Artist Turns Living Rooms Into Immersive Listening Experiences

Artist Turns Living Rooms Into Immersive Listening Experiences

Shanghai-based sound artist hacks apartments in Shanghai to create musical environments.

Plus Aziz
  • 29 august 2012

Sound artist Yan Jun‘s Sonic Living Rooms is a traveling project that comes to people’s living rooms in Shanghai. The artist sets up listening experiences with speakers around the room, blindfolds guests, and gets them to focus on really listening to music as a cultural, immersive experience, in what can be referred to as ‘musical hypnosis’. He also invites other musicians and artists to collaborate in improvisational sessions. According to Yan Jun:

If we say music is a collective activity, a ritual or a communication: we should redefine what collective, ritual and communication is, and I believe it happens anywhere. The only thing we should do is to trigger it…so now you can book me for a concert.

What this project does is force people to look inward and pay attention to music by blocking out other senses. It also domesticates an experimental, deeply sensory musical experience and enables urbanites to host highly unique creative parties. Jun creates the Sonic Living Rooms as a way for people to reflect inwards and discover themselves:

You enter the state of aloneness through listening. Aloneness does not solve any problem immediately. It is only to make you exist by yourself…my logic is that we exist in the world alone. We have to make efforts to admit and face this fact. Only after its acceptance, we could be with other people who are also alone. We should not hide or pretend to forget this fact by hanging out with friends, eating, drinking together, or getting married. I am not against having parties and staying with friends. But after the parties, you go back home by yourself.

Even if you go back with your partner, before falling asleep, there is a moment of absolute aloneness. For many people, this moment is too short to be noticed. But I must enlarge this moment, and make it longer, because only in this moment do I clearly feel and understand my existence. This moment, for me, is individual liberation. Aloneness is always good. It is not loneliness, not lacking. Aloneness means you are yourself, you do not lack anything. Aloneness is wholeness.

Click through pictures of recent listening experiences:

Yan Jun


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