Sonic Commons is an art project that studies listening and soundscapes. It chronicles the journey of Simo and Tuike Alitalo´s artistic work. During the thirty years of practice, our field recordings and archives have become an evidence collection of changes in the North European soundscapes. The main concern is in the role of air traffic in our sonic commons.
Listening walk is a version of sound walks, produced and designed by Simo and Tuike Alitalo, sound and environmental artists from Turku, Finland. They have organized listening walks in Finland, Italy, UK, Germany, and US ; where ever they happen to be working.
Listening walk is a group walk on the route that guides have planned beforehand. The walk takes about two hours including a discussion and q&a session after the walk. The purpose of listening walk is to open or clear our ears, learn to listen anew and to give us a new perspective into our surroundings.
Members of the World Soundscape Project used the term “soundwalk” when they developed the method in 1970s in Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, under the leadership of composer R. Murray Schafer. Hildegard Westerkamp, defines soundwalking as “… any excursion whose main purpose is listening to the environment. It is exposing our ears to every sound around us no matter where we are.”
The walk does not involve any verbal communication among participants, and is done without any electronic devices like phones or cameras. The walk starts with a short introduction where the guides provide participants with simple instructions on how take part and how to listen.
The walk takes about an hour depending the weather and other conditions. In the discussion following the walk the participants can compare their observations and analyze what happened during the walk.
The walks are always unique due to changes in weather and other conditions. All you need to participate is open mind, good shoes and proper attire for the weather. Everybody who can participate the walk are welcome, small children can come with strollers. Unfortunately we cannot allow dogs.
Simo and Tuike Alitalo have organized listening walks as part of their participatory sound art projects since 2010.