Listening Devices

January 13, 2018 – Presenter: Alex De Little
This is an open workshop, offered during Free Family Thursday, by Alex De Little, a researcher, sound artist, and composer with bases in Leeds and London, UK. He has been featured in the London Contemporary Music Festival, the Tate Modern, Palais de Tokyo, LEGROOM Manchester and more. He is currently completing a practice-based PhD at the University of Leeds. The workshop explores the Listening Devices in the context of a series of games.
Since we are always already listening, it is difficult to achieve a sense of perspective on how we approach the act itself. If one’s perception of sound is altered or modulated through a listening device, the upon returning to the ‘norm’ of one’s naked year, one may be able to gain some understanding of the act of listening. A listening device defamiliarises the ear and brings sound to the experiential fore and thus shifts the focus away from the default visual priority and habits of the naked ear. These listening devices, designed by architect Lara Karady and sound artist/composer Alex De Little, modulate sound according to specific aspects of our auditory sense, such as the ability to sense direction, the ability to perceive frequency, the ability to hear the distance of an object, or the ability to hear at all. Devices resonate, channel sound, block sound, and amplify sound in certain ways. They are activated by the users’ movement and interaction, and each device provides an opportunity for a particular approach to listening.