Sound jams documentation

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This page documents the ongoing sound jams that I am trying out. The sound jams, being various ways of collective sound-making and publishing without the restriction of time, space, instruments or format, will be implemented in collaboration with others as well: so far with my classmate Mitsa Chaida and the Room for Sound co-facilitator Naomi Jansen.

sound jams

_01 M&Ms @ PZI

the score of the jam session - following the structure of the clock

// 10-10-2022 // in collaboration with Mitsa Chaida


The jam was the first of the series in our research. As an opening one, we focused on a topic: Deep Listening (a concept brought to life by artist Pauline Oliveros). The participants were invited to read some extracts from her book with the same title and to jam while trying to apply listening and paying attention techniques to their performance in the group. The jam was following the structure of a clock while progressing.


mitsa, jian, kamo, miriam, alex, emma, manetta, gersande, chae, joseph [in order of the clock]

feedback & reflections

-overall: it was nice; a well-facilitated jam
-the clock structure - helps to listen to the others and move around organically; frustrating when you want to play with someone or some instrument specifically
-instruments shape the experience - some instruments (and/or for some participants) require more focus and it makes it difficult to focus on listening & responding
-improvised instructions in the middle are confusing when the sign language is not introduced ahead / to be given really clearly
-everyone playing at the same time is confusing - climbing up is better (create a slow progression)
-different instruments - different volume and space-taking - great for learning to listen and pay attention
-maybe try giving instruments to people that they never used before - to put everyone at a similar "start"
-visual score will help people without musical training or who are more visual
-warming up can include a moment to explore the instruments
-it will be better if the 5th person starts before the 1st stops
-keep doing the jams with having some of the same participants over and over again - for being able to experiment more and try different things
-don't be afraid to ask people to come to jams when you want to try out new things

the jam was based on the research path marked in green


What worked:
-the text in relation to the jam. Deep listening a nice starting point
-the facilitation through the clock score can be noticed when you listen to the recording
-the plethora of sounds that are produced. Strings, processed recordings, paper, voices clean and dissolved, synths, a glass of beer, a harmonica. it is a diverse improvised soundscape.
-I can hear a lot of moments of listening and responding.

What could be improved:
-take into concideration the amplitude dynamics and the complexity of each instrument. Worke more on the idea of how can the different voices take as much space as they desire while not creating an unwanted unbalance with the rest.
-reflect on how to disrupt the idea of the lone improviser.
-take into concideration the dynamics of a group with different experiences around sound and improvisation, while facilitating. How this affects each different session depending on the theme.
-if we improvise instructions or change the rules during the jam - make sure everyone understands clearly the change
-progression works well for the clock structure - we can create a score that progresses with each round
-always have two recorders working

recordings & mix

diffractive mixing - edit 1.0


download the pdf zine here
download the A4 pdf for printing & folding here


working pad - preparation of the session

_02 What do books say? @ Leeszaal

// 17-10-2022 // in collaboration with Mitsa Chaida


Making a collective audiozine, by listening and responding to what books say. Ingredients: listen, choose, respond









_03 R m for Sooound Elective: Transverse Atlantic @ WDKA

// 16/20-01-2023 // in collaboration with Naomi Jansen


This elective was a 2-week sound workshop, organised and facilitated by Naomi Jansen and me, Alexandra Nikolova (Ål Nik). With this class, we wanted to create space for students to experiment with sound for their research and artistic practice. We planned and developed the workshop together, where Naomi worked on creating the workshops and activities of experimentation during the first week and i developed the process of collective creation of sound publication during the second week.

