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e69 soundwalk in the dark is a monologue that I recorded on September 29th, 2021, from 4.56am to 5.25am, in one take, while walking around our cottage in Duhamel Québec in the dark. I talk about soundwalking, listening, reconciliation, John Cage, dancing, etc., including quotes from season 2: ‘do not listen to this episode’ and e22 westerkamp. Note: I miscalculated the time that the sun would rise and ended up walking in the dark for the entire time ! Erratum : at minute 22 I say that I almost met John Cage in the ‘early 1980’s’ before he passed away but I meant the ‘early 1990’s’ (Cage passed away in 1992). I was hallucinating in the early morning air!
You’ll hear two excerpts from season 2 of the conscient podcast in this episode:
I’m interested to know, for instance, around sound walking, you’ve recorded them, and you use them as stimulants or as proposals to people. What, what does that bring the person experiencing it? What is your intention when you create a soundwalk piece, or an electroacoustic composition with soundscapes? What are you hoping will happen in the experience of the listener?
I think I would like them to experience what I did. The microphone, when you first experienced listening to what the microphone hears, it’s very different to what the ear hears and when you hear that over your headphones into your own ears, there is a wake-up call there and it’s inspirational. And, when I first began the sound walking radio program here in Vancouver, which is now a long time ago in 79, I was very interested in letting the microphone guide me through the environment and my own listening to what the microphone was picking up was then leading me through the city that and it was, yes, I had lived in it for 10 years already, but I was still somewhere in immigrant. It empowered me actually to walk into places that I wouldn’t have walked into with just my ears, just a person. So, the technology, and maybe because I am a woman, the technology gave me a sense of empowerment. I would walk into all sorts of spaces and sometimes I was asked what I was doing, and I had to get permission perhaps or not, but, for me, it was a way into the wilderness too. I think I’ve always felt that this wonder at what you hear when you really listen and the surprises that you’re met with, or the surprises that you get from what you’re recording. And because we in daily life, we often preoccupied, and we don’t always listen. The microphone gives you the opportunity to just specialize in listening and sound works without microphones can do the same thing. You have to just have the intent of that. Listening. Having always been a very busy and restless person, the microphone kind of allowed me to settle into that listening. And eventually I really didn’t want the microphone that much anymore because I felt a separation between that very private listening inside the soundscape but see where at the same time cut off from your social environment by doing that. After a while, I wanted to get rid of the microphones and then just really engaged in that listening as if my ears were a microphone…
do not listen to this episode : a special edition episode (published but not identified)
This is a special edition of the conscient podcast called ‘don’t listen to this episode’. The idea came to me while biking. I thought, what if I stated, over and over, that people need to wake up to the reality of the climate emergency. you know, with my slow conscient podcast voice: ‘people. need. to wake up. to the reality. of the climate emergency.’ But it would be pointless because people already know that they need to wake up to the reality of the climate emergency. Repeating it, over and over, is actually counterproductive, and boring. People would probably tune out and all that would be left are these words that have no value whatever. But then I thought, on the other hand, what was it that John Cage once said
If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all.