Evoked Sound #1: Rua do Carmo, Viseu #1: Rua do Carmo, Viseu

“Evoked Sound” is a series of reflections on aural experiences documented through writing, photography, graphics and at times sound recording to capture particular instances of situated listening…

 

Evoked Sound #1: Rua do Carmo, Viseu #1: Rua do Carmo, Viseu
June 2013

The characteristic acoustic reflection caused by buildings facing each other in a narrow street is this time played by two workers replacing the pavement granite blocks. The sharp, high pitched attacks of the hammering create a kind of spatial polyrhythm which is emphasised by the relative quietness. The road is, of course, blocked to cars while the pavement is being replaced which makes the listening from the window so much more staged and I somewhat more voyaristic and self conscious… If they look up would I have to explain I was appreciating their polyrhythms?

The sporadic walkers’ voices also echo up through the sparse soundscape. The surrounding city drone somehow suggests this is a timed event. Once the pavement is replaced  we will go back to the all too familiar granulated textures of tyres driving over the uniform grid of granite blocks that determines the regular resolution of anything that comes in contact with it. This is the same grid that played the cart of the man who used to come round collecting empty cardboard boxes. I wonder whether he is still alive.

 

Rua do Carmo, Viseu June 2013

Rua do Carmo, Viseu
June 2013

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One thought on “Evoked Sound #1: Rua do Carmo, Viseu #1: Rua do Carmo, Viseu

  1. I had a similar experience, Pedro, on a street in the West End of Glasgow today. The street is on a steep hill leading up to Glasgow University and, on one side of the road, the pavement is being replaced. The sound the hammers made as they hit the paving slabs made me imagine that the workers were reading from a score. It was a busy time of day with lots of traffic, but the hammers rang out above all other sounds – unusual in a familiar environment.

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