During the elective R  m for Sooound, we collectively explored sound as a concept and a research and publishing medium. Through various group and individual exercises, we gave room to ways in which sound can be produced, experienced and transformed. The elective took place at WdKA, in which we had our own space to work in and with.
The focus did not lie on the technical aspects of sound production, but on the conceptual and poetic questions that can be asked when using sound in any art practice. For example: How could we translate an image to a sound and vice versa? How does our experience of sound differ per person? And what is the sound of     ?
Next to giving room to sound, the focus of this elective was also on collectivity. In the first week this meant that through various exercises and workshops, we were continuously interpreting, repeating and transforming sounds that we produced. In the second week, the collection of sounds of week one formed the basis of working towards a collective sound publication.
The elective was based on the WDKA project Room for Sound. An artist in residency for students and staff, in which in exchange for the Room, residents have to record and upload a sound a day. This can range from an in depth talk about their work to a short observational soundscape.

[about] Sound is something that we share, either when communicating with each other or as an omnipresent element in our daily life. However, we often take it for granted. Sound can be experienced in many different ways and can take various forms on itself or in relation to different media. Therefore, when you give room to it, sound can become an extension or essential part of any art practice. In this elective we worked towards producing a collective sound publication (which could take any form, for example an installation, performance or album). This publication was be a combination of individual experiments and collective works, made during the two weeks.


_programme in detail here

week 1 - experiments // process facilitated by Naomi

The first week is exploration week. The students are invited to play with sound in various exercises and discover they way they approach sound; and what part does it take in their research and artistic practice. Each day has a theme and invitation - to listen, to collect, to translate, to play, to resonate.

_outcome: publication - booklet by Naomi

week 2 - sound publication making // process facilitated by Alex

After reflecting on all of their experiments during the first week, the students were brainstorming on what are the themes that bring them together. Then, the week followed the collective sound publication making process, described below:

_outcome: sound installation + sound publication by the makers



a collective sound publication making

The process of making the sound publication is taking place in the second week of the workshop. The students were invited to create concept of their collective piece (editorial setup), divide into smaller groups to create contributions (day 1 and 2) and then to split into care-takers groups to finalise the different elements of the sound publication among themselves (day 3 and 4). Finally, on day 5 the whole group experiences the final outcome.

This process is based on XPUB's 18th special issue concept - Radio Implicancies, facilitated by Femke Snelting. During the weekly releases, we reflected on reads and topics addressing various social challenges and produced sound-based publications as a group. Each week we divided in small groups - contributions teams to make the sounds and a care-taker group (of 2-3 students) to make the final release. For this sound jam, the students decided they wanted to do a sound installation at the back stairs of the WH building. In addition, the experience to be documented and an audio mix to be published afterwards.

With this sound jam, the process was visualised in a more detailed way by me. I introduced the structure in a different way: already organised for the bachelor students: the contributions making phase was clearly divided by the care-taking phase and everyone in the group took a role in both of the phases. During the contrubutions phase, the participants create the editorial setup as a whole group and then split in smaller teams to produce the audio files. This phase took 2 days (working time 10:00-16:00 h). Then, all of them got back into the whole group and listened to the sounds. They took notes on where the creations fit into the editorial setup and structure. Afterwards, they split again in smaller groups - named "care-taking groups". For this part, I came up with the idea to create 5 groups, so everyone on the whole team has a role here too:


▶ audio-mixing (4 students)
-get all the contribution audio files -edit them into one audio mix -export the audio mix -provide it to the Publishing, Hosting & Documentation care-takers
▶ hosting (5 students)
-create space for the whole group to listen & experience the sound publication -prepare the space: technical setup, physical space design and organisation, environment for listening/experiencing the sound -find a way to present the other care-taker groups’ work to the whole group
▶ publishing (3 students)
-get how everyone wants their name to be written -decide how to publish the audio mix -write down an introduction/description of the whole publication -create an image -publish it -bonus: they can also interview the contributors about their works, intentions etc.
▶ time-keeping (1 student)
-make sure the process goes smooth -make sure everything is happening on time and everyone is meeting the deadlines -check on how people are doing -help them organise meet-ups when needed
▶ documentation (3 students)
-document the whole process (take photos, videos, illustrations, audio recordings, interviews etc.) -organise the visuals, written materials and sounds in MS teams folders -make sure to collect the final outcomes that are published, but also work-in-progress pieces; quotes from the makers and anything else that is part of the process