:
the chirps of hummingbirds during a lightning storm (July 26th)
In “â€œSymbiotic Hybridizationâ€Â” GCKNG challenges an infinite complexity of “a sonic atmosphere that contains raw nature sounds and heavy effect editing on intergalactic sounds (intergalactic pulsar radiations translated to sounds).”
Looking at the ideas and practice behind the emerging discipline of Eco-Acoustics, he demonstrates his research process:
This sonic piece tries to emphasize the ephemeral of ecosystems, that are as long as an Intergalactic Pulsar rotation (0.0015578 seconds), compared to the magnitude of the Universe. The ephemeral is represented through samples of intergalactic pulsars (nearest Pulsar from earth: 280 light years, farthest Pulsar from earth: 50 million light years) that could not exist anymore because their radiation was emitted thousands of years ago, by the calling of an endangered specie; the Helmeted Hornbill (Rhinoplax vigil) from the rainforests of Malaysia, that not only looks like a Cretaceous era survivor but also by their archaic behaviors and reproductive habits. The insects appeared long before the primitive birds, so it is granted that the Helmeted Hornbill mimics the sounds produced by the Empress Cicada (Megapoponia Imperatoria) because they coexist in the same Malaysian rainforest.
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Pulsar Radiation Simulation by Lovell Telescope in Jodrell Bank
(https://tinyurl.com/yjgutv6) (https://tinyurl.com/ycsm33k8), edited by GCKNG
Young Bat Vocalizations in Taman Negara ́s Cave, Malaysia, by Richard Folwell.
(https://tinyurl.com/ybsxemba), edited by GCKNG
Night Soundscape - Tawau Hills, Malaysia by Wild Ambience (https://tinyurl.com/yd9ewndo)
Helmeted Hornbill & Dusk Cicadas - Taman Negara, Malaysia by Wild Ambience
Various forces combine over different scales of time and space; the hum of birds, lightning storms, bat vocalizations, night ambience, the mysterious calls of the helmeted hornbill and dusk cicadas in between intervals of pulsar radiation simulations — to seek communication autonomously where their energies may get scattered or diffused; perhaps thought of as a colossal interlaced vibrating wave of impact with multiple frequencies of occurrence.
More artistically thoughtful, GCKNG’s composition is built for a universal sensitivity, strange unseen events and their interaction with the environment:
Ephemeral realities inaccessible to the human eye, environments governed by anti-physics laws and nanoparticles, intergalactic cumulus located at thousands of light years scratching the deep and fragile strings that support, for example, the life of: the flora and fauna, the planet Earth, the solar system or the universe itself. Mixing this range of sounds gave me the feeling that all the "sounds" in the world are not that different from the buzzing of an insect that moves through birds, bats and lightnings; the pulsars are vibrating with a certain strong resemblance. Some of those sounds remind me of my childhood, while others take me to nearly non-existent places. What would an Intergalactic Pulsar Sound Explosion be like?
Shaking our worldly perception, GCKNG indicates towards the change of our own consciousness through complex ephemeral components. The observations in his writings touch subtle anomalous realms with a personalizing tendency of the autobiographical mind.
Listening To Lost Utopias by Samuel Thulin
Montreal-based Samuel Thulin explores spatial relations through a media archaeological lens with a connection to historical cartographic practices that arouse the intention of searching for something that has been lost, fleeting experiences that one must personally witness and verify, meditating in desolate or quiet places, while listening to sounds that cannot be found.
A remote point in the Kufra District of the Libyan Desert acts as the inspiration and the nexus for these explorations. At this point, on the sound-sharing platform Freesound.org, I have found 128 audio files geo-tagged to the exact same coordinates in the global sound map browser. Oddly, the sounds have no audible connection to the place where they have been tagged. They range from city street field recordings to radio broadcasts, from drum hits to film sound effects, and much more. From contacting the contributors, I have learned that the audio files come from an array of places all over the world – Thunder Bay, Ciudad del Este, Pretoria, New York City, Zagreb, etc. But how the files ended up geo-tagged in the middle of the desert remains obscure.
