Across the Pond (AtP) is working with groups within various local communities (initially throughout North West England and Northeastern America) to create soundscapes that explore their surrounding environments by creating spontaneous noise and symbolic auditory responses to social and emotional prompts (i.e. What’s your favourite noise? What does relaxation sound like? What is the volume of the thoughts in your head?)
These participatory sound recordings will be transferred onto cassette tapes and become part of future exhibitions. During the exhibitions there will be a number of cassette players with headphones around the venue for audiences to pop a tape in, and listen.
We intend to open this local collaboration to an extensive audience via a digital/virtual call for soundscapes. We will present this project as a social, emotional and cultural exchange between the United Kingdom and the United States. The idea of an exchange program is twofold: it provides a safe space for us to practice active listening and self expression.
The initial soundscapes will come from across Merseyside (with our collaborators at Bloom Building) and New York City (with collaborations from Fountain House and Sound of Saving) being uploaded. This will become an organic web of sound, as people respond to what they hear and create their own pieces.
Eventually, there will be a growing community map, where the public can ‘pin’ the area they listened to/from. The physical maps will be made into a digital map on this website, with connections becoming visible.
In the Spring of 2021, we will open the project up to an even greater international audience via workshops and digital pdf toolkits, which provide creative prompts and instructions so that participants can make their own soundscapes remotely. This will take inspiration from the Fluxus and relational aesthetics movements.