Since mid-March 2020 most people across the world have been adhering to protocols of social distancing and self-isolation due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. We are living a historical period of major global and local disruption to work, social life, home life, and major new parameters around what we can do, who we can see, what we can hear, and how we listen. In this episode, co-producers Jason Camlot and Katherine McLeod explore how our contexts and practices of listening to voice, signals, noise, and silence have changed during the first weeks of the public health emergency of COVID-19.
Jason asks his literature and sound studies class at Concordia (via Zoom teleconferencing) how their listening practices have changed, and it just so happens to be the same day they are also discussing the importance of in-person performance before a live audience in the talk poetry of David Antin. Meanwhile, Katherine is noticing that many live poetry readings are now moving online. How are we listening to the world around us, and to each other, now? How are we listening to poetry readings now? And what does our choice of what we are listening to tell us about how we are feeling? As Katherine and Jason explore these questions together – in recorded, remote conversations – they notice that our shared experience of social isolation seems to have us craving the comforting sounds of noise around the signal.
Dolar, Mladen. A Voice and Nothing More. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006.
Labelle, Brandon. “Auditory Relations.” In Background Noise: Perspectives on Sound Art. New York: Continuum, ix-xvi.
Peters, John Durham. Speaking Into the Air: A History of the Idea of Communication. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999
Petriglieri, Gianpiero. Twitter Post. April 3, 2020, 7:43 PM. https://twitter.com/gpetriglieri/status/1246221849018720256
Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. London, UK: Bloomsbury, 2014.
Schafer, R. Murray. The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World. Rochester, VT: Destiny Books, 1994.
“Sounds from the global Covid-19 lockdown.” Cities and Memory. https://citiesandmemory.com/covid19-sounds/
Antin, David. “The Principle of Fit, II” (Part I). 26.:32. June 1980. Recording at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington D.C. PennSound. https://media.sas.upenn.edu/pennsound/authors/Antin/Antin-David_The-Principle-of-Fit-II-Side-A_DC_06-80.mp3
Cox, Alexei Perry. Poems from Finding Places to Make Places. 42:39. The Words & Music Show, March 22, 2020.
Coleman, Nisha. “The Church of Harvey Christ.” 40:53. The Words & Music Show, March, 22 2020.
Plath, Sylvia. “Daddy.” Originally released on The Poet Speaks, Record 5, Argo, 1965. YouTube audio. 3:56. Posted December 29, 2006. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hHjctqSBwM
Find a list of Ambient Sounds, Music and Additional Recordings used in this episode Linked Here.