Waking Hours

Waking Hours

is a live sound performance and a sound installation, composed from minimal sound-events, captured daily throughout the course of 13 days, in the hours between 5 AM and midnight in Lutherstadt Wittenberg (DE). The sounds from different hours are layered on top of each other, conveying the multiplicity of minutiae and accumulation thereof into the big narrative of the place, fed by vague historical inputs and distorted according to the psycho-emotional state of the glaneur and the listerner. Presented live in the framework of a residency programme and performance & multimedia festival 2016 WB Wurzel Bewegung in Wittenberg (DE) on 06/08/2016.

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Concept

Each day I take around two hours to walk 6km through the streets of Wittenberg to gather sounds. A practice of the quotidian, I call it now, a practice of the regular.

Maybe, I figure, I am gathering sounds only in order to have a good excuse to walk around in order to try and understanding this city, the complexity of its past and the emptiness and silence of its present.

Maybe it is not so much about gathering material, as it is about watching and listening, in order to see and to hear, letting the elements of the place invade and form my understanding of it, rather than projecting something of mine onto these unknown spaces. Although I do know that what we tend to see and to hear is always formed by our brain and eye, intelligence too. What about the things unseen, the things we hear and those we think we do, I wonder?

While walking, I also realize that the other, the stranger, me in this case, is rather suspicious in a quiet and still place, like this one. I keep walking the streets at different hours of a day, incessantly, stopping once in each street to listen to what the underground, stones, grass, rose-bushes, bug colonies, rainwater pipes, mailboxes, metal doors of power units, bus-stop signs, bus-stop sheds, insides of fallen trees, wooden fences, trucks, hoists, bikes, cars, parks, gardens, trees, birds, construction workers operating power drills have to say, and meet eyes that question my presence there.

For 13 days, daily, I am walking same streets, trying to stay aware, awake and open to each minor (sound) event in each step I make. We are quite good at noticing strangeness of new spaces, but only until they wear down: in time, we stop noticing details, things, and people. In time, our glance rubs away the newness, the interesting, we are no longer triggered by simplicity of the everyday.

We are living in times when myriads of invasive inputs have become our new regular, we are ready to have multiple experiences of the unexpected each moment we open out social platforms, and we have become less sensitive to small everyday things. When I listen to the rustling of a bug colony by the roots of a tree, I wonder, what is it exactly that expels the capacity of wonder.

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