Dust & Shadow Soundwalk

Abstract

The Dust & Shadow soundwalk is an experiment in attunement to an urban desert environment through diverse forms of listening. Walking in silence through the Sonoran dust in the shadow of civilisation, the walkers may begin to hear the murmur of matter, uncover desert refugia amidst urban life, and forge new connections with the unexpected.

Full text

The Dust & Shadow Soundwalk is an invitation to the walkers to viscerally engage with the urban desert, using the entire body as an antenna or listening device. The soundtrack is a reflection of our experience of the desert; our attempt to read the desert through the language of experience. It contains a multitude of voices heard in different parts of the Sonoran desert and Colorado Plateau. Many of these voices are also present in the urban environments, but are too quiet to notice. Some of these voices have been amplified and layered beneath and between the drone of the city. This soundtrack exists not to cover up or emphasize existing sounds, but to weave them into a new sonic fiction – one in which Phoenix becomes a city in the desert rather than a city despite the desert.

Instructions for a self guided soundwalk can be found at fo.am/dust-and-shadow-soundwalk/

The Dust & Shadow soundwalk was designed in collaboration with LCT, supported by GIOS and Synthesis Center. The first public walk was hosted by the Museum of Walking on 24th March 2018. With special thanks to Ron Broglio for the location scouting, local knowledge and enthusiasm during the research and production process of this soundwalk.