Can the rigorous concepts of a soundwalk be reconciled with the habit of walking around town with one’s headphones on, which effectively separates us from the sounds of the environment? If we approach the doctrine of “being exposed to every sound around you,” preached by sound ecologists, in a more democratic manner, and turn down the volume so that the sounds in the headphones do not drown out the surrounding soundscape, the boundary between the sonic realities of “here” and “there” is not so much crossed as questioned. By “listening” (focused attention) we reach out for sounds, while by “hearing” (distracted attention) we open up to them and experience them. When these two apparently similar types of activity take place simultaneously, they reveal the limits of our ears’ perception. Does this sound come from my headphones or from afar? The soundtrack played back through the headphones has been composed by Izabela Smelczyńska and Mateusz Śmigasiewicz.
Izabela Smelczyńska, Mateusz Śmigasiewicz