The fifth issue of the Solitude Journal, titled A Sound Was Heard!, focuses on our sonic environment, sound, and its myriad expressions. Highlighting the importance of hearing both as a physical experience and as a social and cultural phenomenon, the journal explores the different ways in which sound affects the body, travels through space and time, and shapes our perception.

Dr. Anne Fleckstein — Jul 4, 2024

Akademie Schloss Solitude - Greetings

Covermotiv: Iannis Xenaxis, study for Polytope de Cluny (light trajectory diagrams), c. 1972. With kind permission by les Amis de Xenakis. All rights reserved. For the cover, the original drawing was processed by Beton.

The 5th issue of Solitude Journal opens with a science-fiction essay, which imagines a world without sound, and closes with reflections on the future of post humanist listening, including the idea of streaming music directly to the brain. In between, the Journal offers a wide range of contributions by former Akademie Schloss Solitude fellows, exploring different aspects of sonic experience, from historical technological media developments to artistic experiments and political dimensions of sound. Former fellows contributed with writings, audiovisual material, and experiments. Some bring us closer to an understanding of non-anthropocentric music, sharing notions of sound that take into account the experiences of both human and nonhuman entities, advocating for interdependence. Others delve into the history of radio technology, the evolution of domestic technology, and media theory or shared pieces that explore the intersection of sound with cultural and social dynamics. They discuss linguistics, the evolution of instruments and musical and poetry genres, and the questioning of social norms, particularly in relation to gender, identity, and cultural tropes. Some of these authors speak of sounds and voices that have resisted oppression, expressing mourning and resistance, focusing on the voice as a tool for social change, exploring breath and body work or karaoke as a communal and transformative practice. In her conversation with Dzekashu MacViban, Edna Martinez writes that through her experiences as a DJ and music curator, and also by working closely with her communities, she has »witnessed how art can serve as a catalyst for social cohesion and collective expression, transcending linguistic, cultural, and geographical boundaries to create meaningful connections and shared experiences among diverse communities.« Echoing Martinez’s words, other texts recount how experiencing people, spaces, and various entities in relation to sound shapes manyfold experiences, mobilizing a force of utopian visions that provoke our imagination and memory. With this in mind, I hope that Solitude Journal 5 – A Sound Was Heard! transcends the confined formats of the written word and sparks multidimensional experiences as sound travels time and space. I would like to thank Denise Helene Sumi and Jazmina Figueroa for their profound work and commitment as editors of this issue of the Solitude Journal, as well as the entire team at the Akademie Schloss Solitude. Many thanks to all the authors of this issue for their contributions and to everyone who worked on Solitude Journal 5 – A Sound Was Heard!

I hope you enjoy reading the contributions and listening to the sounds!
Dr. Anne Fleckstein