Are You Listening? — September 2020 Labocine Issue #50

Sound is vibrations; waves that travel through space and time that are capable of moving matter. We make it, we perceive it, we communicate through it. Living or inert, our sounds are unique and they define us. We are constantly surrounded by sound, but are we aware of it? Soundscapes, speech and music are examples of sounds that impact our memory, our feelings and the recognition of our surroundings. Our ability to hear can define how we interact in the world and how we are perceived. And even if we can’t hear sound, we’re able to feel it through vibration and rhythm. “Are you listening?” explores the importance of communication through sound in our world and universe, whether it be as individuals, as a society or as a planet. It aims to showcase the dynamics of communication that relies equally on the messenger and the receiver. Do we hear? and if so, are we listening?

5

An exploration of childhood memories, combining (loosely interpreted) scientific theory, the wandering mind of a child, and largely abstract sound design to evoke feelings of nostalgia, familiarity and comfort.

5

An Eyeful of Sound

I don’t know if you’ve ever heard a goat eating carrots? It’s almost too much, it’s so lovely’ An Eyeful of Sound conjures up the fascinating visually complex internal world of audio-visual syn-aesthesia, where senses make unique connections the rest of us don’t experience. In this Wellcome Trust funded project award winning animated documentary maker Samantha Moore has worked with Dr Jamie Ward, leading researcher into synaesthesia and head of the UK Synaesthesia Research Group, and a group of people with synaesthesia to portray an accurate and insightful portrait of what it is like to experience the condition. Synaesthesia is discussed, argued over, dissected and celebrated in this beautifully sensitive animated documentary.

An Eyeful of Sound

Soundprint

The second film in a trilogy on sound. “SoundPrint” explores the marks left by sonic frequencies. Imagery from optical soundtracks and micro photography of records play against similar signals received by sand, water, and people. Sounds of the ocean and the Midshipman fish are the backdrop for a rich exploration of the subtleties of transcribed sound.

SoundPrint

Suspended by Sound

Researchers from University of São Paulo (USP) have developed a device capable of levitating objects using only sound waves. It could help the manipulation of dangerous materials or sensitive ones, such as compounds that are used in manufacturing of pharmaceutical products.

Suspended by Sound

The Sound Inside

After experiencing substantial hearing loss, three individuals take up a lip reading class to stay connected to the world that is slowly leaving them behind. Through a journey of sound design, this short film takes a leap into the world they are able to hear, the sounds they are losing, and the small steps taken to better grapple with a life that is changing beyond their control.

The Sound Inside

Vostok Zero

May 1961. Italian amateur radio operators record the voice of an unknown female cosmonaut re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere in a malfunctioning spacecraft of the Soviet Vostok program. According to Soviet officials this never happened. If it did, she was the first woman in space.

Vostok Zero

20Hz observes a geo-magnetic storm occurring in the Earth’s upper atmosphere. Working with data collected from the CARISMA radio array and interpreted as audio, we hear tweeting and rumbles caused by incoming solar wind, captured at the frequency of 20 Hertz. Generated directly by the sound, tangible and sculptural forms emerge suggestive of scientific visualisations. As different frequencies interact both visually and aurally, complex patterns emerge to create interference phenomena that probe the limits of our perception.

20Hz

IR Planet

A man catches crabs which live in river of Japan. He releases them in his hotel room in the dark. Large number of nocturnal crabs are spread around and they move freely around the room; on the bed, on the desk, on the carpet. Infrared camera to observe them quietly, but for them, it has nothing to do. Because They are the ruler of this world.

IR Planet

Paramusical Ensemble

A short documentary following the preparation and performance of the musical composition ‘Activating Memory’ by the Paramusical Ensemble, comprising of four severely motor-impaired patients and a string quartet at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, London. The parts for each instrument are generated in real-time from the electrical activity of four performers wearing a Brain-Computer Music Interfacing system, consisting of a brain cap furnished with electrodes, which reads electrical information from the brain. This electrical information is used to control a generative music system.