Such guides imbued inside his research practice become indicative of the temporality of voyages through the making of fictional memories; that reveal its ability to compare a past in an arcane time-space which Thulin distinctively probes as “the contradictions and troubling aspects of utopia; such as the question of whose vision of utopia propagates and at what cost, while simultaneously acknowledging its attractive power.”
When the Libyan desert still appeared as a mostly blank space on European maps, European explorers fantasized about what might be waiting for them in the future in the vast tracts of sand. In doing so, a colonial mindset instrumentalized local knowledges; the alleged blankness of unmapped areas acted both as a canvas for fantastic imaginings and as a justification for territorial claims.
Setting forth to locate the historic to the imagined through analysis of digital tools and characteristics of geo-located data sets, Thulin’s sonic cartography titled Listening to Lost Utopias is a provocation on the famous lost oasis of Zerzura.
This mythical place was the impetus for many desert explorations, and for the founding of the “Zerzura Club” in 1930, though its location has yet to be uncovered. As a provocation, I suggest that the point on the Freesound.org global sound map might indicate Zerzura, and that the sounds tagged there might constitute its soundscape. Rather than a literal imagining of this mythic place, however, Listening to Lost Utopias creates a spatial and temporal warping.
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List of Audio Files Used: Licensed by Creative Commons
Composed by using the web archive of each of the 128 audio files marked at the remote point in the desert, the sounds entangle and morphisize through altered playback; pitch and time shifts that one hears immediately. Thulin develops customized sampling tools in the programme Super Collider to create these new shifting sounds.
The ebb and flow of sounds is partly determined by the metadata, such as the time and date when the files were originally uploaded on the Freesound.org platform. Working with these audio files from places all over the world and carrying out extreme temporal transformations, I attempt to create a sonic utopia in the literal sense –“an impossible place” - but one that is based on the precisely indicated geo-location data for the files.
Thulin’s critique of land mappers through the search for Zerzura gathers in illuminating its flawed realm of delusions that are not yet liberated. To arrive at such a questioning over questioning of the anonymous, Thulin applies a critical approach that highlights the problematics of mapping that in a sense to him “are never really neutral representations of places.”
Whose imaginings of the future propagate? And in what places? What other imaginings might they silence? Is the future a blank space, ripe for fantasy, like the desert was for European explorers? Or is there something already there? Is it already full of sounds? If it is a blank space, who claims it is so? If it is full of sounds, what are those sounds? Do they exist on their own terms, or are they projections? If they are projections, whose projections are they? Mine? Yours? Theirs? Ours?
Evidently, in the wake of the global pandemic, the plethora of questions posed assume a new significance for Thulin’s initial interrogation:
How do we know and communicate with places that are far away from us? The point in the Libyan desert that I’m dealing with in this piece is especially remote in regards to where I am working from in Montreal. But in some sense, during the lockdown, other places that once might have been more accessible become equally remote, at least physically. The media that grants us access to these places then becomes even more important, as well as attending to who is making these representations and imaginings and under what conditions.
Thulin’s work suggestively regards the notion of discreet power structures embedded within places and non-places, blind forces that can destroy as easily as build— all while we rein in to develop landscapes of imagination under the warp threads that “we receive and create at a distance and vice versa.”
He postulates through anomalous transmissions of ceaseless waves and currents, both favourable and adverse situations in the stillness of an imagined empty space, through whose clinging we must look deeply and unsparingly at ourselves - where we have come from and what we have become.
Rectification of the Wretched by Nour Sokhon
Lebanese artist Nour Sokhon reimagines capacities of the human protest and the human desire as a radical electronic collage absorbing stories of the ‘ordinary people’, the underrepresented in the community that surround her while working from her home studio space. Growing up as an Arab woman, she blatantly describes the confining reality of living with various restrictions to her individual and collective sense of freedom, fuelling her work with film, sound and advocacy. Intergenerational post-war hauntings, awakenings and the struggle for hope both at the worldly and the personal level are the prevalent themes found in her work.
