SoundShare Nights...Happiness is Only Real When Shared



Slowly as the dark winter nights grew into clear-lighted Kallio afternoons and never ending sunsets, the Soundshare nights formed a space – warm nest for those birds who fly in most diverse airs but share interests in sounds, whether it’s educational, professional or recreational.  Facilitated in cozy atmosphere by our wonderful Host, meetings provided opportunity even to the most socially awkward person like I am to truly share – our insights, different perceptions, observations, feelings, backgrounds and experiences, and comfortably engage with others in intimate processes of creation and performance, with little to no difference of one’s educational background (specifically presence/absence of it in music/sound) which is cheerfully exciting. Activities were from different kinds – observational, reflectional, creative, exploring, playful... While exploring our listening (ourselves) and sounds we were experimenting with technologies and talking walks, screaming our lungs out and catching silence, getting lost between two ears and sinking deeply in the voice of other.  And somewhere in the middle of that all I found my own surprises and treasures.

To me it all started as I came across these sessions as an exchange student in Theatre Academy (in fact Sound Share nights is one of the open study courses in University of Arts Helsinki) for MA in Ecology and Contemporary Performance. Although I learned about sessions after they had already started, I was very curious and my intuition told me I need it. Ironically my previous educational background is Professional BA in Music Performance (Harp).

During my years in Conservatory (Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music) I was always taking free choice courses in Composition and Electroacoustics in order to broaden my knowledge thus elaborating my creative skills. It was only in my final year after taking Accoustic Ecology course when I felt I’ve finally understood what I wanted to understand – what was actual knowledge I was chasing and looking for everywhere since I remember myself (i.e. to get know everything about everything so I can perform/compose all the crazy things what come into my mind but are too unfamiliar to express in classical Solfeggio terminology and too complicated for me to crack them down and ask from teachers, or ever grasp them just by myself and achieve(write down or perform again))- turned out that what I needed first of all happened to be exploration of my own perception and defining the vocabulary secondarily, and not constant outside search (also finally paying attention to my own tinnitus and following check up by Doc, who just suggested to trust my own ears more – turned out I have absolute pitch). After taken course in Accoustic Ecology which was all based in raising awareness of sound qualities and its characteristics I finally could refer that I start to truly “see” sounds and “hear” spaces – something what I was struggling all my life because of feeling sonically “blindfolded”.

Reason behind my kind-of-sinesthetical faulty expressions is quite literal – I can’t extract my senses (visual, audial, tactile and others) one from the others and my soul suffers deeply when there’s a dark void somewhere in my perception... (maybe I need a course of Accepting One as a Human in some school) :). I realized that I need to take every possibility what comes to continue explorations but also be aware of psychological/physical limits, and this is something what I particularly learned about during Sound Share Nights. E.G. - in one of the last sessions, during listening walk, I obsessively chased my obsessive dynamics of “stalking” the sources of origins (i.e. is that sound real or am I tripping), and for that I realized it’s better to accept that sometimes there will be no explanations available – and how to deal with anxiety then? What does it really mean to me, to others, as same experiences where verbalized from group?  This is one of the questions I’m looking forward to obsessively chase further... and not alone hopefully. And preferably.

So, probably the best gift one can receive is to meet the other. Formations of different personalities are always challenging and truly inspiring occurrences. As different people with absolutely different professional backgrounds and knowledge about the sound entered our shared space with other Temporary visitors (busy in their own activities), one could not help but enjoy multi-dimensionality of this event. Sometimes one could witness (including facing own insecurities, guilty pleasure, or slight embarrassment) how these multiactivities would interact or what kind of possible effects they could bring (imagine for a moment a group of people performing “crazy sounding” (mostly dodecaphonic) choral improvisation few meters away from deeply concentrated programmer in process, or laughing until we cry about some fantastic micro cooking videos done with the “autonomous sensory meridian response” technologies, and this all happening in the candlelight, next to taxidermified reindeer...).  

A lot of my discoveries were concerning group dynamics, especially in creative modes (e.g. effect-cause improvisations or those after collective drawing etc.) – we were really united and subconsciously driven to each other in many different ways more than I would ever expect (like implicit desire to run together in the same direction instead of being on each own – thinking about it leads me to conclusions that maybe participants were wholeheartedly appreciating being together and to enjoy this opportunity kind of gave up self oriented artistic “sovereignty”).

There were a lot of fun moments, but to me the most beautiful and dear thing (and here I would like to thank my intuition finally) was to see and hear each participant as eternal sunshine of the whole of the consciousness. Isn’t it such an intimate thing – how we feel, how we hear/see/inhale/taste/x this world, and I think it takes a lot of bravery and elaborated skill to put it in words for others to absorb. I’m deeply grateful for each and every single person who was there and shared their sonic realities and impressions because it does make the world richer and expands our own selves through empathy, and it means particularly something very personally special to me.

I remember my first impressions – I truly assumed that all people where sound artists/musicians/engineers because of how intricate and fascinating were their insights and notions but in fact most of them had no sonic training whatsoever! And I deeply respect and understand one who said that she/he does not want to get any “official” training/learning for his/her work for many reasons on which I can also agree, being a product of musical education myself (indeed sometimes feeling more like a victim of it...). 

To me meeting all those incredible people was something that most importantly gave me (new) hope in greater openness and possibilities to connect and communicate despite all differences and obstacles what could occur. I consider myself lucky for being there and having witnessed how people could get across their thoughts and feelings.