The Reduced Listening Player is a sample bank that represents many audio clips collected by the students of the course Sound Matters from 2012 and 2013. After reading the Michel Chion text The Three Listening Modes, each student is asked to record 20 sound samples between 1 and 10 seconds in length that can be experienced in the mode describes as “reduced listening.” As Chion describes:
“Pierre Schaeffer gave the name reduced listening to the listening mode that focuses on the traits of the sound itself, independent of its cause and of its meaning.3 Reduced listening takes the sound—verbal, played on an instrument, noises, or whatever—as itself the object to be observed instead of as a vehicle for something else.”
In Sound Matters, students used these reduced listening clips to build audio compositions, but they were presented in the 2013 exhibition Earlids as an interactive player that visitors could use to mix sounds and blend textures. Here is another variation using an automated Max patch, the Gravitas Phrase Generator, to launch the reduced listening samples.
Sound Matters is a course led by John Roach, a sound artist and full time faculty at Parsons the new School for Design.