A couple of weeks ago while I was walking around Ystad I came across this sign saying “The Distant Sound” project. Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? Here is what’s that all about:
I was wondering if there was some device needed to hear those tunes or was it just cutting through the air. I decided to go to the very end of the pier in the marina harbor in Ystad, one of nine places along the Scandinavian coast you can hear the project from, and check how it works.
I went there on Tuesday and missed it by four minutes! I didn’t have time to wait another hour so I had to come back some other day.
On Wednesday I got up early, for my standards, and got to the pier 20 minutes before noon, just to be sure I wouldn’t miss it again. I was a bit preoccupied the tune would not be audible because there was a beach volleyball tournament taking place on the beach next to the pier, with loud music and lots of people laughing and shouting. There was also a motorboat dragging a water skater behind, the boat had big speakers on the roof and was playing very loud music too, was it for the benefit of the skater? I don’t know. Despite of all that I still wanted to wait and hear the sound. I lied down on a bench at the end of the pier, I turned my face towards the sun and waited.
One minute to noon something strange happened. As if someone opened a corridor in the air filled with white noise… Made me think of “Contact”, the movie with Jodie Foster, in which she was listening to all those noises from deep space. That felt incredible! Everything else around seemed to cease to exist… the sun was still there, the warm breeze from the sea was there and there was I….sitting on the bench, listening to the white noise… At noon sharp the first distant sound came to my ears… a horn, then another one, and one more. A tune…, a melody… I would not call it anything like that, but it was played in a sequence and it was very different from what I had expected. And yet it was surprisingly nice and inspiring.
A minute passed and the distant sound along with the white noise was gone…
The experience itself is indescribable. I can’t call it beautiful. It might even be disappointing to some of you but either way I think it was worth listening to. And I encourage you to go to one of those nine places of the Distant Sound Project by Susan Philipsz and to hear it yourself. You have time until 21st of September 2014, every hour per one minute between 10am and 6pm.
Enjoy and let me know what you think of it.