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The Journal of Sonic Studies
Journal of Sonic Studies, volume 1, nr. 1 (October 2011)Jean-Paul Thibaud: A SONIC PARADIGM OF URBAN AMBIANCES

To refer to this article use this url: http://journal.sonicstudies.org/vol01/nr01/a02

Abstract

This paper intends to investigate urban ambiances through focusing on the world of sounds. Although the aesthetics of everyday life implies employing the whole human sensorium, making it difficult to artificially separate the information received from the individual senses from each other, I explore what can be learned about an ambiance when we just listen to it. In other words, how and under which conditions is it possible to develop a sonic paradigm of urban ambiances? The basic argument is to consider sound as a particularly efficient medium to investigate and develop an account of urban ambiances. Various ideas will be explored in order to answer this question, involving theoretical, epistemological and methodological arguments. Three main directions are accentuated: the first one relates to the tuning into an ambiance, the second relates to the unfolding of an ambiance, and the third relates to the situating within an ambiance.