Activating Memory, a piece for a string quartet, designed by Eduardo Reck Miranda. Brain-Computer Music Interfacing system built by Joel Eaton In collaboration with — Dr Julian O’Kelly and Dr Sophie Duport at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, London

A BCMI system consists of a brain cap furnished with electrodes, which read electrical information from the brain. This electrical information is used to control a generative music system. In this performance, four severely motor-impaired patients at RHN use groundbreaking BCMI technology developed at Plymouth University’s ICCMR to generate musical scores in real-time for the string quartet to play on the fly.”

Paramusical Ensemble

COLORCONDITION

Color Condition is a glimpse into the sensory overlap experienced by someone with the neural condition, synesthesia. Synesthetics have an overlapping sensory modality in which stimulation of one sense involuntarily, and simultaneously, triggers another. However, the scientific explanation does little to describe the perceptual experience of living an existence with consistently intertwined senses. This short film captures a profound emotion, as described by a synesthetic to the viewing audience.

Credits:

Him — Mike Harris

Her — Maggie Jane Tatone

Filmmaker — Jason Chew

Scientist — Rodrigo Valles

Assistant Director — Azadeh Nikzadeh

Camera Assistant — Patrick Chang

Production Sound — Jianxi Jesse Zhang

Sound Design & Music — Sean Shinwon Kim

Special Thanks

David Lara, Mike Park, Nick Clark, Goggles & Tumbleweed, Alexis Gambis, Allison Hanes, Lauren Kaye, Nate Dorr, Charlotte Salvatico, Cassandra Flores & the entire Imagine Science Team!

This film was created for the 2016 Imagine Science Symbiosis Film Competition.

COLORCONDITION

The Loneliest

Go ‘behind-the-scenes’ of British nature show Ocean Discovery in this tragicomic mockumentary: Violet (a camera-girl with a wry sense of humor) and Ingrid (a marine biologist with a singular passion for whales) go looking for the loneliest whale in the world (with a voice too high for the others to hear.)

written & directed by Lilian Mehrel, shot by Ting Liu, starring Madeline Wise, Gabriele Schafer, Thomas David Scully

Alfred P. Sloan Award

Puffin Foundation Film Award

Nancy Malone Outstanding Directing

The Loneliest

Insan

Shakhbout shares with us the story of the first speaking Arabian Oryx “Mozaik” that changed the course of his life and for that matter the future of humankind.

Insan

Acoustic Ocean

in development

Acoustic Ocean (working title) is an artistic exploration of the sonic ecology of marine life in the North Atlantic. Located on the Lofoten Islands in Northern Norway, the video centers on the performance of a marine-biologist diver who is using a life-size model of a submersible equipped with all sorts of hydrophones and recording devices. In this science-fictional quest, her task is to sense the submarine space for acoustic and bioluminescent forms of expression. The submersible itself takes on characteristics of deep-sea creatures with their transpa­rent bodies and luminous organs and tentacles. In this scientific array, any form of critical distance between the scientist, her research subject and the instruments is absent; they have all grown together. Acoustic Ocean is a visionary work of art engaging a scientific interest in the images and sounds of an al­tered sense. The soundtrack is a composition of fish vocalization recorded and made available by marine biologists.

Acoustic Ocean is in development, shooting in Norway is in late September 2017 and again in Spring 2018. It is scheduled to be finished by September 2018 when it will be exhibited at the international Atlantic exhibition After the Future — in the wake of utopian imaginaries in Plymouth (UK).

Ursula Biemann is an artist, writer, and video essayist based in Zurich Switzerland. Her artistic practice is strongly research oriented and involves fieldwork in remote locations where she investigates climate change and the ecologies of oil, ice and water.

http://www.geobodies.org/biography

Renowned set designer Michael Graessner (Berlin) who has represented Germany at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennial has designed the submersible model.

http://www.schaefersphilippen.de/index.php?id=318

Sofia Jannok, well known actrice, musician and climate activist from the Sami Northern Scandinavian indigenous community is doing the performance.

http://sofiajannok.com/#

Lydia Zimmermann, camera woman, script writer, film director (Barcelona/Zurich) is doing the camera. http://lydialake.tumblr.com

Patrick Codenys, musical performer and film sound designer (Brussels) is doing the sound track.

