Shazam Walks & Voice Notes

Online performances on various platforms. 10/05/20-Ongoing.

The global pandemic has temporarily transformed the way music is listened to in East London. In the absence of licensed premises or large corporate music festivals, most of the music that is heard in public spaces is generated by the communities that live there. Using a mobile device, I have been recording the soundscapes of various squares and parks, where bike-speakers and portable sound systems often create ad-hoc, community-generated listening environments. I use fragments of the recorded audio and the original tracks (identified via the music-recognition app Shazam) as counterpoints in abstract DJ performances. As well as celebrating the diverse and vital musical soundscape of East London, the work seeks to reframe portable and public musicking as a vital tool for opening up thresholds of possibility and constructive disorder in the city.

I will be further exploring the politics of this work in a paper for the Birmingham GCfE conference Communities in Europe in May 2020.

See also: Shazam Walks & Voice Note 1 – Gillett Square.


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