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Discussions about sound in the city frequently return us to the question of noise, without giving us space to explore the ways in which this term is difficult to define. Sound is intimately connected to personal experience and our relationship to our surroundings. Beyond the technocratic definition of noise, according to the measurement of decibels it is possible that noise is what we hear when we refuse to listen. a full-stop of sonic experience.

Listening is a process of composing and ordering the ways we attend to what we hear. Perhaps noise is what we edit out of this meaning-making, that which violates a specific order of listening. To explore this theme, KHOJ organised a listening tour of Khirkee and its surrounds, in hopes of bringing a wider world of sound to everyone’s attention and to encourage new perspectives on the city we live in.

The tour was followed by an open discussion in the KHOJ courtyard through which we hoped to arrive at better questions about the city and sound.

Topics included: listening, sound, noise control, bio-acoustics, sound in public space, shared listening, sonic art, acoustic ecology.

Delhi Listening Group is an initiative of Ankur Society for Alternatives in Education & Phonebox Productions. They are a group of practitioners working together to explore listening practices as modes of creative and pedagogical enquiry into the city around us.

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