When I open my window

By Andrea Sodomka

Memories, dreams and desires during the COVID 19- Lockdown.

This special soundmix is based on an on-going project with Felix, a very intelligent young man, with special needs. He is not able to speak, or to walk by his own, or to go wherever he wants to.

Our collaboration started a few years ago, when it turned out that Felix has a strong interest in music, especially in soundart and electroacoustic music.
And not only that: the melody of the world was obvious to him. Nobody had to explain him that there is sound everywhere.

We then organised a professional recording unit for Felix and he started to record his environment, his daily life. A few weeks later he told me that he found a new language, a new way to communicate, to express himself: via sounds, via fieldrecordings.
And we started to communicate in this language, exchanged messages and ideas via fieldrecordings.

In a next step I used my own machines and sound processing tools to add my electroacoustic and acousmatic sound ideas to the process.

Felix is able to communicate via writing texts, with a special wooden board, equipped with his very own short words and abbreviations.

Felix’s descriptions of the fieldrecordings:

When I open my window
I open the window and then the recording starts. I hear many different voices. But it does not sound like voices. It sounds like a piece of music to me.

Thunderstorm rain
I heard it started to rain. I went out and felt the first drops.
It dripped onto the objects on the balcony and that resulted with the wind and the rain in an interesting tune.
The tune was like tiny speckles on a picture. I loved these speckles, they felt like tingling on my skin.

Melody of the washing machine
I go to the bathroom and the washing machine is running there.
I call this recording the "melody of the washing machine" because the washing machine is moving back and forth, and it sounds a little higher and then lower and then higher.
It starts deep with pumping and deep noises and then slowly, slowly, slowly gets higher, and in parallel always a slightly lower tone is audible, nice to hear.

Recording nothingness
Recording nothingness, no silence, was exciting because I actually heard a lot.
At first I didn't think I heard anything, but then:
I heard myself breathing, I heard my mother be there, I heard the outside be there.
Then soft music played from somewhere, that was beautiful.

Locked in his own body the corona-lockdown was a mirror of Felix's situation.
The situation of a human being trapped in his own body, which we may now better understand.
Faced with a situation that was new to all of us: not being able to move freely, keeping a distance from everybody and everything we were used to and that was important to us.

This composition is a mix of dreams, desires and memories, from sounds recorded out of the window, recordings inside the apartment, archive recordings when it was still possible to travel and go outside.

I use Felix's field recordings to create a mirror of the outside and inside, of being locked in your own body, in your own apartment, in your own soul and imagination.

Concentration on the smallest events, the sharpening of sensitivity.

As a metaphor for a positive perspective, an opening of the inner and outer window.

A mirror of being locked in with a positive outlook...

To open the window in a situation that hardly allows opening.