6. Home As Music


Critical listening and sounding in this flat during lockdown affords relational sensitivity to the people and things that comprise it. Furthermore, as Oliveros, Westerkamp, Lewis, Davidson, Guionnet et al., and Voegelin each attest, active listening as a way of participating in space can be enhanced through an overtly musical consideration and approach. The notion of “music” and the “musical” that I invoke denotes vibration, simultaneity, aesthetic purpose, form, connection, wholeness. This home is music – when we listen and play it so. I listen now for a keynote (Schafer 1994/1977: 9), for a sounding process that produces persistent sonic texture and its transformation, for sonic events, points of relation and moments of accumulation, for a sounding nexus of social, technical, material, political relations. Encountering the soundscape of my home as music enables a conscious consideration of, participation in and appreciation of emerging relations and forms – a focus on the detail of spatial relationship. Listening into this place as music teaches me and us about what is presently admitted and what is closed out of our domain, about thresholds of agency and access.


My room has sound behind its walls, under its floorboards and on top of its ceiling […]. The walls are less stable in sound, wobbly even, permeable, letting things in and out; testing notions of intimacy, neighborliness and safety. (Voegelin 2014: 1)


If we seek to engage with and co-compose this home as music, how should I and we approach playing this music today and how can I (and we) re-learn to play and hear it tomorrow? How can I deepen the critical rigor of my musical listening and sounding practice here, participating with my family in not reproducing but regenerating the contexts, materialities, identities, agencies that perpetually make this place? How might we learn and teach and learn to teach an attention to sonic, material, relational, temporal, technological, social flows of agency, as an approach to cultivating our understanding of each other and ourselves, in relation to the world? Deep Listening, soundwalking, and free improvising as re-generative co-composition – against fixity.


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my relationship with my partner

we work to listen

with each other