How do you explore a place through sound? The events organised as part of this year’s Sound Walk Sunday, which is escalating into Sound Walk September, do exactly that.
As we more and more rely on the same tools when traveling, we more and more end up with the same experience, while longing for something unique. Check out the Austrian town of Halstatt to understand what that means in practice. This is why I work on apps like Dérive app, The Museum of Yesterday, and others, inspired by the ideas of the Situationists, facilitating experiences that are unique and can not be replicated.
Travel typically mostly focuses on the visual; things you have to see when going somewhere. Often, auditory experiences, things you hear, are undervalued, though, perhaps more so than the visual aspects of a place, what a place sounds like, is unique and overlooked (ha!).
To me, it’s not only the novelty factor, if you will, that makes a sound walk conceptually attractive. One aspect that intrigues me about facilitating a listening experience is that it is difficult to ‘speed up’. You can scrub through a video to get the gist of its contents. You can’t scrub through audio to do the same. Yes, you can speed up audio a bit, but it quickly becomes incomprehensible. To experience sound, you have to sit back, or, go for a stroll, and listen.
Though that, sound walks not only facilitate a more unique experience, they also tie into the rising trend of slow tourism. You should go on a sound walk right now!
Sound Walk Sunday, running throughout September 2019, brings together events that explore what places sound like.
Together with Andrew Stuck, of Museum of Walking, Geert Vermeire, of Made of Walking and others, including George Fort of Placecloud and Marcin Barski of IPD, I’m one of the organisers of Sound Walk Sunday 2019.