Network Musical Performance Workshop

I had the great opportunity to be one of the four participants in the workshop Network Musical Performance Workshop: Technical and Artistic strategies to perform around the globe, led by Juan Pablo Cáceres at CCRMA – Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics at Stanford University.

This workshop has been keen to contextualize the Improvisation “Listening and Remembering” within the Sounding Underground environment, and to envision its development over the Internet.

Deep Listening Retreat

A summer Sounding, Dreaming, and Listening with the whole body. Deep Listening is a wide and profound listening practice and philosophy developed by the composer Pauline Oliveros, who works in collaboration with the artist IONE and the performer Heloise Gold.

I lived a 20th Annual Retreat engaged in collaborations for performance, improvisations, and dreaming, while breathing fully the Spanish soundscape in Nau Coclea and connecting with all participants and the world that surrounds us. The atmosphere of Deep Listening nourishes deeply Sounding Underground: its conception, artistic and performative practice and research.

Thanks to all!

Janvier à Paris!

Metro Paris Exit

Metro Paris Exit

From the 10th to 24th of January, commuters participating in the research will be involved in the activities of recording, listening, editing and improvising!!!

For more information visit the blog at:

Sounding Paris

Last week I visited Paris and the organisations that are interested in the project. Good news, MSH Paris Nord is going to host the workshops of the fieldwork in Paris. The RATP also has shown interest in the project and provided documents and information about its Sound Design strategy. Many thanks to the institutions and the welcoming and nourishing meetings.

Volunteers started their recordings wandering about the complex soundscape that exists in their daily routines. Some of them  didn’t find anything different from other journeys. I look forward  to  hearing from them after the first workshop when they listen to the recordings. Many thanks to all!

Improvisation in Mexico

These are four video documents of a sound improvisation that took place in the Centro Multimedia from CENART, in  México City with participants in the project (Group 1 to Group 4). The purpose of this workshop was to know how participants create stories in sound, using their voices, while listening to sounds previously selected by them from their journeys. This experiment provides elements with which to develop interactive options, using sound and voice, for the web. For the researcher it is important to have these trials off-line, before establishing the on-line structure using remote networking.

The participants are listening to four journeys, through five loudspeakers strategically positioned. A server (the computer I am controlling) triggers each participant’s sounds following the journey structure (Street, Entrance, Tickets, Corridors, Platform, Carriage). Participants can record their voices through a client that first asks them to tag their memory and then starts to record. All participants have access to these recordings, and can play them back. At the same time, they are listening to the sounds of their journey, via the speaker closest to them. Apart from technical evaluations, I would like to know:

1. What was their collective journey about?

2. Do you find interesting (or another opinion) to share memories of metro’s soundscape with the voice?

Group 4 Group 3 Group 2 Group 1

If you are interested in watching these videos, please send a message to XAlarcon[at], and ask for a password. Although all volunteers have given permission to publish the video on the web, I would like to keep it private for participants and people with academic/artistic interest.

This setting was created with the collaboration of Dr. Peter Batchelor from MTIRC, an IOCT partner. In México this work received technical assistance from Dr. Ron Herrema also member from the MTIRC. Many thanks to both!

Improvisación “Escuchar y Recordar” en México

Este es un documento en video de una improvisación sonora que se desarrolló en el Centro Multimedia del CENART, Ciudad de México con participantes en el proyecto (Grupo 1 – Grupo 4). El objetivo de esta actividad de taller fue conocer cómo los participantes crean historias sonoras, con sus voces, mientras escuchan sonidos previamente seleccionados por ellos, de sus viajes en metro. Este experimento ofrece elementos para desarrollar opciones intreractivas, usando sonido y voz, en el Ambiente Sonoro Interactivo que se está diseñando. Para la investigación considero importante tener estas pruebas en un espacio real, antes de establecer la estructura on-line con networking remoto.

