Coal Harbour Soundwalk
February 16, 2013
Led by Tyler Kinnear
Presented by Vancouver Soundwalk Collective
Quotes to think about:
In a listening which does not leap over tones, voices, sounds to the sources where they might stem from, listeners will sense tones, voices, sounds as modifications of their own space of being. Human beings who listen in this way are dangerously open; they release themselves into the world and can therefore be struck by acoustic events. Lovely tunes can lead them astray, thunderclaps can shatter them, scratching noises can threaten them, a cutting tone can damage them. Listening is a being-beside-yourself (Außer-sich-sein); it can for this reason be the joyful experience of discovering oneself to be alive.
– Gernot Böhme
“Silence was as elemental to the war as was noise, and in 1915, when Franscesco Cangiullo presented his terse Futurist drama, “Detonation,” silence shared the lead with a bullet:
Night. Cold. A deserted street. A reverberation. One minute of silence. A pistol shot. One minute of silence. Curtain.
La Cafard, French soldiers called that time of silent waiting in a trench between assaults or bombardments when a curtain of darkness might suddenly descend upon you, ‘you don’t know why and you start considering all the reasons for feeling depressed.’ Le cafard appeared most often at dusk, when ‘You feel cut off from the rest of the world’ and in those rare intervals of quiet when a sergeant could dig the mail from his pouch, calling out names and listening into the air for the dead to come forward and claim a letter.” English soldiers heard in the silences of the Front the improbabilities of natural beauty, which opened old wounds. ‘you will have a terrific roaring of artillery and shot in the dead of the night,’ wrote J.C. Faraday to the London Times in 1917; ‘then there will be a temporary cessation of the duel, with great quietness, when lo! And behold and hear! Harken to his song! Out come the nightingales, right about the guns.
– Hillel Schwartz, Making Noise, 607-608