IMPROVe

IMPROVe is a piece, a workshop method for listening to and working with everyday sounds and a live performance.

It involves different modes of listening which ranges from pure listening to one’s surroundings to collecting of sound objects to improvisation with the collected sounds.

The essence is to explore different modes of listening to our reality and to be more aware of all the sounds that surrounds us in our daily life. Also to discuss and explore musical structures through simple musical improvisation with sounds.

An IMPROVe workshop starts with a sound walk in the city or the site that is explored. After that sound objects from the site are collected with recording devices. The sound objects are then gathered and listened to in the workshop group where also a discussion about the city or site that has been explored takes place. The disussion can range from a very concrete discussion about the specific sounds to a discussion about city planning in the area. The last step is to use the sounds in a musical improvisation between the workshop group members and the audience. By going through these steps the workshop participants have been exploring different modes of listening – from environmental to musical.

IMPROVe started out as a collaborative project with Zeenath Hasan in 2006. It has been carried out as sound workshops and live performances at many different places. The workshops have genereted a large collection of sounds from many different cities and sites. Some of the workshops have resulted in soundmaps.

IMPROVe is also a simple sound loop instrument for playing with sounds and the first version was made for mobile phones. By using a mobile phone as an instrument we wanted to explore the mobile phone as a medium for the exchange of everyday sounds within communities and across socio-cultural contexts by mobilizing the potential of the mobile phone as a tool for the production of everyday sounds.

Read the theoretical background of the project here.