The ongoing Lebanese civil protests and revolution following the pandemic adds to her and her people’s emotional and collective strife, that she seeks to evoke as sonic matter:
On October 17, 2019 the process of rediscovery through listening magnified more than ever, in the streets of Lebanon, where a sea of rage swept the country. The country’s lock-out of spaces has been a norm since then. Isolation, social anxiety, frequent cutbacks in electricity at odd hours of the day, items disappearing from store shelves, people unable to go into social environments and participate in human contact is nothing new. Poverty has taken over, hunger is in the eyes of the people everywhere you walk. The conversations that take place in the local supermarkets, in the shared cabs, and on the streets all carry one common theme: anger. Anger about the prices soaring, anger about the lack of proper infrastructure, anger about lack of basic public services and anger about the root cause of it all: the government’s extreme level of corruption.
Sokhon’s association with sound emphasizes its political and social possibilities; she uses field recordings and samples to write up the lives of people who are oppressed and subjugated.
My desire is to sincerely translate the frailing energies of human and civilian struggle flowing through the veins of my country Lebanon in recent months at the hands of time tested injustice, leading to perhaps an imminent economic and cultural collapse.
Rectification of the Wretched is composed to remind her people that there are still dreams that they can seek.
I am with the people, and seek reformation. Before the start of quarantine I used to find myself in the streets. At the moment I have lost hope, yet I find it necessary to not succumb to the dark pit of despair. My personal sense of empowerment, my weapon, rises and awakens through sound amidst all the chaos. I would like to rediscover the current turbulence we open our eyes to every morning by amplifying the silenced voices of the people. I would like to create a figment of hope through the power of imagination by asking locals one question. What do they dream of?
The resulting soundscape is a narration of twelve different voices. Conducted through Whatsapp, the interviewees responded to the same question posed: What do they dream of?
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(Names have been withheld to ensure privacy protection of the soundbite contributors)
للاسف بس تخلقي ببلد مثل لبنان اذا كان عندك حلم هالحلم تبعك بیصغر ما بیكبر فا انا حلمي هلق هوي انو اقدر اوصل لمرحلة كون مبسوطة بحیاتي. بهل بساطة.
“Unfortunately, when you are born in a country like Lebanon, if you have a dream it doesn’t grow, it only gets smaller. So, now my dream is to just be able to reach a point where I can be happy in my life. As simple as that.”
انا الیوم بحلم... بحلم ما تكون رقبتي وكتافي مشنجین كل الوقت. بحلم انو رقبتي ما تكون مشكولة. بحلم اني روح قطففواكه من عالشجر. بحلم اني عیش. بحلم اني...
“Today I dream that my neck and my shoulders aren’t locked all the time. I dream that my neck is no longer knotted. I dream to pick fruits from the trees, I dream to live.”
المقابلة الثالثة :
وقت كنت صغیر كنت إحلم انو كون عایش بي بیئة كثیر فنیة عم اعمل مشاریع فنیة مع كثیر اشخاص عم ساعدوني هلقصرت حلمي اوعى و ما لاقي اهلي عمبیلحقوني بالتوتر و المشاكلهم النفسیة صار حلمي انو اوعى لاقي انو انا عندي موفرلي الراحة النفسیة كمواطن لبناني
“When I was young, I used to dream of living in a very artistic environment. I am building artistic projects with a lot of people who are in turn, helping me. Having said, now my dream is to wake up and not find my parents following me worried with anxiety and mental health problems. My dream has become to find that there is space for my peace of mind, as a Lebanese national.
انا عم احلم شو بدي احلم بحلم ارجع لطفولتي امبسط ما اعتل هم شي ما فكر بي شيء روح نعمل مشاریع ما بكلفونا شيء
انبسط بي اشیا بسیطة ما یكون الا قیمة هي طفولتنا ایامنا الحلوة في لبنان الاشیا إلي منتزكرها إحنا و اصحابنا نروح نضهر وننبسط بلا ما نعتل هم
“I am dreaming of... What am I dreaming of? I dream to go back to my childhood and be happy and not worry about anything and think of anything. To go and make plans that don’t cost much, to enjoy the simple things and for it not to have a price. This was our pleasant childhood in Lebanon that we remember, we used to walk with our friends, go out and enjoy without worry.”