Los participantes están escuchando cuatro viajes, a través de cinco bocinas estratégicamente posicionadas. Un servidor (el computador que yo controlo) envía los sonidos de cada participante siguiendo la estructura del viaje (Calle, Entrada, Taquilla, Corredores, Andenes, Vagones). Los participantes pueden grabar sus voces a través de un “cliente” que pregunta primero por un tag (o palabra clave) antes de grabar la memoria, y empieza a grabar. Todos tienen acceso a estas grabaciones y pueden reproducirlas. Al mismo tiempo, ellos están escuchando los sonidos de su viaje, a través de la bocina más cercana. Aparte de evaluaciones técnicas, me interesa saber:

1. De qué se trató este viaje colectivo?

2. Les parece interesante (u otra opinión) la expresión de memorias del paisaje sonoro del metro con la voz?

Group 4 Group 3 Group 2 Group 1
Si usted está interesado en ver estos videos por favor envíeme un mensaje a XAlarcon[at], y le daré una contraseña. Aunque los participantes han otorgado permiso para publicar el video en la web, me gustaría tener esta información de manera privada para participantes y personas con interés académico y artístico.

Esta instalación fue creada con la collaboración del Dr. Peter Batchelor del MTIRC, un partner del IOCT . En México este trabajo recibió asistencia técnica del Dr. Ron Herrema miembro del MTIRC y con la colaboración del Centro Multimedia del CENART. Muchas gracias por su ayuda!

In Morelia

A talk about the project “Linking Urban Soundscapes via commuters’ memories” and an improvisation activity – resembling the one in México, took place in the CMMAS in Morelia-Michoacán, México. My colleague Ron Herrema, offered a concert with works of composers from the MTIRC, a partner from the IOCT, at DMU.

People were very enthusiastic with the activities. Sounds from the soundscape of Mexico City metro are not something completely detached from their experience, and they were immersed with it, voicing and playing with musical instruments. These interventions were an additional element for an improvisation planned for the use of the voice in the process of remembering (with Mexican commuters). This process becomes abstract and it enters in the recreation of a soundscape in a sort of Jazz ensemble. For these trained musicians the communication and the atmosphere was great. The interactive system was attractive and innovative for them.  The soundscape, in many ocassions went to the background of our attention. The balance needed between listening and remembering is completely different when the remembering is done with musical instruments. The system then is flexible, the soundscape inspiring and provocative, and the intention of remembering probably needs to be agreed with participants, finding balance beetween musical instruments and the role of the voice. A great opportunity to learn. Muchas gracias a todos los participantes!!!!

Both events were covered by the press and the Television in Morelia. Here a link to a short article published by Cambio de Michoacan

Listening to the London Underground from Mexico

Identifying idioms in English, percibing solemnity, noticing the difference in the bell sounds, and texture of the announcements’ sound, are some of the comments that commuters in México made after have interacted with the “Interactive Sonic Environment: London Underground” . In comparison with México Metro this environment is rather different. Visit the commuters’ blog to read some of their comments (in Spanish). This activity was part of the workshops developed in the month of July in the Centro Multimedia from CENART, in México City.

We are “Listening and Selecting”

CD Un Viaje

CD Un Viaje

Each volunteer had an audio CD with her/his journey. They named their journeys: “Un extranjero en el DF”, “Viaje Mágico”, “Viaje sin sentido”, “Viaje Inesperado”, amongst others. They were listening for almost four hours, through headphones and selecting meaningful sounds using the free audio software Audacity. For most of them it was the first experience in editing audio. With these excerpts of sounds they are re-creating their journeys and amplifying the perception of a daily life environment. By uploading them in the project’s database they are nourishing the structure of what will be an “Interactive Sonic Environment” – México metro. The 3D perception of the space generated by the binaural microphones is surprising for them and engaging. It is not just the perception of the sound, is the relationship that they stablish with the environment, the others and themselves that is being reflected in their selections.

Recording in México – June 30 to July 6

This week participants are making audio recordings of their journeys in the México Metro. There will be 15 journeys in total, as selected by the participants. In addition, I am recording selected sound events. Journeys have variations and are a matter of chance. At the same time, they maintain both the logic of a massive infrastructure underlying a city of 22 million, as well as the magic of this subterranean space. The importance of recording the journeys lies in participants’ experience while travelling: unique, personal, connected to the sounds and to the other passengers, connected to themselves. They are using binaural microphones, improving the perception of space and the spontaneity while recording. I am giving them some messages (‘fortune cookie’ messages) inviting them to think or to react to the sound environment in real time. Overall this is a beautiful experience, which is being commented on by volunteers in the following blog:

(In Spanish)