Many countries have been experiencing severe lockdowns and curfews relational to the COVID-19 pandemic that have affected the local, private and public soundscape and the sonic spatial politics of their respective natural or urban environments, creating a new obscured ecology or agency in the mapping of sonic space and materiality. Some places sound quieter and less active, and certain people have had no difficulty to adapt to the new reality, while others find it unnerving: empty streets, closed stores, regular mask-wearing and adhering to social distancing can suggest an uncanny reality and perception of space. Human and non-human interaction has changed, filtered through a mask, muffling dialogue and obscuring faces, which is making it harder to recognise people who were once so familiar.
From a critical conceptual perspective, this strange, temporary era seems to form intensive affective and vibrant dynamics regarding subjective interpretations of our ever-changing world. How do we feel during this period of such uncertainty? What is our relationship with society in these circumstances? How is our physical and sonic space now transformed, transgressed materially, and under what kind of affected conditions? And what does the present, or future now sound like?
Elaborating on the above, selected participants re-imagined the sound that they envision in this new on-going reality with audio works which ranged from acousmatic compositions to soundscape recordings and from spoken word to experimental noise works.
All selected audio works were hosted in the “Unmasking. Experimental Sonic Practices” concert, the very first of the MS Concerts series, that was held virtually, on Thursday, March 11th.