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We also never feel we can own or posses a sound; we cannot control and limit its boundaries, as we feel we can an image. Sound is process-oriented. It ebbs and flows, and it begins and ends. Secondarily, while sound unfolds in both time and space, we seem most attuned to its temporal features. --we keep a strong sense  of sound constantly changing.

(Vernallis 2004, 176)



People tend to lose their attention towards things that are there all the time. A city soundscape creates a local reality as background noise and carries a specific meaning in its place. We are so used to some contextual sound cocktails that they have become obvious and narrow in our mind. Only a sudden silence in the city centre in the middle of the day would make us to become aware of the soundscape surrouding us. The same effect can be lured

by bringing the city into a silent gallery space.


Undressing sounds from their meanings by ripping them out of their original context lies in the core of the sound installation Shifting Sonic Spaces: Soundscapes in Silence (2014). The starting point of the project was to explore the relationship between sound and silence – the two elements that can be seen as different sides of the whole. The existence of the other shapes the another. Sound resonates in silence. Silence makes a break for sound. Together they ring and create a space.


The idea behind the installation is to let the audience reflect the way they experience sounds of the city and ponder their relationship to sound and silence. Instead of giving it a name the thing there

is just to listen.


Gathering local sounds and composing sound track out of them proposes a new way of listening.

The experience may slightly open the layers between sound and how something sounds to us. It also illuminates the character of sound itself as floating and evolving vibration streaming through

not suggesting to be owned or framed.


Vernallis, Carol. 2004. Experiencing Music Video: aesthetics and cultural context. New York: Columbia University Press.

Sound Installation by MITE ITEM

Sound recording by Katri Salmenoja

Concept by Katri Salmenoja

Supported by City of Helsinki, KAPU, bb15

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