Sonic Geography | 2022


There are universes to be found inside of all sound.

Listening as Activism: The β€œSonic Meditations” of Pauline Oliveros:

Permanently moved is a personal podcast 301 seconds in length, written and recorded in one hour by @thejaymo


This episode has a lot of sound design. It’s best listened to.

Sonic Geography

Last week I spoke about the document just named β€˜Attention’ I said it was about deep listening, attention, and sound.

A stranger messaged me via my website to say more, and here we are.

We are listening to the podcast’s theme, stretched 10x with Audacity to 5mins and 1 seconds in length.

The track has been transformed. 

It has become a landscape, one that we are perhaps now, inside. 

No longer just a theme, a threshold to a podcast, but a sonic landscape. One within which we now swim or wander. 

Its form recast, perspective skewed. 

Each tone, note and rhythm given space and time.

You ring a bell, and the outcome is it peals. 

A drum snare becomes a crashing wave. 

The suction of the sidechain I tied to the velocity of the kick drum makes me feel claustrophobic and afraid.

There are universes to be found inside of all sound.

Just like a bell, inside any sonic geography are overtones, harmonics and reverberations that only become apparent at this distance.

We are in an acoustic space formed by an algorithm. But nevertheless we are now exposed to the merger of time and space as articulated by the sound waves

Pauline Oliveros the originator of deep listening describes the difference between hearing and listening.

An everyday behaviour that we often confuse with one another.

To listen is to be aware of the constant interplay of the perception of the moment and remembered experience

The ear hears
The brain listens
The body feelsΒ 
To hear is the physical means
To listen is to give attention to what is perceived both acoustically and psychologically.Β 

This track makes me feel tight.

Does it cause the tension I feel in the back of my knees, or does the act of paying attention to it mearly reveal it? 

When I was deeply unhappy and working in an office a decade ago I would stretch a symphony to 8 hours and listen until the day was done. 

An attempt to wash clean my soul with sound. A sonic immersion that was laboured, relentless, seemingly unstoppable. 

The familiar theme of this podcast has been renewed. Revealing complexity, fresh with new boundaries, news edges that are beyond ordinary. 

Oliveros impressed upon me that listening is a life time practice. One that depends on accumulated experience, each act of listening is one that accretes upon the last.

Each experience is a novel one. 

The same thing happens when we pay attention.

The above is the original script I wrote for the episode. It may differ from what ended up in audio due to time constraints.

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One response to “Sonic Geography | 2022”

  1. […] This process felt like the slow motion drop of a boat deck out from underneath me. Not a sudden shock but a slow disappearing – the broadcast become, white noise. A cold travelled from the dial down my arm, across my chest, up my neck into my teeth. It static feels the way that ozone smells. As the dial creeps further around, rhythm becomes detectable amidst the white noise. Is it music or the regular cadence of someone speaking? I keep turning to find out. Over a long period we approach the new station, the cold ozone is replaced by a brown warmth. I can still find the sensation of ozone static in any white noise or sonic landscape.  […]

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