There are no longer any days of the week, only Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow. Each morning and night falls under the same routine of opening and closing the living room blinds, seeing what each day of the lockdown will bring to my window. It has been an everlasting loop of cars, pedestrians, wildlife, and Belfast’s overpowering wind with the chance of rain. This is my source of natural daily entertainment. While there is the opportunity to go for daily exercise, most of my time is spent by the window. Each day hoping humanity will overcome COVID-19.
As a sonic artist who explores various site-specific soundscapes, this lockdown has presented an opportunity to explore a ‘WindowScape’. Listening and hearing to my immediate location and connection to the real world. It also questions what changes during a lockdown, naturally, I live in front of a school. As they have shut down, there are no more school children wandering about. The pieces explore natural field recording, creative design, and critical listening to one’s environment. However, what else is noticeable?
I invite you to sit and listen in front of your own window and ask yourself what sounds do you notice?
Please listen with headphones to enhance the auditory experience.
Piece #1 – COVID-19_Window Ledge News
Keeping up with the news and listening to the outdoors prompted the idea of combining the two sets of audio materials (natural recordings and televised speech) and combining them as an experiential experience of how I have stayed up-to-date with important news. Since I am living in the UK, I used two main leaders, Queen Elizabeth II and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson alongside Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom from the World Health Organization (WHO).
This piece is simply to maintain a creative mindset even during a lockdown, how to highlight certain forms of speech directed to the public in order to keep us safe and informed.
Piece #2 – COVID-19_Belfast Mini WindowScape
A miniature soundscape of my surrounding area, what is the world doing outside my window? A quick recording experiment to identify sounds that I usually would have not noticed if the school was operational and had school children running around.
Featured in SONIC FIELD – Sonic, Social, Distance and Soundtracks for Strange Days, compilation Part 1 (2020)
About: Sonic, Social, Distance, is calling for works on listening and sound, and thinking about listening and sound, in the time of social distance…alone together, together apart.
Piece #3 – COVID-19_Belfast WindowScape
A longer soundscape capturing various sonic markers from my area, taking the time to embrace the natural surroundings of an urban lifestyle during a global pandemic. Sitting at the window for an extended amount of time allowed me to recompose my train of thought, to be able to relax and instil a calmness in my daily life.
Certain things I noticed were the small insects flying around, hearing the pedestrian light crossing even though I cannot see it from my window, and mostly the calmness of the area.
Piece #4 – Harland And Wolff Horn – April 9 2020
The famous Harland And Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Northern Ireland. At 8 pm, April 9, 2020, they sounded their loudest horn in support for members of the National Health Service (NHS) who are relentlessly aiding in combating the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country. This is the first time the horn has been heard in over 25-years.
1- Social Distancing Art Festival (SODA)
This website is especially designed to show a variety of artworks that were made during the times of the Covid-19 crisis. Artists from over 20 countries participated in our open call and are represented here. We are aware that the movement of social distancing art is still in its infancy. At the same time we present the selected works of art as documentation, of the present “unimagined” time. Without a doubt, the contributions will last for weeks, months and years and gain relevance as a historical statement.
The Social Distancing Art – Festival SODA is a project of the Arrival Room gUG. Arrival Room gUG is a non-profit organization registered in Saarbrücken (Germany). As a cultural organization Arrival Room promotes art projects of locals and migrants in Germany and beyond.