إنو كون حر حب یلي بدي یا
My dream is to be free to love who I want.
ف اي بحلم انو تجي الكهرباء وضل جایة هیك بقدر عبي محل واحد اكتب سیناریو تبعي بشكل اسرع وتركیز تبعي بكون طبعا
احسن اذا ماني مطر انقل من غرفة لغرفة
So yes, I dream that the electricity would come and for it to stay when it comes. I would be able to sit in one place to write my script faster and of course, that would mean my concentration would be better if I don't have to keep switching rooms.
بشو بدي احلم عم احلم یردولي الأمان عم احلم یردولي لبنان
What am I dreaming of? I am dreaming that they will bring back my safety. I am dreaming that they will return my Lebanon to me.
بعتقد انو حلمي حالیآ هوي اني عیش بي محل مفتوح على الدنیا ما حس حالي مزروبي جواتو
I believe that my dream at the moment is to live in a place that is open to the world and not to feel trapped in it.
حلمي یكون عندي بیت حلو على البحر بس یكون بحر بیروت نظیف
My dream is to have a nice house by the beach, but for Beirut's sea to be clean.
بحلم عیش بي عالم الناس تغذي الطبیعة متل ما الطبیعة بتغذینا بحلم عیش بي عالم في استهلاك اقل
I dream to live in a world where people enrich nature like how nature enriches us. I dream to live in a world where there is less consumption.
المقابلة الحادیة عشر:
بحلم ابي یرجع ع بلدو شوفو بي بجنینتو عم یهتم بي بیتو عم قطف تیناتو
I dream that my dad will come back to his country, to see him in his garden taking care of his house, picking his figs.
المقابلة الثانیة عشر:
كنت احلم انو یكون عندي باسبور یاخدني على كل بلدان العالم الباسبور الأجنبي ف هذا هو حلمي
I used to dream that I had a western passport that would take me to all the countries in the world; the western passport that is my dream.
What is interesting here is the processing of the narrative in the form of a sound non-fiction with the conscious purpose to bring into question broader political, social and economic issues. These are spoken through the complex and subtle requirements of a community, as Sokhon critically seeks to reconstruct previously invisible narratives to focus on recovery, collection and preservation of communal memories.
Sokhon intentionalizes such a portal of dreams and emotions as a process that unlocks or captures according to the potential of the moment and as a cathartic device with the interviewed and herself. Through oral histories as futures, Sokhon encourages more open modes to think about interactions not particularly concerned with solving problems, but rather aiming to act as a catalyst to redefine oppressive systems; and to build a meaningful dialogue about more complex structures that involve the public as active agents.
With this she allows for a different kind of thinking about the future that speaks to the needs and aspirations of her community and doesn’t belittle the experience of their life.
Such auditory experiences, where sometimes the meaning is extremely unsettling provides an opportunity for listeners to explore myriad portals that refer to the conditions of our existence: physical, conceptual, and corporeal — complex in its working as life itself.
The point of departure for each artist lies within the paradoxes of our human condition; forces beyond our control that can elevate us or bring us down — to explore beyond the limits of the natural order of things, beyond depleted structures and in doing so giving expression to new forms of listening that may confront our patterns of wordly thinking and our perceptions of truth.
Futures as the realm of musing, dreaming and imagining that a civilization can apprehend, disclosing what it observes as reality; not through mere appearances but by discerning the transience in their own sensitivity and in acceptance with the unpredictable.
