Stefano Zorzanello


Copernicus Listening: Creative Survival Strategies and Techniques in the World of Sounds


Is it possible to think about the practice of listening, the process of listening to anything, as a sort of algorithm in action in itself?


If so, could it be possible to treat listening in a way that could be similar to how algorithms are treated in programming practice? Is it possible to compose the act of listening, and to compose through it? Is it possible to conceive a procedural approach to this practice? This work is solely seminal and poses questions, suggesting a method in this direction, but there is much more to do.


At a social level in our culture there is a widespread conception that the practice of listening assumes real relevance when it is intended for specific uses, clearly specified by the contexts-containers in which it takes place: listening therefore becomes 'musical listening' if it is music (and it is the place-container in general that determines which music and which listening conduct is adequate); or we have theatrical or audiovisual listening in the contexts of entertainment, (cinema, theatre and performing arts); or again, religious listening when it pertains to the sphere of the sacred (in contexts of worship), or "educational listening" in didactic and learning contexts, in the teacher-student relationship, in lessons, in conferences.

In all these contexts, the distinction and roles between those who produce the sound and its meaning is always very clear (the musician, the performer, the officiant of the ceremony, the teacher) and the person that receives and interprets it (the spectator, the faithful, the pupil). A clear distinction between active practice (the ability to produce sound and the right to produce it) and passive practice (the right or duty to listen to it) is always implied and "taken for granted". Anything that escapes this context is considered accidental, a by-product or a side effect of some other activity, or mere practical communication. This "other" does not necessarily entail a true idea of listening, respect, alternating roles, waiting and silence.

The aim of the talk is to illustrate and implement some creative strategies in which listening is not intended as a passive condition, but rather a decision and active practice on the part of the listener. We suggest the possibility of inventing and choosing different ways to listen and to create meaning starting from listening to the existing sound that surrounds us, including sound art pieces. Reference will be made to the architectural prototypes developed by G. Chelckoff and to the categories of Articulation, Limit, Inclusion, to the sound effects developed by CRESSON.

To a certain extent the listener becomes a composer of what he listens to: he chooses and establishes relationships between perceivable sounds, invents superimpositions and sequences, investigates the sounds of the "infraordinario" (cfr. G.Perec). The listener creates the space and time of listening, the conditions for small but important reflections and the search for a pleasure that derives from simple being, inhabiting, living.




{kind: paragraph, function: introduction, keywords: [listening, context, soundscape, perception, experience, autopoiesis, machine, process, coupling, environment, algorithm]}


meta: true
event: almat2020
date: 200919
author: Stefano Zorzanello
place: Online

keywords: [listening, algorithm, experience, environment, soundscape]