Acoustic Ocean

CODE HUMPBACK ‘What are the Whales Saying?

CODE Humpback is an installation project merging ideas about encrypted signals and inter-species communication. This is the ‘What are the Whales Saying’ video that is rear projected inside scoop A. Please see the installation video if you haven’t.

I’m collaborating with SETI Institute scientist Laurance Doyle, who along with colleagues from UC Davis and the Alaska Whale Foundation have used the mathematics of information theory to determine that humpback whale vocalizations have rule-structure complexity, what in human languages is called “syntax.” The humpback communication system is an ancient global language — yet we remain effectively alien to each other.

The RCA Morse Code transmitting and receiving stations at Bolinas and Pt. Reyes California are the last of their kind in the U.S. to maintain this once vital maritime language. Thanks to engineers Richard Dillman and Steve Hawes I was able to transmit and receive two messages, ‘what are the whales saying?’ and ‘all we need is love.’ Aside from the implied meaning of the prose theses messages become ‘musical’ as morse code. I’ve developed this sonic aspect of the work by converting audio to MIDI, to enable parallel layered expressions of the same ‘idea’ through software instruments and samplers.

CODE HUMPBACK ‘What are the Whales Saying?

The Art of Flying

Short film about “murmurations”: the mysterious flights of the Common Starling. It is still unknown how the thousands of birds are able to fly in such dense swarms without colliding. Every night the starlings gather at dusk to perform their stunning air show.

Because of the relatively warm winter of 2014/2015, the starlings stayed in the Netherlands instead of migrating southwards. This gave filmmaker Jan van IJken the opportunity to film one of the most spectacular and amazing natural phenomena on earth.

The Art of Flying

See a Dog, Hear a Dog

With YouTube videos of dogs, chatbot dialogue windows and iTunes visualizers, See a Dog, Hear a Dog considers the defects and value produced by attempts at communication among humans, animals and machines, both directly and as mediated by one another. Through this, the film becomes an analytical tragicomedy as an approach to technology.

See a Dog, Hear a Dog

Duality

A film about the phenomena of particle wave duality.

Duality

We Need to Talk about Cosmos

After making a short statement about the difficulties of going into space, Roger recounts, in a dry and humoristic tone, the problems one encounters there. He compares the daily activities of life in space with those on earth.

We Need to Talk about Cosmos

We Need to Talk about Cosmos

Eugeniusz Rudnik revolutionized the idea of music itself with a pair of scissors and a magnetic tape. As part of the legendary Experimental Studio of Polish Radio, he revealed hidden value in rough and rejected sounds long before the rise of the DJs. In an era of electronic music created in a workshop resembling a scientific lab, he composed music to reach and to portray other human beings.

’15 Corners of the World’ is an attempt to hear the vision of his music. Following the rhythms of architecture, the human body, and the throbbing pulse of nature we discover a new reality. We touch the sound. Moving images reveal a miracle that emerged in the age of tape recorders and disappeared with the advent of computers. They express the wonder of the analogue era — the urge to experiment, to discover new territory, explore the borderlands, and constantly search for new means of expression.

15 Corners of the World

Chuchotage

During a professional conference in Prague, two simultaneous interpreters in the Hungarian booth realize that only one person is listening to them.

Chuchotage

A View from the Window

An immersive glimpse of a school day through the eyes of deaf children.

A View from the Window

No, I Don’t Want To Dance

In these dark times, you may think that every hazard has been identified, but nobody has taken in consideration how dangerous dance can be…

No, I Don’t Want To Dance

Cry Baby, Cry

For more than a year CRY BABY, CRY accompanies three families with newly-born babies.

Their problems are very different: Levi has no sleep-wake rhythm, Konrad is a so-called ‘crybaby’, Lotta is constantly quite restless. Not yet able to speak a language, these babies and toddlers tell in their very own way about their birth processes and their difficult arrivals in life.

