A Clear night, a sky full of stars overcome a vast landscape of canyon and red rocks. A dramatic picture to showcase one more concept of soundscapes
For Christian God created the whole world with his words, so with sounds... Credit Carl Jones

Soundscapes. Travelling through the voice of the world

The sound has an undeniable ability to excite, to induce aesthetic situations. A music, a familiar voice, a certain sound like the rustling of the sea or the blowing of a storm, clearly show the potential of the sound to affect, to possess our mind. It is like listening music, we all felt on our self how a tune have consequence in our souls, it is able to evoke happiness, nostalgia, pain, will to dance or to sleep through the simple invisible vibration of the air.

A bike cycling, the soft stepping of a couple strolling, the wind through the branches of a tree. The sounds drift away, as little silver pearls, they roll, on the water of the canals: it is the night playing Amsterdam as the city were an instrument…

We have a voice, its tone, its melody is our own being mirrored in a surface of sounds, it is a recognizable element of our identity. Places too have their own identity and they have their own voice, their own sound, their own soundscape. We can understand a person by listening to him, we can understand a place by listening to its sounds. Far to be a mere physic element, soundscapes belong to the system of relations between man and environment. The life of our society produce a series of sounds that affect the environment and, the other way round, soundscapes affect us.

The sound has an undeniable ability to excite, to induce aesthetic situations. A music, a familiar voice, a certain sound like the rustling of the sea or the blowing of a storm, clearly show the potential of the sound to affect, to possess our mind. When we listen to music we experience on our self how a tune has consequences in our souls, it is able to evoke happiness, nostalgia, pain, will to dance or to sleep through the simple invisible vibration of the air. Soundscapes have the same power, the same strenght.

The complexity of the information transmitted by the soundscapes make of it a full space of activity, of movement. The sounds of the nature tell us about the phenomena are happening , those produced by the men inform us of their presence and their corresponding activities, in the countryside, in the city or at home. The sounds produced by any activity fill the space and allow man to integrate into it. In this flow of sounds of everyday events, to which we often barely pay consciously attention, there are some elements differentiated with a special quality that man has selected after a long and complex process of purification through evolutionary development and adaptation to the environment, reaching a full “fang” of significances: natural sounds that are universally associated with feelings of calm and beauty — water (sea, waterfalls, rain …), wind, birds —, or other sounds linked to different activities or cultures — the sound of the bells, the port sirens, the horns of hunting — both come to acquire a symbolic value that goes beyond physical properties, meaning tranquility, beauty, safety, wellness. All these informations and emotions are often lost, at least at a conscious level, for a lack of sensitivity and education to listening, affecting our understanding of both our self and the place where we are travelling or living. It is curious that we pay more attention to a road sign than to soundscapes as the world were def and mute, as the world itself were only sight.

Walk, sit, listen to, travel through the vibration of the world that take shape of sounds and music in your mind. Check how sounds move, how react your clapping or voice when you release them into the air, link the sound to the people and your mood, look for the correspondences between the people around and the soundscapes: listen to the voice of the places.

In our life and travelling places are more than a stage or a background, they have an active role in shaping our days, and they are made of complex relation and interaction of human and natural elements, they are made of colours, smells, geometry, people, cultures, and, not last, soundscapes.

In this gallery we showcase the work of different artists that has been inpired by sounds

Gabi

I am Gabi, an itinerant traditional music player and storyteller, founder and content writer of OTW.

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