Role of explanation when listening to strange sounds

Hi. I am listening to the Composing with Process from MACBA. It is a hmm a podcast serie of thematic episodes, with works of sound art from 20th century onward curated in 2010-2013 by Mark Fell and Joe Gilmore. I am in episode 6 out of 9, and i came across it here on lovely lines.

The format is that most of the episode mostly consist of strange sounds (eg I just had the pleasure of listening to white noise recorded in churches for like 10 minutes), interwoven with a by now familiar, I admit very captivating voice talking about history and philosophy of sound and sound art relating to the theme of the episode. The voice explains how the process and system was constructed, the performance or recording was produced, what the artists have themselves claimed about the work, intentions, sound research &c.

I must say I really like this format. I have heard a lot of strange sounds on my life. Many of them were just that, strange sounds ¯\(ツ)/¯. They could have been anything really, and as someone who has been relatively uneducated on these matters, I had little to pay attention to besides “do I like this?” Narration, and in the case of Composing with Process, narration of the process or system the sounds of which we are listening to is what makes a huge difference. This serie is the best listening experience of my life.

That’s just me. Do you prefer to be introduced into the sounds you are about to listen, maybe how they were created, what phenomena they are inspired by, perhaps what gear was involved? Or rather just listen to other people’s sounds?

In addition, do you like to narrate your own sounds, or when someone else narrates them? Or rather not? Of course a place like lines is where the process, gear and intentions gets discussed.

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Oh! Would you mind sharing which episode that was? Sounds right up my alley

I have not listened to those but here is my 20 chars:

I believe that the gear involved is irrelevant, yet the phenomena inspired by and how they were created seem like much more important. With those two you can be influenced to make your own explorations, happy accidents and get more knowledge; the gear will not steer you towards that.

Gear is and will always be irrelevant in my opinion, as they are mere tools to achieve something (also don’t forget the economic barrier that gear implies; where i live the gear is the same price as everywhere else, but not the income).


It was 6.1, the one on space. I honestly don’t know if it was 10 minutes, but that is what it felt like.

In Composing with Process the second episode is excluding artworks, in 6.2 from Stephan Mathieu and Russell Haswell.

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i sometimes like encountering sound w/o context but prefer knowing something about the artist, tools, and framework

frankly, i might not even listen to a piece or attend a performance without some incentive…there is too much great music available these days

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