Using sounds found on freesound.org (from their website: “a huge collaborative database of audio snippets, samples, recordings, bleeps…); recordings of myself/my voice as passed through various filters available on GarageBand; media recordings; and recordings of devices in use at the media archaeology lab, I created a soundscape aimed at taking participants from the front door of the MAL through to its back room, interacting with each of the spaces encountered along the way. The audioscape also called on participants to engage in a number of experiments in which I asked listeners to complete specific actions. These exercises entailed a mixture of imagining and concrete, corporeal tasks. For example, one track on the soundscape calls for participants to select a (non-functional) cell phone from the back room, then retrace their steps into the study room and hold a pretend conversation. I endeavored to inject a sense of play into the process of completing the audioscape. Other components of the audioscape include remembrances from my childhood that occurred at the intersections of family and media. I was interested in seeing how much I could tap into the realm of nostalgia without becoming saccharine.
This was my first time creating an audio project that required using multiple tracks; in a practical sense, that was something I learned how to do for this project! In a more critical sense, composing the script required me to be very conscious of the verbs I used, as I was calling upon listeners to complete hands-on activities that requires a tactile engagement with objects they don’t often encounter in this day and age. Originally when conceiving of this project, I wanted to figure out a work that sidestepped conventions of audio walks like those of Janet Cardiff and Matthea Harvey. Specifically, I wished to center forms of movement other than walking and to avoid a linear structure to the experience, such that listeners could freely float from object to object as they pleased. I succeeded more in the former. While one does need to move through the MAL to complete the piece, manual interactions are the foregrounded physical activity. Regarding the latter matter, I discovered that because the textual/verbal elements of the project were fairly stream-of-consciousness/tangential in nature, I needed to impose a linear structure to contain the chaos.