Wednesday, July 7, 2010

4th meeting report

Thanks to everyone who came out for the soundwalk. We had a group of about 12 participants with many new faces. I spent the previous afternoon planning out a simple route to walk starting from the museum. The general strategy was to focus on passing through different sound environments and to see how far the group would realistically walk in 30 minutes. While most of what I planned happened, there were some nice surprises. The main "catch" to this soundwalk was that the group divided into pairs with one person being a guide while their partner was blindfolded. After half the walk the pair would switch roles. What I didn't expect was how freely the guides interpreted their roles. Immediately many of the guides chose to highlight the tactile environment as much as (if not more than) the sonic environment. While "leading" the group I often turned around to find blindfolded people touching trees, buildings and other objects along the way. Thee were also a few situational surprises like the fellow practicing his martial art in Toomam├Ągi park eventually finding himself surrounded by our group. None of the blindfolded people knew what they were listening to until they opened their eyes. Overall it seemed to be a sensory heightening experience for most, something a few said, they would like to try again in their own way.

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