The film accompanies the parents and their babies as they work through and on the dramatic experiences of their babies’ first stage of life — in the protected space of psychotherapy. Over time, a predominantly speechless, but all the more moving dialogue enfolds between the parents, who learn to understand the expressive language of their babies better and the children, who confront their parents with their own difficulties and needs.

Cry Baby, Cry

Imagine waking up tomorrow and all music has disappeared

Imagine waking up tomorrow morning and all music has
disappeared. Just like that. What will remain when it is
all gone: Cd’s, iPods, instruments? When we don’t know
anymore what it was: music? He shows it to us: Bill
Drummond, the man who with The KLF once conquered
the world of pop. An anarchic spirit, an eternal punk who
now leads the largest choir of the world: The17, an ever
changing ensemble of amateurs with no sheets of music
and no rehearsals. Stefan Schwietert (Echoes of Home)
accompanies Drummond as he finds new voices for his
choir: in the open fields or in a factory, in a class room
or in a pub. It is a journey to point zero of music. So we
can innocently invent it again. Together, in this moment.

Imagine waking up tomorrow and all music has disappeared

Night Fair

Unique alliance of art and science, the experimental film Night Fair focuses on brain activity through the different cycles of a night’s sleep. Through voice mail, media artist Cynthia Naggar and sound designer Gueze collected the dreams of citizens. These are ingeniously combined with graphic and sound representations generated by algorithms from anonymous medical data.

Night Fair

The Animator as Musician

Norman McLaren’s work bears the imprint of his love of music. This documentary describes the filmmaker’s research in the area of synthetic sound.

The Animator as Musician

Sweet Talk

Oil-covered fish meet skateboards and the War on Terror in this razor-sharp satire of media, government, and the tycoons who take advantage of the system.

Inspired by found sound of kids talking about oil and gas, hand-drawn with love and produced as part of the 10th edition of the NFB’s Hothouse apprenticeship, in collaboration with the Mexican Film Institute.

Sweet Talk

Listen

“A soundscape is any collection of sounds, almost like a painting is a collection of visual attractions,” says composer R. Murray Schafer. “When you listen carefully to the soundscape it becomes quite miraculous.” David New’s portrait of the renowned composer becomes a lesson unto itself, gracing viewers (and listeners) with a singular moment of interactive subjectivity. This film was produced for the 2009 Governor General’s Performing Arts Award.

Listen

Twice Upon a Time

This short satirical film takes us to Stereoville, a city where citizens must literally double up in their efforts to deal with the community’s 2 official languages. In Stereoville, each speaker of one language is tied to a speaker of the other, back-to-back. Into this two-stepping society stumbles a character whose very existence causes considerable consternation among locals: an unattached individual with command of both languages.

Twice Upon a Time

No Wave

Henry is dying to relax.

Anxious, Henry is having trouble sleeping. In an attempt to rest, he listens to the sounds of ocean waves on a relaxation radio station. But when he hears the screams of a man drowning in his calming sea, Henry’s life swirls into a downward spiral.

No Wave

Farewell Transmission

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation opened the doors of the CBK Transmitter Station in 1939 to serve the prairie region of Canada. “Farewell Transmission” is equal parts an indexical record of the demolition of CBK in 2015 and a subjective response to the residual media documenting the event. The building is framed with tension preceding its destruction: emulsion pulsated as if with decades of radio transmission, creating an unsettled eulogy for a cultural institution.

Selected screenings: Dobra Festival Internacional de Cinema Experimental (Brazil, 2017); Festival du nouveau cinéma (Montréal, QC, 2017); Antimatter Media Art (Victoria, BC, 2017)

Best Short Film, Saskatchewan Independent Film Awards, 2019

Farewell Transmission

Night Visions

Night Visions developed as a conversation about psychic energy, sleep cycles and synaesthesia. The result is a haunting spell of colour and rhythm.

Night Visions

PressPausePlay

The digital revolution of the last decade has unleashed creativity and talent in an unprecedented way, with unlimited opportunities.

But does democratized culture mean better art or is true talent instead drowned out? This is the question addressed by PressPausePlay, a documentary film containing interviews with some of the world’s most influential creators of the digital era.

