E A R S  O F  T H E  O T H E R

12 compositions from field recordings of one-minute each. Premiered at Listen to your City curated by Tonspur, at Knippelsbro Tower in Copenhagen, 2012

In Ethiopia, Kirkegaard asked twelve people to describe their favorite everyday sound and worked with each of them to record that sound. From these field recordings, he made twelve untitled sound pieces, each lasting exactly one minute.

This work aims to listen with the ears of the others. To hear what other people hear and pay attention to.
Upon his first visit to Ethiopia Jacob Kirkegaard decided to record sounds that had significance to the people living there, and who could describe the character of the sounds.
Kirkegaard asked the Ethiopians he met to describe their favorite sounds, the sounds they connected to the place where they grew up or where they live now. At first people weren’t really sure what he meant. He realized that they – like most people anywhere in the world – weren’t really used to really consciously listening to the sounds around them. But when he used a visual metaphor, such as, “Describe the tree in the garden of your grandparents. Are there any sounds that you remember like that?”, the visual metaphor made people respond with their audio memories such as “Yes, I love the sound of coffee grinding, that sound has followed me throughout my life”, or “The sound of the morning just before sunrise, on the way to prayer.” 
Kirkegaard would then invite the person to record the sound with him, or he would record it by himself according to their description. As a way to focus on the essence of these sounds, Kirkegaard limited the duration of each of the twelve pieces to one minute each, much like creating a kind of sonic postcard from Ethiopia.