A soundwalk is “any excursion whose main purpose is listening to the environment”(Westerkamp, 1974). It is a walk whose main purpose is listen to any sound of the environment, near and far from us, continuous and discontinuous, in the foreground and in the background, sounds that we like and noises that we don’t like.
Ears first, please!
My soundwalks usually last approximately 1.5 hour, and I always open them with an introduction to the activity on field and I end them with a group discussion, so that the participants can share their impressions when the experience is still vivid.
During the soundwalks, I guide the participants along a predefined path composed of several listening points. At each listening point, we stop and listen actively to the environment. Then, the participants can be invited to evaluate the listening point and collect data. The procedure is repeated at each listening point.
Depending on the aim of the soundwalk, I can lead silent soundwalks, commented soundwalks, soundwalks with complex evaluation points and/or solo soundwalks.
The number of participants is usually limited to 25/30 people.
I also lead soundwalks, in which we use the Hush City app to collect data and evaluate the sound- & landscape of the area under exploration. Data collected with the Hush City app is linked in real time to the Hush City Map & ready to be further explored and discussed!
If you are curious to learn more about how I design and guide a soundwalk, read my A Pocket Guide to Soundwalking.
It may happen that you find yourself listening to your internal thoughts. No panic 🙂 Listening to environmental sounds, especially when the environemnt is loud, might be challenging. Just focus on breathing and listen to a sound that you like or that is intriguing. This tip will help you to re-open your ears to the environment.
My first soundwalk dated back to 2009 and was guided by Albert Mayr in Bologna. Then, I had the privilege of being guided in soundwalking by Justin Winkler (Firenze, 2011), Andra McCartney (Montreal, 2012) and Des Coulam (Paris, 2014). Since 2012, I have guided soundwalks in Firenze, Ferrara, Rome, Lisbon, Berlin, Hamburg, Pistoia, Rotterdam and Madrid (forthcoming, November 2018).
As an invited leader I have designed soundwalks, for/in collaboration with: