What’s in a sound?

Text by Mikko Pykäri & Kimmo Modig. Photography by Helen Korpak.

You love the soundscape at your grandparents’ villa. If you’d want your friend to experience it, you’d sit them down for an evening to make them really understand it. Why? Because like all meaningful things, experiencing sound truly requires time and presence.

Now that immersive experiences abound everywhere, from VR gaming to contemporary art’s love of setting up socially engaging situations, sound seems particularly apt for the 360-degree experience. Not only do we need to be surrounded by sound waves in order to experience them – sound is conceptually made for our times. Sound blurs the lines between the listener and the receiver, the signal and the noise, the object and the subject, leaving us unsure whether old, tried and tested boxes and labels still make sense when we navigate towards the future.

Sound radiates hope. It’s a kind of means of emotional communication meant to bring us together by a sonic magic trick: we know that what we’re hearing is shared by people around us – and that’s partly why we’re there – but we still feel like the band is playing exclusively for us. Sound might just guide us to the sweet spot between individualism and collectivity.
The true beauty of sound hides in its lingering: enchanted by sound, you find it impossible to stop listening to it; you’re compelled to stay to hear how it’s going to play out and unfold, even, or maybe especially when the tune is familiar to you. 

Sound radiates hope