No memory yet
No memory yet
I stand still listening to wavy chants performed by a muezzin in a little town of Bil'in in Palestine. Reinforced by a low quality amplifier his voice slides over the concrete plainness of the walls somewhat ignoring their impassioned will to divide. His voice soon finds an alliance with a breeze, similarly reluctant to the material constraints. Its vitality becomes evident once it encounters a flock of dry leaves, yet another family of increasingly deterritorialized, organic entities. Here, more then anywhere else, the aural seems capable of withstanding physical limitations, breaking through the barriers and evading any attempt aimed at its rigid delineation.
No memory yet
I stand still in the middle of the green lungs of one of the most polluted cities in Europe. It is the slowest changing place in Krakow, intentionally kept unoccupied as to provide people with a space to breathe. Two football fortresses mark the opposite sides of the lungs. They belong to the two oldest football clubs in the country that for more than a century have consistently been immersed in what seems to be a rather irreconcilable rivalry. The green lungs of Krakow have over time become an aural battlefield where the strength of the lungs belonging to the conflicted football watchers gets to be occasionally exercised. test tes ttte t sts l kash kash ash hasf iuhasf uhas fohoah oasfh osah aosfh afsoasf lufthansa crash ashdh iau asdy gaius
I stand still in the middle of Time Square. A never-ending din makes for a sonic bedrock, an urban muzak for a plethora of local street performers, vendors and ticket sellers, tirelessly drawing my attention to the spectacular in the ocean of the subdued flow of the mundane.
I stand still at the bank of the lake Mälaren at Slussen, Stockholm. It is freezing cold. The frozen surface of the lake cracks open here and there. Individual fragments of larger ice blocks hit each other completing the already rich spectrum of urban frequencies. Their movement somewhat mimics the palpitations that the body of Slussen has long been subjected to. The ceramic clinging of the ice blocks makes me mediate upon the vulnerability of Slussen gradually collapsing under a constant, multidimensional assault of mechanized paces, rushes and trembling.
I step into a crowd of young people, a lot of them women, marching on the streets of Istanbul. I end up there by chance, with no intention. I follow their steps and words having no idea of what they express. The rhythm and vitality of the moment are enough reasons for becoming dangerously seduced. I will learn about the reason for their taking to the streets only few days later, while sitting on the plane and chatting with someone who has lived here for many years. What oocurs to have been a trigger of this public unrest is the controversy around the home education system forcing young women stay under a parental control and hence limit their autonomy.
I stop for a while to listen to a Roma busker patiently tuning his harp. It is early in the morning, a rush hour in the old town of Stockholm. The dominant rhythm of this moment of the day is imposed by a doctrine of working hours. It implicitly orchestrates the steps of the workers stepping out of the tube and heading toward their suspiciously bright offices. The tuning of the instrument performed in the background breaks free from these rhythms, morphing them and somewhat contesting their determining power.
I take a break after climbing up a little hill in Bergamo. From this vantage point I can see mountains stretching in front of me and local villages resting at their feet. I stand still to better witness the place appearing to me as one being completely cut off from any signals of the modern civilization. The sense of time is only invoked by a suspiciously synchronous tandem of nature and culture, the friction between the concrete and abstract time manifested in a dialog between a rooster and church bells.
I sneak into a little shrine located in the midst of a heavily touristic village on the Greek Island of Rhodes. What might have historically been a place of contemplation today is all but that. The density of human elbows accidentally poking one another reinforces one's bodily awareness and blocks any possibility for a spiritual experience. An elderly lady who sits right at the door to the shrine only adds to this. She keeps reminding people of their inevitable bodily presence by requesting them to put on scarves on their sinful heads and shoulders so the gods do not become accidentally tempted.
I hike with my partner in the tranquil Dolomites right before a heavy storm. The silence makes me consider our presence as the main source of sound and consequently the main component of the soundscape around me. As the sounds of my being there are not diluted into any other sounds, suddenly I feel like I am more clearly witnessing my presence. While waiting for other sonic companions, I feel strangely responsible for the soundscape I shape.
I pull in to look at a Catholic procession marching on the Easter eve down the streets of Krakow. This acoustically loud and visually vivid a manifestation of belief in an eternal life traditionally takes place around the church or a square (if such happens to be in the church'es vicinity). Young altar boys make sure that the chanting is properly amplified. Connected to each other by a long wire, they all wear special backpacks with batteries and megaphones installed on aluminum racks stretching above their heads. This all makes them look as some kind of technologically pimped, heavenly messengers; post—human angels spreading the amplified glory to a highly enchanted crowd.
I walk into Pantheon and stay there for some time, exactly in its middle. The circular shape of the building makes it hard to locate the sources of sounds that swarm restlessly and wander across the interior of this divine chamber. All kinds of languages mix up here making this oldest un-reinforced concrete architecture metamorphose into something of a contemporary Babel tower.
I stumble upon an old Vietnam war veteran busking on the street of San Francisco. He sits right next to an entry gate to the local cable car trying to beat its signals with a lousy tune invoked by his exhausted harmonica. His struggle for a second of attention seems doomed to be missed just as the fate of many other, no longer needed ex-soldiers.
While walking down the street in Brooklyn I have to stop and look at a bunch of cops arresting a guy for an unknown reason. In only few minutes the situation escalates and a solid crowd of local inhabitants gathers to immediately accuse the cops of brutality and racism. Hidden behind the screens of their mobile phones as to document the situation as accurately as possible, they seem not to be noticing that the very cops themselves are of a darker skin than the suspect they attempt to arrest.
While taking a long walk along the coastline in Vancouver I get intrigued by a particular sound of a train horn all of a sudden invading the peaceful sonosphere of this area. I remember hearing about these train horns and their noise being protested against by the local communities. The sound of the horn just as the speed of the train cuts across the landscape brutally signifying the inherently intrusive nature of the human's ambition to advance its well-being and transgress physical boundaries.
I am stuck in the middle of a forest, somewhere in the Italian Alps confused by an ever increasing intensity of the fog. At that point I have to rely on my sense of hearing much more than my sight. I can hear a pack of dogs barking at me from an unknown direction. And whistles. A sudden shot from a riffle cuts through the forest making me feel even more as a target, or some kind of an enemy. It was precisely here, one hundred years ago that the most bloody battles between Austrians and Italians took place. The ghostly aura eventually subdues revealing a small group of hunters and their dogs chasing their hunt.
I stop by one of the Venetian canals and listen to an increasing cacophony characterizing this city. An enormous amount of gondolas keeps clogging the canals turning what ones used to be consider as its charm into a nightmare. It seems that each of such boats typically hosts not only a gondolier but also an amateur singer or a musician whose ambition is to make the service even more exciting. As the traffic rules do not apply to Venetian sonosphere (and any other) the result is a quickly clogged soundscape and the wanderer's intention to abandon the town as quickly as possible.