Sound jams intro

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disclaimer: the concept of the project was changed during the following months. Instead of a handbook, I will create a mixed-media publication to present the sound jams' outcomes and their prompts (instructions).

audio introduction


voice // Āl Nik
sound // sound jam M&Ms @ PZI with mitsa, jian, kamo, miriam, alex, emma, manetta, gersande, chae, joseph


a method of producing collective sound-based publications

_what is this?

A handbook presenting a method to produce and publish collective sound-based publications. This hands-on guide will explore an applied method of deep listening sound jams by inviting people to participate in a collective sound-making and publishing process.

The project focuses on bringing deeper attention to sound in the ways we perceive it, and the ways we respond with it. In the project, I will explore various ways to facilitate sound-making and publishing moments on the basis of listening and responding. The method is based on the concept of deep listening, originally developed by musician and educator Pauline Oliveros. In her practice, Oliveros investigated new ways to focus attention on music including her concept of deep listening - a practice that is intended to heighten and expand consciousness of sound in as many dimensions of awareness and attentional dynamics as humanly possible.

_why sound?

Sound is my choice for the core medium of this project because even though we are surrounded by it on a daily basis, it still feels quite inaccessible for many educators, facilitators, artists and artivists. Often associated with music, it is a reserved territory for people with musical training and for sound artists. In reality, it is far more accessible and there are many ways sound-making can be open for participants from any kind of background. Thus, this handbook aims at bringing another medium (or opening more possibilities for exploration of it) to artists, educators, publishers and collectives.


[research of methods for collective sound-making] I would like to start with a research of collective-sound making methods that are already published by other artists. Also, I will look for examples and inspirations of sound publications. Which of the sound publications I find interesting are done by a collective, a group of people. What is their process?

[sound jam experiments] Simultaneously, I would like to test experiments of collective sound-making and publishing. Since I already have facilitated a few moments, I would like to reflect on them and create prototypes for publishing them - as a tool, part of the handbook; and as a sound publication, an example.

[instruments] Whatever instruments you give to the participants in jam, shapes the whole experience. Thus, experimenting with giving various types of tools to make sound with, is another layer in the research to be taken into consideration, even though it is not the focus of the project.

[research publishing tools] Researching tools for publishing, in connection with collective publishing practices. What are the ways to share sound-based creations? Which one of them can be or already are collaborative?

[put things together] Describing the tools for collective sound-based publications making - how can we make sounds together; what are the ways to listen better, to respond with sound, to publish our sound works, to do it collectively?

_what brought me to this project?

[facilitation] Since 2016, I am part of Nomadways collective - an association based in France that designs and implements artistic experimental workshops for artists, activists, and educators - artivists. As a project designer and facilitator, I have experimented with various mediums that we often mix with topic. In our traditionally 2-week workshops, we create space for people to try out new tools and look for ways to implement them in their practice. Adding a whole new library of tools to my facilitation practice is a quite relevant endevour, but sharing it freely with the public is exactly what I am interested in terms of expanding and developing my work.

[sound-based experiments] My complicated relation to music and sound started in my early years of childhood when I was attracted to music but discouraged by my parents to pursue any musical training (they were calling me and my sisters “musical invalids”). Thus, I became a listener. Listening to music and responding to it in my own ways, became part of my daily life. Later, I tried various activities as a user of music: I danced and choreographed; I curated music and performed as a DJ. But my desire to create was never fulfilled. Last September, I co-facilitated together with my friend Bruno Morera - a musician, clown, street performer, and acrobat, who has been facilitating group experiences around Europe - a 2-week music and sound residency in Burlats, France. It was a challenge for me to be a trainer in an Erasmus+ training course and feeling as an imposter because of the lack of training in music. However, it turned out to be liberating.

[xpub 1] Highlight of my last year was Special Issue 18: Radio Implicancies. As a care-taker, I loved pre-editing, hosting and facilitating a weekly release. As a contributor - to reflect on a read or research with sound. I enjoyed mixing, editing, publishing, but also making and experimenting with sound. I participated in several jamming sessions (such as the X-unPub concert, facilitated by Harrold Schellinx) and felt included. I would like to create such spaces in the future and make that part of my artistic practice.

[visual translation & illustration] are my talents and skills that are always present in my work. They are part of my research, planning but also designing and illustrating the final publication.

_what's next?

After co-facilitating three sound jams between September and November, I would like to start creating a template for the sound jams description-instructions-documentation-analysis process. I will continue researching ideas of sound jams facilitation and turning them into instructions for the jam, or a score. After trying it out and analysing what worked and what didn't, I will go back to redesigning the instructions and objectives.

The plan is:

_dec-jan // research, jams prep, write
_jan-feb // focus on sound jams, write
_mar // focus on thesis, maybe a jam as well
_apr // jams revision, prototype of the publication
_may-jun // publication making, grad show prep


In order to document this project, but also to create an opportunity to expand it after xpub, I set up my own wikimedia space. Starting with writing about the sound jams, the place will be a new way for me to keep a written record of my research and artistic practice.

>> :-)