Do you feel the sound or are you just listening?The Soundctuary is an experimental "temple" that tests a new building typology dedicated entirely to sound, voice and audio related activities, a stage for artists, storytellers and deep listening sessions and a go-to sanctuary for the local community.
The Soundctuary is a temporary temple/community center focused around sound/audio/voice related activities. An architectural experiment to test a new building-typology: a gathering place for locals and visitors to experience soundworks & performances without the distraction of the other senses. A stage for (sound)artists, performers or anybody else who wants to share a story or hold a discussion. And a sanctuary to hide if one wishes to escape the visual world and consciously focus on the act of listening. The idea for this new type of space is drawn from a number of underlying concepts:On an individual level, listening is often just a background activity while we work, drive or focus on other senses, difficult to deeply immerse oneself into, especially in today’s quick paced noisy urban environment. The author believes that a specific space for listening will deepen our listening experience, be it music or the human voice.On a cultural level, concert-halls are labeled “cathedrals” of today’s cities, suggesting that culture and its institutions took over the role of religion in our modern lives, and facilities like theatres, galleries or clubs became the hotspots of the new civilization. While sound plays an important part in many art fields, it lacks its own architectural space, which would be dedicated solely to the act of listening. On a community level, an analogy is drawn to traditional temples that serve(d) multiple purposes such as spiritual, educational and comunal ones. But since mainstream culture separated from religion, the Soundctuary suggest to become the new experimental platform and go-to-place in the neighborhood for sound-related events and contemporary ‘rituals’.The Soundctuary will experiment with “deep listening” and “healing sessions”, which will focus on an individual listening experience and “storytelling” and “community sessions”, which will provide a stage for sound artists and locals to engage. Apart from events, it also houses a set of shrines that examine the power of the sonic medium.
01 / Deep Listening Sessions
Often being just a passive activity, listening to music rarely occupies our senses fully. Even when attending performances, there are many disruptive elements: the distance toward the performer, the crowd, talking, watching, dancing or the fact that we have to stand or sit. Factors, that all distract from the core activity: the experience of pure listening with everything else shut off from the mind. These Deep listening sessions aim to create a space and atmosphere where people can go to put themselves in a state most comfortable to them (sit/lie/stand) and purely focus only on the sound/music, without any outside distractions. An individual intense activity, that exposes 100% of our sensory capacity to the music. After the session, the experience can be shared with other listeners.
02 / Healing Sessions
Temples and other religious places were always a place to find comfort, healing and release. Again, music today took over a big part of this role. When we are sad, pressured or angry, we usually listen to certain tunes, whether this happens at home, in the car or at the bar/venues. But none of these facilities were designed and dedicated to the act of listening music for the sake of healing and don't provide the necessary atmosphere. In the Soundctuary, these sessions will offer thematic settings and experiment with accessories to create a place dedicated to relaxation through soundwaves.
03 / Social Listening Sessions
aim to connect listeners and the local community with sound artists through participatory performances, that usually take place in galleries or other multifunctional places. Movies have cinemas, dances-clubs, plays-theatres, concerts-venues but no facilities are dedicated to the sound and soundart itself. The Soundctuary takes over this role as the local go-to place, familiar to members of the local community, to experience and organise sound related events.
04 / Storytelling Sessions
are meant to convey a story through sound collages with social/historic importance to bridge gaps between generations or different groups. An issue also present at Taipei’s Treasure hill, formerly a Military dependents village, with a gap between the younger and former inhabitants. Older generations have life experiences they feel important to pass on, which we often can’t relate to anymore or don't feel interested in. These sessions aim to transform those stories into contemporary formats (e.g. sound-collages including testimonies, historic radio outtakes, soundscapes) so that any generation can relate to it and have a common, understanding listening experience.