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Auraldiversities: Session One

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Goldsmiths, University of London

8 Lewisham Way

London

SE14 6NW

United Kingdom

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Auraldiversities - Session One

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Session One:

Thursday 13 February | 10-6pm | (TBC) Goldsmiths, University of London

Phonating Hand Dryers: a practice research workshop in auraldiverse co-composition

Session lead: Professor John Drever (Goldsmiths, University of London)

(A discussion followed by co-compositional activity)

Auraldiveristy refers to the actual variety of (often less than ideal) hearing that we experience throughout a normal day and throughout our lives albeit to varying degrees, from the trifling experience of a temporary threshold shift or transient ear noise to intolerable pain from hyperacusis. In this workshop we will explore where embracing this new concept may lead us creatively and politically.

The concept, auraldiversity and its antonym, auraltypical hearing (Drever 2015) evolved out of a desire to share research findings in an apt manner, specifically the creative and interpretative practice that has accompanied a more standard quantitative acoustic study of the noise impact of high-speed hand dryers in public WCs (Drever 2013). On fully embracing the scope and complexity of auraldiversity, however, finding an apt manner in a sonic form is unclear. Departing from the imposition of the composer’s ear towards a greater awareness of auditory positionality, the series of hand dryer sonic works, including acousmatic, site-specific installation, gallery and live performance, represent a range of composer /performer/ audience (inter)relationships, the most fruitful of which have been a workshop-based compositional approach bringing together multiple authors through the method of phonating, an approach that echoes and yet challenges Tomatis’ Law on Audition and Phonation: ‘The voice reproduces only what the ear can hear’ (Tomatis 1963/ 1996:87).

As well as talking through the issues, we hope to practically address the challenge, as articulated by Ruth Mallalieu, a musician with bilateral cochlear implants put it: "we should not keep trying to adapt to music; music should adapt to us”.

NB. no music training is required, just an openness and sensitivity to hearing, listening and sound making.

Speculative Listening

Session lead: Dr. Patrick Farmer (Oxford Brookes University)

(Short Lecture; workshop)

This session will take a speculative approach to listening. Participants will be encouraged to develop and undergo a series of simple and imaginative listening tasks and scenarios that will attempt to decenter and remake the ear, placing it on different parts of the body.

For example, a participant might choose a bodily organ at random, imagining they can safely remove it and place it onto a different part of the body, and then listen through it. What do they hear? How do they hear? How might this help them concentrate not on objects, but on sounds themselves?

We will briefly look at a history of hearing and otoacoustic devices, and use examples, primarily from fiction, such as Leonora Carrington’s Hearing Trumpet, to further develop and contextualise this speculative approach.

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Auraldiversities is a series of lectures, workshops and in-situ training sessions seeking to encourage creative and critical attention towards aural diversity within the arts and humanities, with particular focus on an ecology of the ear, designed for all those researching within the Arts and Humanities, especially those with an interest in the creative, social and political dimensions of sound and listening.

These sessions specifically address the need for further study and practice inspired by, and concerning, this specific turn in research and focus on a particular theme led by an academic/practitioner with invited guests selected to represent a range of approaches. A CHASE PhD candidate with associated research interests will also give a presentation.

Sessions are purposefully multifaceted, practical, intuitive and experimental in approach and encourage collaborative work and collective activities:

Sign up to the other sessions here

Session One: Thursday 13 F ebruary | 10-6pm | Goldsmiths, University of London

Session Two: Thursday 27 February | 10-6pm | Room 264, Senate House

Session Three: Thursday 12 March | 10-6pm | Goldsmiths, University of London

Plenary: Thursday 26 March | 3-6pm | Keynes Library, Birkbeck, University of London

All attendees to sessions should attend the plenary where possible.

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Location

Goldsmiths, University of London

8 Lewisham Way

London

SE14 6NW

United Kingdom

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