Interior Listening Protocol 01 - Ash Fure International Festival of Contemporary Music Warsaw Autumn

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comes straight out of my quarantined brain. Like many of us, I spent the first few weeks of lockdown in a state of shock and stillness, trying to soak up as much information as I could about this sudden shift. When I did start slowly finding my way back toward sound, it wasn’t to the stack of deadlines on my desk. They felt of another era. Instead, I tried to home in on what my particular sonic sensibility might have to offer this surreal moment, when we’re all sheltered in place and attempting connection through zoom compression algorithms, lo-fi computer speakers, and flat screens. As a set of background constraints, that format doesn’t easily fit my creative practice. The work I make strives for spatial dynamism and full body immersion, with sound hitting your skin from all angles. So what could I offer ears that, like mine, were bound to their domestic sphere with only the most basic of objects and technical infrastructure around them? 

Interior Listening Protocol 01 attempts to recuperate liveness and spatially dynamic, embodied listening back into our mediated moment. It functions as a participatory listening score, and to perform it, you’ll need two large mason jars or two tall glasses whose openings are large enough to encircle your ears. Keep in mind, this piece has to be done to be heard. You’ll miss the phenomenon entirely if you sit back and watch the video below like Netflix. Think of it like a quartet for your skull, the resonant cavities of the jars, the ambient acoustic environment around you, and the sound coming out of your speakers, with you as conductor, shaping the temporal unfolding of the whole experience. To give it a try, unplug your headphones, crank the volume as high as you can, grab your jars, and dive in. 

Special thanks to Leah Wulfman for art directing the video. 

Ash Fure