PressPausePlay

Quand on ne sait pas voler (If you can’t fly)

Henri wants to pass an audition to join the music academy, but interaction is not his strong suit, and the rules of the institution are a mystery he’s struggling with. Julia, his only friend and greatest rival, will try to help him. Will he be able to conform ?

Quand on ne sait pas voler (If you can’t fly)

Harmonies

Laura, opera singer, has lost her voice. She meets Lorenzo, a deaf comedian who expresses himself in sign language.

Harmonies

Watch Tower

Structured in seven parts, each segment considers the impact a transmission beacon relays into its surrounding environment. Watch Tower acknowledges the act of watching through an acute awareness of how form influences perception while also observing the communications and time-keeping properties of the subject.

Watch Tower

Man Goes to Park

A visit to the park turns into a moment of quietude and contemplation.

Produced through the Independent Film Co-Op of Ottawa (IFCO) and Asinabka Film and Media Festival in the summer of 2018, “Man Goes To Park” is Geronimo Inutiq’s first foray into celluloid — using both colour and monochrome super 8 film.

music by destiny天分 — one of Inutiq’s ambient music projects — available here: indigene.bandcampcom/album/transmission

Man Goes to Park

The Sound is Innocent

When does sound become music? THE SOUND IS INNOCENT invites you on an audiovisual journey into a dreamlike space that explores the meaning, function and significance of the world of electronic and experimental sound. Across five distinct chapters, the film guides us through an oscillating maze of creative figures and moments that’s as bracingly original as the pioneering music it so passionately documents.

Ožvold’s dynamic and unusual documentary shines new light on some of the fundamental questions of musical creation, tracing the relationship between both man and machine, and artist and instrument. Featuring seminal voices working in the fields of experimental and electronic music including François Bonnet (aka Kassel Jaeger), Steve Goodman (aka Kode9), Julian Rohrhuber, John Richards, Hannes Hoelzl & Alberto De Campo, each artist provides a unique and sometimes personal perspective on the radical periods of sonic invention that have transformed art, culture and even public life.

In her debut feature-length film, Johana Ožvold navigates a mysterious labyrinthian institution, encountering manifest memories and inspirations. From the subversive frequencies tuned behind the iron curtain, to the confrontational French avant-garde, and the limitless sculptures of digital innovation, THE SOUND IS INNOCENT explores fertile and prescient links between sound and society, as well as the technology boom and our globalized world.

The Sound is Innocent

Terroir

Roughly translated, “terroir” can signify both a “sense of place” as well as “coming from a place”. This piece is an image/sound portrait of personal geography as well as formal investigation of digital media. Captured entirely on a cell phone, the camera records a landscape in constant motion and disintegration.

This fluctuating image is married to a sound-scape that grasps for connection that reaches over distance. It is generated from the messages left by friends and loved ones on my cellphone over the course of several years. The raw material of both image and sound come from the same place, the cell phone, which I use to record the environment around me as I move across the Canadian landscape.

Rarely does one stay where one is born. Modern life necessitates movement. This piece explores notions of communication and distance, technology and intimacy.

Terroir

The Sound of Falling

Mid-aged man who works in a tangerine farm for all his life, this day he has made up his mind to attend a clinical trial in the city to make some extra pocket money. But through this decision he made he slowly realized that he has lost the control of his life or perhaps he never had it.

The Sound of Falling

iRony

A film that explores the relationship between man and technology…told from the perspective of a phone

This animated film is based on the poem ‘Seven Billion’ written by the film director that won 2 National poetry awards: The Young Australian Writer’s National Award for Poetry, selected out of a field of 30,000 and the Karen W Treanor Poetry Award (Youth). Disclaimer: The message of the video isn’t to say technology and social media is evil and we should go back to the stone age, it’s about humanity and our relationship with it. This entire film was created on my laptop, the soundtrack is completely digital, and I use social media and technology — this all goes back to the name of the film, iRony. We reap the benefits of social media and technology every day and of course it’s incredibly useful and convenient, I just wanted to look at particular aspects of it through a more critical lens and bring awareness to terrible issues such as cyberbullying and in turn, teen suicide. My goal with this film was to hopefully cause discussion or at least contemplation about these issues in a creative way, and to make people reconsider the overconsumption of social media or the ways in which it can be harmful.

