Undesigning sound: AdriftPM’s Portable Soundscapes
Theatre and Performance Design
Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Reason for embargo
In July 2015, Adrift Performance Makers developed the project Portable Soundscapes: An Acoustic Travelogue, travelling down from Portsmouth, UK, to Thessaloniki, Greece, through Paris, Munich, Zagreb, and Belgrade. Carrying pre-recorded Southsea sound clips in their luggage, they listened out for unexpected voicings, misplaced soundtracks, fleeting sonic passersby. The project was curated as a series of online responses to inadvertent encounters with unfamiliar sonic environments. AdriftPM developed DIY strategies of aural dramaturgy, such as sonic conflations, sonic invitations, impromptu compositions, short poetic responses, and dubious definitions of sound terminology. This project revealed sound design as the enabling condition of a theatre, as the very organizing principle of a performative dramaturgy of listening, therefore effecting a reversal of conventional understandings of theatre sound design, which presuppose theatre as the context and sound as the designed intervention. This article seeks to lend an attentive ear to such unspoken assumptions. What if the complexity of the project posits the listener as both the deviser of the audio project and the spectator of the ongoing process that is the project? What happens when both audience and performance are diffused across a variety of media? What practices of listening, designing and archiving are required when Europe is your stage?
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from the publisher via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 2, pp. 250 - 265