Monday, March 12, 2007

Your Experiences Part 2

Thanks for all the posts on the 'Your Experiences' section of this blog. It has now been six weeks since my initial post and there has been a really good response. However, 25 posts is not enough and I am still looking for more comments from you!

We all experience musical environments for at least 3 hours of our day.. that means you all must encounter good and badly designed music on a daily basis. Take a moment to think what sounds you heard today, and the effect they might have had on you..
and please post a comment! If you need some inspiration, the previous 'Your Experiences' section is here:
Your Experiences Part 1
Some really interesting, funny and disturbing comments so far..

Spaces Speak by Barry Blesser & Linda-Ruth Salter

This is a great book recently released by MIT press. It covers a wide range of topics on the subject of Aural Architecture..Here is an excerpt.

We experience spaces not only by seeing but also by listening. We can navigate a room in the dark, and "hear" the emptiness of a house without furniture. Our experience of music in a concert hall depends on whether we sit in the front row or under the balcony. The unique acoustics of religious spaces acquire symbolic meaning. Social relationships are strongly influenced by the way that space changes sound. In Spaces Speak, Are You Listening?, Barry Blesser and Linda-Ruth Salter examine auditory spatial awareness: experiencing space by attentive listening. Every environment has an aural architecture.

Social Spatiality
When we think of architecture, we immediately visualize the properties of the space that can be seen, especially boundaries that influence movement and the legal rights of access. Walls and surfaces are tangible and readily apparent. In contrast, because sound flows through even the smallest opening, aural architecture has aural boundaries. Hogarth, in the picture below, portrays the dismay of a musician who finds that his private music room and the hubbub of the street are in fact a single aural space. The open window destroys the aural boundary because sound flows freely through it. Opening the window changes the aural architecture, and the person who opened the window was an aural architect.

Hogarth's Enraged Musician.
Courtesy of Graphic Arts Collection, Princeton University.

other major components of aural architecture include musical, navigations, aesthetic, and symbolic. From these, I would say that the easiest to manipulate in existing spaces would be their 'musical spatiality' and therefore by implementing a process of 'musical design', we can create better aural architecture in our built environments.
The source for this article, more information and how to purchase the book can be found at
Thanks to Barry Blesser for his previous comments to Two Open Ears!

Live Noise!

“Modern man is beginning to inhabit a world with an acoustic environment radically different from any he has previously known. These new sounds, which differ in quality and intensity from those in the past alert us to the indiscriminate and imperialistic spread of more and larger sounds into every corner of man’s life.
Noise pollution is now a world problem.
The world soundscape has reached an apex of vulgarity in our time…. Universal deafness is the ultimate consequence.”
R. Murray Schafer, The Soundscape, 1977.

NOISES 2 min demo video

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This is a live audio visual performance that I am working on in collaboration with visual artist and film maker Ling Lee. We will hopefully be touring around the UK with this show in 2007/8. I will post more when I have details, in the meantime you can watch out 2 min promo video above. Any comments welcome, here is a bit of background -

Sound designer and music producer Brian Harvey (stage name Brian d’Souza) in collaboration with visual artist and filmmaker Ling Lee present ‘Noises’, an improvised audiovisual performance. Using a mixture of live found sound recording, instrumentation, innovative visuals and cross media improvisation techniques, the performance highlights the exponential rise of auditory and visual noise in our world today.

More info at Underkonstrukt or Noises Myspace