How do we visualise the world through our auditory sense?
Does sound shape what we see?
By combining field-recordings from 4 separate locations Sounds from an Idealised World artificially creates a landscape which is visualised through auditory cues. Although the original recordings are unrelated in both place and time our instinctive listening approach creates a singular visual image from what we hear before us. Consequently as the familiar sounds of waves, birds, cicadas and wind-chimes enter our auditory system we listen visually.
Guided by this fusion of sounds we might imagine a tropical coastline where waves softly wash against the fringe of a lush green forest, the chimes adding to the tranquility of the scene. We bring to this our subjective histories, the sights and sounds of a coastline we experienced in the past or images we have subconsciously accumulated through visual media. In this aspect listening is a process which interprets our surroundings by creatively engaging with other senses.
Does the act of listening stimulate a creative process in a way that is unique among the senses? Does the unseen nature of sound spark the imagination in a way that visual cues do not? To what extent does sight rely on listening to help us navigate our way through the world? As Salomé Voegelin says sound invites the imagination – it’s an illusion that we all live in the same world. This is worth considering as we continue to form our idealised worlds through sound.