Featured Artists Biographies
Andrée Burelli is an artist based in Berlin and Sardinia. She is an electronic music composer who has worked under a different alias for a few years and who more recently has started to release her music under her legal name. She is an educated instrumentalist, whose practice focuses on sound synthesis and electroacoustics. She holds two master degrees in Fine Arts from the Universities of Granada and Basque Country, respectively. Her practice as a violinist influences her aesthetic in music. Burelli has released as Bodyverse numerous LP on physical format through Lontano Series, Rohs! Records and her own Sunrise Ruby Records, garnering positive reviews from Bandcamp Daily and Groove Magazine. Her most recent work as Andrée Burelli consists of a series of self released works that include audiovisual creations. She has recently won the artistic residency Amplify Berlin, a Creative Development Program through which she’s being mentored by James Young, one half of duo Darkstar (Warp Records). Her upcoming LP on vinyl will be released on American Dreams Records in late 2020. She has played live and radio shows in Italy and Germany.
GCKNG is an Independent audiovisual artist whose creations are based on the most surreal experiences of “the life itself”. Amazed by nature, he turned into a universe wanderer and loves dancing to 80s Acid House Music, Italo Disco and has a clear weakness when Cosmic Disco Music sounds comes from any kind of speaker. Symbiotic Hybridization” is his first step towards in-depth sound production — “I used to play in a garage band but those are faded memories now.”
#SaveTheRainforests #SaveThePlanet #SpreadLove #WeWillPrevail
Myroslava Kuts is a Sound Designer and a Sociologist. She holds a MA in Sociology, specialized in sociological research and human subject experiment. Her main experience stands in the creation of artistic projects which combine art, science and technology. She explores above all the sleeping process and brain-related topics from the neuroscientific and the cognitive science perspectives. Her primary questions are how to bring back the sleep value to people; how to recreate the atmosphere of sleep operating at the nexus of sound, neuroscience and design. To create soundscapes Myroslava relays on the brain data (collected directly for the project or gathered from the research) and reproduces it into audio pieces by using multiple levels of ambience structures, static noises, high frequencies, recordings of voices and environments. As a sociologist she is attracted to the subject of perception and routine process and she uses methods of sociological research to study it. She's been a part of the collaborative residency HIVE at thecamp in Aix-en-Provence, France in 2019; in 2018 she had a curator assistant residency at the Matigan Gallery in Vienna, Austria. Myroslava had a range of exhibitions: in 2020 at Palais in Arles, France as a part of the exhibition 1 Mètre during Arles Contemprorain; in 2019 at the Digital Art Festival in Athens, Greece; in 2019 at thecamp in Aix-en-Provence, France; in 2019 at Zer01ne Zone showcase in Seoul, South Korea; in 2018 at Jewish Museum in Berlin, Germany.
Nour Sokhon is a Lebanese artist, sound designer and filmmaker based in Beirut, Lebanon. Her creative explorations have been in the form of sound performances, installations, and moving images. In 2014, she achieved an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts from AUD and in 2017 she culminated a large-scale Masters project; a documentary entitled “People on Sound”, during her time at the GSA in the UK. In 2019, she received the Emerging Artist Prize at the Sursock Museum, for a moving image piece entitled "Revisiting: Hold Your Breath”, and has recently been awarded the Braunschweig Project Sound Art 2020 scholarship. Nour has exhibited her artwork in Dubai, London, Glasgow, Paris, Hamburg, Madrid, London, Juterbog, Sellasia and Beirut. She has also performed in Berlin, Beirut, Dubai, Paris, Montreal, Melbourne, Sellasia, Bern, Soustons and in different festivals such as the Al Quoz Arts Festival (Dubai, UAE) and the Other Worlds Festival (Blackpool, UK). She is a member of two collectives (Tse Tse Fly Middle East (sound), Glitch Artists Collective) and part of an electronic sound duo with Stephanie Merchak under the name of NSTANT.
Samuel Thulin is an artist and researcher working at the intersection of mobilities research, communication and media studies, sound studies, and critical disability studies. Through his publications and artworks he has explored: locative media and contested senses of place; confluences of cartography and auditory culture; self-tracking, chronic illness, and datafication; and creative and emergent research methodologies. Originally from Nortondale, New Brunswick and currently based in Montreal, he holds a PhD in Communication Studies from Concordia University. He has exhibited his work, given workshops, and presented his research at venues in Canada, the US, Mexico, Argentina, the UK, Sweden, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Spain, and Greece.