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Dissonant Murmurations

Participants: Alyshea Mo, Beverly Chew, Chen Yi An, Nathaniel Soon & Safiah Noorhimli



In January 2019, I entrusted disposable film cameras and small sketchbooks to four friends who would be in different parts of the world. Within the sketchbook, there were prompts and instructions asking them to be deliberately sensitive to the sounds in their environment, to engage with the sounds for a period of time and to use the given materials to record their thoughts in any way they wanted. 


By September 2019, we’d collectively examined everyday sounds from Amsterdam, London, Penang, Prague, Singapore, Sipadan, Taipei and Tulamben. What we had gathered was each individual’s understanding of their respective environments through sound, and also a blend of our distinctive thought processes and methods of documentation.


What became evident were the contrasts and similarities between our approaches to understanding the impalpable medium of sound — and how embedded it is in our lives despite the difficulty in tangibly reproducing and expressing the physical experience of hearing. To comprehend sound became a means of being more aware of what was happening around us, and naturally also called for links to — and a reconsideration of — our lifestyles, cultures and habits.

This piece was made as part of Now & Again: Sound.

Additional pages can be found here.



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