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Atenció Attention

by Arnau Sala Saez

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Conversa 04:06

about

The sound pieces presented here mark the beginning of a study around the creative potentials of distraction as a tool for self-knowledge and active listening. In these exercises | use some of the characteristics of attention defined by psychology (amplitude, intensity, oscillation, control) as well as the factors that influence it as reference points to help me maneuver, organise and manipulate sound samples. In this case I used external distractive determinants and the theories of Social Facilitation and the Conflict of Distraction of Gordon Allport and Sanders, Baron and Moore. These carry values that I can apply a priori as parameters to music composition tools. To process the sound source l assign values, compare, or search for those with the highest absolute value. The results in these cases are samples assembled together as long tracks which I have worked on under a wide freedom of decision-making regarding dynamics, probabilities or aesthetic decisions. In this first phase of the project, I have preferred not to put any effort into seeking analytical rigor and instead I have left room for more open and less rigid possibilities at a creative level.
This research also allows me to outline some first questions in a more political dimension which wonder about how different conditions such as ADHD are defined as dysfunctional within a capitalist framework or how the management of attention in a period defined by information overload and new forms of communication which are based on constant and immediate stimuli affect us, thus questioning the idea of success or failure in a social context focused on production. It also aims to explore the opposite poles of some recurring practices from the last decades in "experimental music" or "sound art" such as Oliveros' deep listening or sonic awareness, together with techniques or philosophies such as meditation or Buddhism with the intention of starting a dialogue between these and the idea of distraction in order to explore the limits of attention and investigate new paths close to intuition or unconscious decision-making as a possible phenomenon capable of generating new consciences.

Atenció Attention premiered at Pan-Pan Kolektiva's "Escucha postraumática Breve retiro espiritual crítico" at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, January 2021.

credits

released July 5, 2021

Recorded between April and November 2020 in Barcelona, L'Hospitalet, Sitges, and Mojácar, Spain. Mixed in Barcelona, November 2020. Mastered by Simon Chioini in Montréal.

Some of these sounds have been recorded in Olost in 2019 and in L'Hospitalet de llobregat, Barcelona and Almería, Spain in 2020. Recordings include fragments of conversations and moments shared with Florian T M Zeisig and Violeta Mayoral.

Photograph taken in Cadalso de los Vidrios, Spain.

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Arnau Sala Saez Barcelona, Spain

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