Last Wednesday was the 3rd session of our Sound Workshop series at the University of the Philippines. This is a 10-session lecture-workshop on sound art and design for the Composition students of the UP College of Music.
Part of the field work included a sound walk (guided by Pauline Oliveros' Text Scores), an introduction to basic field recording, and a listening session. Students were exposed to soundscape in their built environment.
Aside from listening with naked ears, the students also explored the acoustic space using headphones connected to a handy recorder. Various special microphones were used including contact mics, binaural mics, a coil pick-up and a hydrophone.
Sounds inaudible to the naked ear, such as those created by electromagnetic fields and other electronic signals, were revealed with the use of coil pick-ups. Underwater sounds were heard using a hydrophone mic, revealing an ecosystem beneath. The use of binaural microphones created a heightened surround listening sensation, making the students sensitive to sound localization.
This field work aimed to inform the young composers’ musical practice by immersing them in the ubiquitous sonic musical expressions present in the environment, and to develop curiosity in listening as well as new perspectives in sound and composition.
"I'm not interested in myself, my work, being communication from me, to the listener. I want it to be from the sounds themselves, to the the listener. So that I make a music for which I am not so much the composer, as the listener too." JOHN CAGE