Sai Ying Pun

SOUNDSCAPE OF DENSITY: WALKING, LISTENING, AND RECORDING IN MONG KOK AND SAI YING PUN

In comparing two neighborhoods in Hong Kong this PhD project wants to examine the impact of vertical expansion to the listening experience of citizens. Both, Sai Ying Pun and Mong Kok, have an extremely high number of residents and visitors. The soundscape of density manifests itself through the vast amount of sounds compressed into small alleys between high rise buildings. How are the sounds of these dense and overcrowded places perceived? Can differences in sound quality and volume be heard from varying perspectives? How is the architecture of buildings influencing the hearing experience? What are typical Mong Kok and Sai Ying Pun sounds?
Whereas most soundscape studies are connecting sounds to fixed coordinates on maps, this project follows a promenadological (Burckhardt) approach towards an aesthetic of urbanity. It therefore focuses on three ways of locomotion; walking, climbing stairs, and riding elevators. With binaural in-ear microphones a listening experience is simulated. 3D reproduction with headphones give way to virtual sound walks. Recordings are described, analyzed and shared with a community of commenting listeners. Both locals and expats are invited to participate in transect walks in order to find out what residents are hearing in their environment. A comprehensive field diary is trying to close the gap between the multi sensorial experience of listening in place and the virtual sound space of recordings.

Researcher: Andrin Uetz