‘Teacher, teacher, teacher’

“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” John Muir[1]

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Photo of John Muir, copyright © Olsen 2018

On the 30th of October 2018, I joined RSPB Scotland’s Miranda Shepard, at Quarrymill Woodland Park in Scone. As I walked along the woodland path I wondered what wildlife I would encounter. A flock of ‘excited-child-explores!’ They ran through the woodlands singing the Great Tit’s song. ‘Teacher, teacher, teacher’ echoed through the trees. The children under the guidance of the RSPB are studying four challenges to achieve the John Muir Award.

“Discover, Explore, Conserve, Share”

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Explorer Tracks, copyright © Olsen 2018

The sound in our natural environment is a symphony of sounds, an encounter full of experiences, feelings, and gestures. I intend to join Miranda on many more Quarrymill adventures. To observe a child’s experience of wild sounds. I wonder what they will hear? And will I find any in-between-ness here?

[1] John Muir Trust. (2018). Discover John Muir. Available: https://discoverjohnmuir.com/. Last accessed 1st Nov 2018.

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In-Between Sound

“Listening to sound is where objectivity and subjectivity meet” [1]

In Voegelin book Listening to noise and silence, she discusses a liminal quality found in listening. She describes listening as an experience of our perception. The listener produces objectivity from the subjective listening position. Objective thought is what we take to be the objective world. For example a computer screen, the table etc. A subjective thought is what we take to be our narrative thinking or imagination. For example the thoughts you have while listening.

I consider listening to sound is an in-between experience. Sound can be activated as a disruption, or incursion, in-between the objective and subjective experience. We can describe this disruption as being in-between mind and matter.

A Sonic Reality of the In-betweencopyright © Olsen 2018

I have searched for In-between categories found in the audible world. In Asenjo book ‘In-between: an essay on categories, He believes contradictions should not be eliminated or modified as they provide “an ‘opportunity for a richer, two sided development of factual meaning[2].’

I consider soundscapes create an experience that opens up the possibilities of in-between-ness. Within an immersive soundscape, a dynamic interplay of in-between categories happens, for example, cause and event[3], objectivity and subjectivity and feelings in-between the strange and the familiar. The In-between categories found in sonic realities are not fixed points, for example; in-between presence and absence. Our perception moves or flows in-between these two points.

 

[1] Voegelin, S. 2010, Listening to noise and silence: Towards a philosophy of sound art. New York: Continuum International Publishing Group. P14

[2] Asenjo, F. G. (1988). In-between: an essay on categories, Center for Advanced Research in Phenomenology & University Press of America, Washington, D.C. P65

[3] Augoyard, J; Torgue, H. (2006). Sonic Experience. a Guide to Everyday Sounds.. Canada: McGill-Queen’s University Press.