Some questions to consider whilst listening.

Poster for CCA residency

During October, we are in residence at the Creative Lab in the CCA, Glasgow, putting together the birthday issue of D A N C E H  A L L .

Along the way are discussions and free events. We’ll be documenting the work we do here, and in micro-zines distributed at the CCA.

In the meantime, the journal itself will take the form of a map, charting people’s responses to sounds, performances and recordings that have been important for them. We have asked people to respond with particular questions in mind, which shape the kind of responses they are able to give. Our aim is to provoke an approach which draws on the associations people make, to discern how different kinds of experience coincide. Once mapped, these will emerge as a cartography of the many ways in which these explorations of sound are entangled in other worlds, through a montage of various and incompatible things and places.

With this is mind, here are some questions for your consideration. Use them to frame a specific listening event.

If you would like to send us your responses to one of these questions, we will map it onto the emerging web of responses. Let us know what you were listening to as you wrote your response.

1. Think of a public space you have been in where you couldn’t understand the language that was spoken. Tell us about how you translated the interactions around you.

2. Name some people who in some way resemble the sounds you are hearing. Describe them, briefly.

3. Recall a moment when you had someone’s full attention. What were you talking about?

4. Recall a moment when you had someone’s full attention. Did you or did they lose their concentration?

5. Are you, or or you not really listening when you are dancing?

6. Can you recall an episode where you have been disappointed when sharing something?

7. Would you be able to describe a moment or conversation that was overwhelmed by a noisy environment?

8. List an instance when you were totally unaware of someone’s presence. How did they make themselves known? Why were you oblivious to them?

9. Tell us about a group situation that fell into an uncomfortable silence. Can you describe the body language of any of the people involved?

10. For the duration of the recorded piece of music or the performance, think about a journey you have taken. Was the journey uncomfortable? How did you make yourself comfortable?

11. What do you think when people are excessively polite?

12. How do you instinctively react when people are excessively polite?

13. Recall a time when you couldn’t for the life of you make your point understood. What were you trying to say?

14. Recall a time when you couldn’t for the life of you make your point understood. Can you describe that point any better now?

15. Describe the role you usually take in an argument with your family. Has this role ever been reversed?

16. What tactics would you use to dominate an argument?

17. Are you usually right?

18. Can you name two experiences where you were thinking too much? Do you ever regret these instances?

19. Do you have any preferred tactics for approaching an end?

20. Can you list at least two experiences that were far too brief?

21. Has there ever been a time that you were confused to whether you were indoors or outdoors?

22. Describe two different areas of the same city where you have felt complete calm. Who else was there?

23. Recall a room that is familiar to you but is not your own home. How long will it take you to travel to somewhere you do not feel welcome?

24. What is the longest you have gone without speaking to anyone? What do you do in these extended silences?

25. What image recurs most often when you are walking between work and home?

26. Think of a photograph that you have possessed for a long time. How has your relationship to it changed? Why is this?

27. Can you describe the room this music is being played in?

28. If the room in which the music is being played has windows, can you describe what is outside?

29. Do the sounds surrounding the performance or recording interrupt it, or do they complement each other?

30. Besides other music, what do you think the artists/musicians were listening to when they recorded this?

31. Do you think this music was made in the city or the country? What are your reasons for this choice?

32. Describe a moment of stasis.

33. Describe a moment of movement.

34. Can you describe a situation in which your intuition was wrong?

35. Have you ever been in a situation where the use of force was narrowly avoided?

36. Do you ever find yourself being obstructive in a conversation? What tactics of obstruction do you use?

37. Describe a time you were imitating someone or something. Was it an act of mockery, or fascination,or something else?

38. Look off to your side. What can you see?

39. Turn to your side. What can you hear?

40. List three film scenes, which the sounds you are hearing put you in mind of. What are the links between them?

41. Recount a family anecdote that the sounds you are hearing now put you in mind of.

42. Can you think of a relative’s houses you have visited and the furniture, knick knacks or photographs that attracted your attention the most?

43. Would you consider yourself somebody who avoids confrontation, or seeks it out? Or perhaps you don’t seek it out, but you don’t shy away from it when it arises? Describe a time you have acted against character in a confrontational situation.

44. Can you recall the last time you were deeply embarrassed? Looking back on it, does your embarrassment seem unwarranted? Are you easily embarrassed?

45. Describe the kind of situation guaranteed to make you feel uncomfortable. What is the main cause of your discomfort?

46. When were you happiest? Was it easy to remember, while you were listening?

47. Describe a place which resembles the sounds you are listening to.

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