Radical Listening and the People’s Microphony: A Conversation with Elana Mann

“CAN YOU HEAR ME?!” “I CAN HEAR YOU!!” “IT’S A VAN GOGH PARADE!!”. . .were some of the enthusiastic replies when artist Elana Mann, musicianJuliana Snapper, and other members of ARLA (Audile Receptives Los Angeles) arrived on the scene at Occupy LA with giant hand-made ears.  Mann co-founded ARLA in the Spring of 2011 with Snapper, filmmaker Vera Brunner-Sung, and choreographer Kristen Smiarowski.  After studying scores and techniques on listening developed by composer Pauline Oliveros, ARLA developed a workshop geared toward Occupy LA that included a listening parade in which they held up the giant ears and protest signs with ears on them. Snapper recalls, “The simple physical presence of people carrying large paper-mache ears was met with a kind of hungry recognition…recognition of what it meant that we were holding the symbols (giant ears).” They led workshops, listening sessions, and discussion groups.  They performed Oliveros’ sonic meditation “Teach Yourself to Fly” and a composition written by Mann and Snapper entitled “People’s Microphony.”  And a project was born.  Through personal interviews and audio-visual examples, I document, contextualize, and analyze its work. (excerpt)

Author(s)
Year 2013
Type Journal Article without peer review
Publication Sounding Out!
Publisher Sounding Out!
Local Los Angeles, California
Language English