The Making Waves project has officially started and our first week in Tbilisi was packed with activities!
I realized that my original plan of focusing on theory and ideas about how to compose using field recordings was successful only to a certain extent and drifting over a more practice based approach might have been more rewarding for both me and the students involved in the project. So after a long listening session in which I showed them old and new works which I considered relevant for the discourse about space (this session featured pieces by Barry Truax, Luc Ferrari, but also more more recent ones by Jana Winderen, Eric La Casa and Akio Suzuki) we took our recording gear and open ears and went out, in the field, testing our technological hearing.
The response was very positive. I realized that I might have spent hours describing the perceptual difference when recording with an A-B mic setup or a French pair, but explaining while actually hearing had proven to be a much more better approach.
In the field we could discuss the concepts of foreground and background, analyze the surrounding sound environment using Murray Schafer categories, talk about hi-fi and lo-fi soundscapes (a concept I don’t radically agree with but it’s always important to mention) and introduce the ideas of Geophonies, Biophonies and Antrophonies.
We also had time to listen to some of the student’s work and discuss it individually.
I was very surprised by the freshness of the compositions and the music I’ve listened. The young composers I’ve met come from the most diverse backgrounds and surely have different goals role-models for the music they make, they probably have listened to electroacoustic music marginally and they don’t have a clear idea about the development of technologies and the music associated to them, nor they have ever tried to geographically map tendencies and waves in the contemporary music field, but this for of unawareness affords another approach to experimentation, less systematic, with less footprints to follow, which I’ve enjoyed a lot.
I believe that the festival we will organize in April is gonna be a success! :)
Having the chance to actually explain to an audience all the things I’ve been learning in the past months and years is being very helpful to sediment these skills and knowledge and I feel I know more and I am more curious to research new things.