Together with Sound

How sound moves us

Sounds are invisible but hold power. They can move water and minerals. But what does sound mean to us? Is it just something we hear, or can it be more? The organizers behind Sound Stories hope to demonstrate the importance of sound through light, motion, and the shared experience. 

Meet the Host

The Sound Stories residency at the Liberal Arts Engagement Hub was created and hosted by Ritika Ganguly, a composer and anthropologist; Zoe Cinel, an artist and activist; and Nida Sajid, an assistant professor in the Asian and Middle Eastern Studies department

Sound will be a constant discussion throughout the events, but the hosts contend that the biggest change will happen in you. In every event, participants will have the opportunity to play and experiment with sound using an assortment of tools. During the first event, the most popular experiments were with instruments or speakers. But the second event had a lot more people creating tools and playing with light. 

The goal is not to teach about sound, but to open up the possibilities of what sound is capable of for its participants.

Learning From Experience 

Influenced by her participation in the New Works 4 Weeks Festival and a subsequent medical diagnosis, Ganguly became interested in the idea of sound. 

 “There was a moment when my ophthalmologist was describing the diagnosis to me by asking me to look at the details of an angiogram of the eye.” This experience caused her to think about the senses within our bodies. Ganguly also became aware of the fact that she wasn’t able to see what was going on in her eye even though the eye’s job is to see. 

And by coincidence, Ganguly was also experiencing the effects of “a well-organized protest movement in India” that was “bulldozed out of existence, literally… The vehicle was being used to drown out sounds of the protesters, the chants they were chanting and the message they were wanting to send.” These experiences inspired her to bring the residency to life.

The Power of Sound

From the perspective of an activist, Sound Stories became a way of expression using emotions. As an art, Sound Stories activates participants' idea of sound through touch, taste, vision, or smell. 

The Liberal Arts Engagement Hub

Sound Stories is one of eight Hub Residencies for the 2023-2024 academic year. The Liberal Arts Engagement Hub seeks to facilitate reciprocal and trusting partnerships between humanistic scholars in the arts, humanities, and social sciences and the community to respond to important social challenges. 

This story was written by an undergraduate student in CLA.

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