iRony

The Elephant’s Song

“The Elephant’s Song” tells the true and tragic tale of Old Bet, the first circus elephant in America, as recounted in song by her friend the old farm dog. Their story is portrayed in colorful clay-on-glass animation, where oil-based modeling clay is spread thinly on a glass sheet and moved frame-by-frame like a moving finger painting. Old Bet the elephant sings the choruses, which are animated with oil pastel on video frames printed from archival films, paintings, and photographs. Old Bet’s song, written by Sam Saper and performed by the band Trucker Talk with vocals by Deletta Gillespie and Brooks Long, draws on American folk, blues and spiritual musical traditions.

The Elephant’s Song

Commute

Distinct fields on the same screen, foreground each other, invite comparisons, between different times and spaces, and the constructed and natural processes that inescapably defines us thru textures and emotional spaces. Commute does refer to regular travels between one place and an other, but also to substitutions, and exchanges.

Commute

A Sonic Pulse

A Sonic Pulse explores D/deaf people’s experience of electronic music from a visceral, communal and scientific perspective.

A Sonic Pulse

WAAAH

I synchronized the irritation of baby cries and the frustration I have ever experienced.
Everyone was born while crying, and grew crying.
I grew up to be an adult, but I strongly want to be a baby again.

WAAAH

The Dawn of Ape

Here is the world’s first animation made to be watched by chimpanzees. Just for this once, we will show it to you humans.

The Dawn of Ape

Saturation

A sci-fi story about unknown phenomena that made all organic processes to be as fast as to make life impossible. Images taken from 35mm slides found in a medical archive with a disruptive soundtrack made from space sound recordings. The tension of each next second getting ever closer, leading to collective nervous breakdown.

Saturation

L’Esprit des lieux (In the Stillness of Sounds)

Legacy of his paternal heritage, Marc devotes the majority of his time to his passion: “I live in a world of sounds”. This existential quest leads him to put down roots, and start his family, on the edge of a forest in the Vosges mountains.

As the sun sets, he hides his microphones in the undergrowth, starts recording, and recedes into nature. All night his set-up captures the sound ambiance: breaths, cries, songs, scratches… Back home in his basement studio, Marc listens to his recordings in search of the extra-ordinary.

Curious and intrigued by his nocturnal activities, his daughter, Lucie, shows interest in accompanying him. She is often the first audience of the sonic canvases created by her father.

His work begins to gain in notoriety; in schools, artistic circles, and the musical scene… Soon a composer, Christian Zanési, invites him to collaborate on a project creating a piece of electroacoustic music.

L’Esprit des lieux (In the Stillness of Sounds)

Sound Ecology

DO YOU TOLERATE NOISE BETTER THAN SILENCE?

A web documentary on noise pollutiion and our inability to endure silence.

View Interactive Project

Noise overload. Urban densification. Portable personal sound environments. We live in an increasingly noisy world. Sound Ecology is an interactive investigation into our sonic surroundings that aims to make the user more aware and conscious of them. The project stimulates the imagination and harnesses the very latest digital production technologies to present sound online. In so doing, it provides an unprecedented media platform for emphasizing the seriousness of noise pollution and putting it into perspective as part of a wider reflection on our relationship to sounds and to silence.

The four “soundscapes” — the term was coined by Canadian composer and environmentalist R. Murray Schafer — constitute a unique immersive experience, a playful multimedia journey. They are made up of 15 video portraits presenting various protagonists and their relationships to sounds, original sound environments, and avenues for reflection. Together they coalesce into authentic pathways that evolve and change with the user’s choices, forming an experience in itself — a true exchange between work and audience.

Sound Ecology

Listen,Darling

It’s Mom’s birthday today. Li Si-yong is completely blind. Taking Wu Wen-ru who is visually impaired and their unborn child, they wander the streets in the dark. They try to piece together the fragmented memories of their daily life and family, waiting to welcome the arrival of a new life.

Listen,Darling

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