Sounding Places
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Sounding Places

More-Than-Representational Geographies of Sound and Music

Edited by Karolina Doughty, Michelle Duffy and Theresa Harada

This edited collection examines the more-than-representational registers of sound. It asks how sound comes to be a meaningful ingredient in the microgeographies of place-making through the workings of affect, emotion, and atmosphere, how sound contributes to shaping a variety of embodied and spatially situated experiences, and how such aspects can be harnessed methodologically. These topics contribute to broader debates on the relations between representation and the non- or more-than-representational that are taking place across the social sciences and humanities in the wake of the cultural turn. More specifically, the book contributes to the fertile theoretical intersections of sound, affect, emotion, and atmosphere.
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Chapter 9: The sounds we make: environmental feedback and the entanglements of sonic presence

Daniel Paiva and Herculano Cachinho


Non- and more-than-representational theories have provided new conceptual tools to address sonic phenomena in everyday life, and the literature on this subject is growing rapidly. Within this body of literature, geographical studies on the (post)phenomenology of sound have focused on listening. This line of work has driven geographers’ attention to how sonic phenomena affect human bodies through cognition, emotion or reasoning. However, less attention has been paid to how human bodies contribute toward sonic environments and the affects and ethics involved. Studying sonic feedback on human bodies is difficult at a methodological level because humans are rarely aware of their sonic presence. In order to overcome this issue, I conducted a series of go-alongs and cognitive interviews in Lisbon, Portugal, with ten volunteers. In these, we tried to register and discuss our awareness of our sonic presence, and the affects and ethics involved. The outcomes of this experience show that human bodies can be seen as semi-conductive, as their sonic presence manifests as a ‘feedbacking’ filtered by temporary mood states and personal ethics on sound-making.

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