Shuhua Liu

"Feeling Sound"

Section MS3, Ariel Caine

Keywords: sound, urbanism

Sound is emotional and tactile. Nowadays, society is full of audio-visual information, but most of us ignore these as the fast-paced life. Especially in the subway, which is full of information with sense in the city. The over-crowded place makes people unable to slow down their pace. Everyone walks in a hurry and focuses on their business, they just pass and never pay attention to these things. So this project will focus on the sound in the subway. This sound is normal but very meaningful as it can raise people's memory at that moment and bring them different feelings or emotions. People have different experiences on the subway. For people, the sound in the subway could be a noise, a normal background music, or even a lullaby, etc. Also, this special sound could be a symbol/memory for a city as different cities have its own subway sound. In this project, I will choose Tianjin subway stations as my sound experiments place, where there are not only subway stations but also railway stations and it is a hub with other stations as well.

In this project, I listen for and record various sounds in the Tianjin subway stations and visualise them. Footstep, the moving subway, the workers, the elevator, the news report, the whisper, etc. The sound is divided into two parts, one is outside the subway and the other one is inside the subway. These sounds are presented visually through software. In this process, it is an interesting exploration. The software has become a tool for me to measure and record sounds. I feel the sounds and give it visual form through the software. However, as time progresses, the visual vibration and fluctuations also change. In this process, the software gives these sounds new visual changes. This means that I and the tool feel the sound at the same time and give it visual meaning.