Aesthetics Culture


Photo by Ave Calvar Martinez
Flatland Frequencies · Environmental Micro-Listening Exercise #2

Recording situation: It is night, recently raining, and the air is filled with a cool, crisp atmosphere. Traffic passes to and fro on its way in and out of town. The sounds seep in through an open upstairs window.

Micro listening is the practice of deliberately focussing on elements of a sound environment that may pass unnoticed in everyday experience. Listening to sounds in this way can lead to a magnification of our experiences. The finer details of sound become magnified enabling us to notice the effects these may have on the psyche. Any sound can be the subject of a micro-listening, recorded sounds or real-life ambiences function equally as well. There is no preference for ‘natural’ or ‘artificial’ sounds as there is no ‘nature’ from which human beings are separate from, just one universe which acts upon and is acted upon by us. The point of a micro-listening is to remind the listener that they and the sound form part of the same acoustic environment.