A hybrid listening across totems and talking wires


  • Juan Carlos Duarte Regino Aalto University


This article unfolds around the notion of hybrid listening
from the perspectives of Hildegard Westerkamp on
totemism, and Pauline Oliveros's proposal of embodied technologies to expand our sensorium [1]: Both composers were led by the notions of ecology and utopia [2] and approached soundscape recordings from a long tradition of technologized humanism [3]. Their contribution enlighten a complex relation between soundscape technologies and indigenous listening [4] This encounter is highlighted with themes from the painting “The song of the talking wire”, by Henry Farny (1904). This approach underlines an attentive listening to wind driven soundscapes amplified through the telegraphic infrastructure.

Hybrid listening means to combine embodied and technologically mediated listening [5] including diversified and non-extractive approaches to technologies for environmental sound [6]. In accordance with the painting’s theme, this article proposes a diversification of these technologies as an emergent agency raising from the discordance between western technologies and ancient cosmologies.