Where There Is Nothing 

Direction: Start on the 3rd floor, in front of the exit sign. Facing the window.

Reference Photos

date: Sep 15, 2019
partner: Emma Grimm
type: sound walk

Stage 1 : conceptualizing
One thing I thought was really interesting about the soundwalk was that you can have a completely different experience about one place depending on what sound or talk you are listening to.
Before holding a zoom recorder and start collecting any sounds, we sat and talk about what kind of emotions we want to convey.
This a rough diagram of how we are going to control the level of tention (or emotion) to slowly reach at its highest just before the ending, and give it a contrast when finishing. Starting from there, we were thinking of types of sounds we want to put in juxtaposition to have a “oddness” in emotion.

Stage 2: Mapping
The four section we were conceptualizing was hallway, office, kitchen and a room. Also, we tried to involve diverse place we could find in the building. 
To map them into this builing, nothing could be better than 3rd floor - going up the stairs - then to a classroom on the 4th floor. 
After mapping, we wanted to emotionally engage the listeners. So the next step was to write a script.

Stage 3: Script
-elevator sound fading into synth
Wake up - Close your eyes. Hold your breath. Open your eyes. Turn around - Walk towards the big doors. Follow the footsteps. Keep looking for things in places where there is nothing - Are you scared ? This is not a trick, this is not a dream, this is not a pipe, this is … real life. Just because it’s all in your mind, does that mean it’s not real? Open the door and turn right.
-typing sounds -scribbling sounds -chair scraping soundsTurn left here and follow the hallway.
Look around. People are wearing gray suits, with gray hats. They are called half chair centaurs.And if you stay here for long enough, you will see them turning into chairs. Now turn right. If you stay anywhere for too long, you’ll get stuck. Keep moving. Turn right again.
-restaurant sound fade in -marble sound in the background?
At this restaurant, people eat from empty plates and drink from empty cups.
-sound of eating tomato
Close your eyes.
Just because it’s in all in their minds, does that mean it’s not real? They’ve been eating this meal for a hundred years. Head towards the stairs.
-loud step sounds. (effects?)
-stepping on coins / marbles?
You’ve reached the silent steps. one, two, … , - twenty.
-fade in loud noise and fade out towards the end.COMEPLETE SILENCE ON THE LAST STEP.
-echo of stepsTurn right ahead.
It’s the first door you’ll see.
-nature sound
Are you scared? Excited?
Close your eyes. Now open them. Open the door. With every blink of your eye, a hundred years have passed. Worlds have come and gone. You are here. You are everywhere.

Stage 4: Editing

[panning the voice to give a mysterious feeling]

[sometimes the recoring was going off the bounds..]

Stage 5: Syncronize
The last step was to syncronize the voice over to the place. We counted the steps and put them into loop, to give it a rhythm while walking.
This step was harder than I thought, because everyone has different pace of walking. And it’s easy to make it really fast or slow, unless you try and fix a multiple times. 

It was very interesting to have classmates’ reaction, because everyone had different experiences with our soundwalk. For example, our main emphasis of this sound walk was on the last part, where you are encountered with nature sounds after all the weird mysterious sounds. However, it seems like the mysterious theme and fast pace walk worked out strongly as giving listener sometimes a feeling of horror. I think when you spend too much time editing and listening the same part over and over again, it can be hard to listen it as a first time listener. That’s why you need a critique!

Making Photo!

© ymchoi 2019