Soundscape Inside Out

Soundscape Inside Out
The project aims to alter the soundscape of my living space. With the ongoing pandemic, I am forced to confine myself at home. Although self-isolation does provide me a safe space from the virus, it conflicts with my will of going outside. My routine has also changed to accommodate the conditions given staying at home such as working out indoors and cooking at home with pantry. The activities before the pandemic such as going to movies or restaurants become privileges that are taken away from me. In an attempt to regain these privileges without breaking self-isolation order, I decide to repaint the sonic picture of my living space with noises I record outside my apartment. I bombarded my home for a day with a soundtrack composed of over twenty recordings of street noise, children playing and construction site sound. What was once a quiet and undisturbed place, now has become sonically busy and noisy.
  • 10 Min Composed Soundtrack 00:00

My final project is to reinvent the sonic space of my living space. In the past few weeks, I have been socially distancing myself at home. It enabled an opportunity for me to contemplate and reflect on my restrained physical relationship with the space I live in. With that being said, I define such relationships as dualistic. I am being sheltered by my living space away from the coronavirus. Yet I am isolated from the rest of the world. I often find myself trying to accommodate my activities to the limits of my living space. The two sides of this relationship, in my opinion, are counter driving. It has become a battle for between well beings and personal freedom. Although I choose my and other’s health and well beings above the freedom of going outside, I am continually holding my urge to break free from my restrained living space.

My final is thus an opportunity for me to attempt to make a change to such a restrained relationship, to alter the sonic space of my home. In doing so, I am trying to gain the privileges of being outside.  For the past weeks, I have been recording noises outside of my apartment. These recordings include sounds of cars, walking, wind going through trees, children playing, elevator doors opening and closing, and etc. I composed these recordings into a ten min soundtrack into a single stream of noise which I played at home for a day. These noises broke the tranquility of my living space, rendering the sonic picture into a lousy street.

To better demonstrate my project, I have created a virtual space of my home with sketchup, which is shared in the following links. I have recorded my work from different locations of my home. By accessing these locations in sketchup with matching audios, the audience can have a better understanding of my work with the aid of virtual space.

  • Bedroom 1 00:00
  • Bedroom 2 00:00
  • Bedroom 3 00:00
  • Bedroom 4 00:00
  • Kitchen 00:00
  • Living room 00:00
I think this work does express my intentions of finding ways to break free my confinement without breaking the social distancing order. The work allows me to reflect on the noticeable privileges and freedom of being outside before the pandemic. Such privileges (the noises of the street in the case of my work) are taken away and no longer accessible. Thus the work also raises many questions while in the process. What are the privileges we have in the “normal” days? What options do we have under the circumstance of self-isolation? How are we accommodating to all sorts of limits of the space we are confined in? Amid the ongoing pandemic and orders of social distancing, what aspects of life are we sacrificing in exchange to combat the virus. I think the circumstance we are facing nowadays is rather rare. Rather than finding ourselves troubling, we should take advantages and use this as an opportunity to examine and question our experience in both normal and extreme moments.