Note: This post is in response to Soundwalk 9:09 by John Luther Adams; which “takes its title from the time it takes to walk between The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Breuer: nine minutes and nine seconds. The composition, in two parts ‘Uptown’ and ‘Downtown’.”
As a former student of apparent local celebrity Dan Phiffer, I am familiar with soundwalks overall, and selected this one for two reasons:
Because of its emphasis on mixing the sound in the walk with the sound in real-life: I mostly use headphones to block out the sound around me, not partially take it in. So this was a unique opportunity to experience the mix.
Because of the deliberate timing of the walk. I wanted to see if I could walk faster or slower than the soundwalk would assume. (Spoiler: it ended up taking 9 minutes both ways)
To me, interaction is indeed a feedback loop between two or more people/things that involves them taking turns sensing, thinking, and responding to each other (and, alternatively as Chris Crawford says: inputting, processing, and outputting).
However, interactions come in all shapes and sizes, and unlike Crawford, I feel that the opening of a refrigeration door fully counts as an interaction, just not a very ‘rich’ one.
Some interactions are more ‘rich’ than others, and it seems to be based on the quality with which something performs the sensing, thinking, and responding phase in the cycle. But I don’t think scoring low in one of those categories should disqualify the interaction.
I chose to go to a corner bench area where I waited for my roomate on a day I was locked out of my house. I tried to keep my eyes closed but I didn’t like it. Overall this was a calming experience. I’m going to describe my experience on in a stereo format, with a left, right and middle aural experience.
CAR NOISES PERSIST THE WHOLE TIME – STOP, GO, ACCELERATE, SLOW
car squeak – perhaps brakes or just an axel
Bike chain jingles
chain hits the ground
chain gets wrapped up; the whole time car noises & bird chirps disappear to me – then suddenly spring back…but the jackhammer is gone.
voices, [my own sniffle], a distant laugh
the sound of a storefront gate closing…no wait, just a motorcycle revving up
chainsaw? something like a chainsaw where the jackhammer used to be
child repeatedly yelling a one syllable word (probably ‘mom’)