Music Is Everywhere
While I was doing an Erasmus study exchange at the Iceland Academy of the Arts in autumn 2015 I took part in a course titled ‘Sounds of Nature and City’. This was an intensive course of concrete music and field recording led by Marie Guilleray. Prior to the course I had very little experience of recording sounds, let alone transforming those sounds in order to create music. During the course we had the possibility to stay a few days in the Icelandic countryside, in a small town called Skalholt, doing field recordings. This experience proved to be interesting and also important for me, as it opened up new ways of listening to the everyday sounds. I remember vividly one instance, when I was recording sounds in Skalholt and came across a tree with completely dried leaves hanging from its branches. Normally I would have just passed by without paying much attention to it, but this time I had my headphones on, and the portable microphone was able to pick up the tiny sounds that the leaves created, beating against each other in the wind. I was really fascinated by this sound, and eventually ended up transforming it and using it in a performance. This experience was a good example of the ordinary becoming somehow extraordinary. Philosopher Susan K. Langer writes: ‘The auditory experiences which impress us are those which have musical possibilities, which allow themselves to be varied and developed, expanded, altered…’
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Johanna Pitkänen - Musician. Nature & Art, Magic Songs, Mythology, Rituals, Community