Sound jams glossary

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// back to sound jams


[about] There are many terms in this research that have different meanings in other contexts. It is also possible that you might have not come across some of them. By creating this space, I aim to bring the words I am using into a particular context and explain how I understand (and therefore, use) them.

I believe in clear communication. Even though it is something “easier said than done”, it definitely worth the effort. Trying to be clear when communicating whatever you want to express, can save us from many misunderstandings and misinterpretations. It is quite often when we see something differently from someone else, even when we are convinced that our point of view is somewhat universal.

This effort of bringing our context into the conversation also saves us from being presumptuous. We are much more generous to our reader if we don’t assume what they already know and what they don’t. Thus, explaining the key terms I am using in this research helps keep clear and honest communication.

In this chapter, you will find terms and their definitions that might look copy-pasted from a proper dictionary. However, that is not the case here and this glossary is not universal. It is a collection of terms bought into context by me in relation to my artistic and research practice. Of course, most of their description comes from real definitions and usage in more universal contexts. Nonetheless, bear in mind that my personal touch is also part of them.

general terms for the project

[sound jam] In the context of this project, by sound jams, I understand any facilitated process of sound-making and publishing that includes more than one person. They are not restricted by form, time, place or environment. Thus, some of the sound jams are literally facilitated jam sessions with musical and sound instruments, whereas others are open calls on the internet for submitting contributions, or several months-long sound residencies.
[sound or sonic publication] Sound/sonic publication or sound-based publication is a term that is commonly used in this paper. By it, I understand an audio piece that is shared with the public. There are two core elements in this term: sound or sonic, as being an audio piece (but not limited to) and publication, as a piece that is shared publicly, that is being published. Thus, being a wider term, it may vary - from musical pieces to podcasts or audiozines - anything whose core medium is sound (music, noise, voice, ambient sounds etc.).
[listen and respond] The basis of the approach to sound jams is to listen and respond with sound. By this, I mean giving the contributors the time to listen to others' sounds before jumping into the sound jam. Inspired by the work of Pauline Oliveros, this approach gives space for awareness and mindfulness in the collective making. To listen and respond in this research means that the contributors are invited to take the time to perceive the soundscape around them before adding their own sound to it.
[safe space] In this paper, we are looking at the term "safe space" as an instrument for inclusivity. Creating a safe space here means that we are building a structure and process that give everyone the chance to take a role that makes them feel as challenged as they want to. The making of the sound jam is indeed a creative development and in it, a "safe space is conceptualised through rules of engagement that scaffold the creation of new work and, somewhat paradoxically, invite a greater degree of aesthetic risk" (Hunter, M.A. (2008). Cultivating the art of safe space).
[score] In music, a score is a musical composition in written or printed notation. It is basically the written form of the piece which highlights rhythms, frequency, pitch, and instrumental notes in the song. The scores of the sound jams in this project are also a visual representation of the piece. However, they might have the form of text, sketch, illustration or a mix of all.