Sound Surrounds: Field Recordings by Students of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

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about

Sound Surrounds is presented by Phonography Austin in collaboration with the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Audio recording plays a significant role in the lives of individuals with visual impairment, often serving as their analogue to photography, where snapshots of sound can serve as aural memories. Visual impairment manifests across a spectrum, and students at TSBVI have varying levels of vision loss, including a range of deaf-blindness. In addition to recording audio to capture memories or for pure enjoyment, TSBVI students interpret sound to situate themselves in physical space or to recognize familiar voices. For students on the deaf-blind spectrum, sound takes on a more tactile nature, where exploring sounds is about feeling its vibrations with the body.

Through this compilation of field recordings, TSBVI students share a diversity of audio elements and events that represent their everyday lives. The project not only conveys the day-to-day sonic culture in which the students are immersed but also demonstrates self-determination, revealing part of their decision-making process for participation in and engagement with their surroundings through their choices of sounds. From recordings of Preston Phillips’s tactile exploration of the vibrations of an accordion and foot massager to the scratching of Lukas MacDonnell’s cane during music lessons, this project seeks to expand our notions of who listens and how we listen.

credits

released May 11, 2019

Curated by Lacey Lewis and Travis P. Hill
Cover art by Ethan W.
Cover design by Travis P. Hill
Mastered by Alex Keller

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Phonography Austin Austin, Texas

Phonography Austin is an organization dedicated to exploring phonography (the creation and presentation of field recordings as art objects) and acoustic ecology (the study of the effects of the acoustic environment on those living within it).

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