A continuación os dejamos la extensa e interesante entrevista realizada a John Grzinich y publicada en Sonic Terrain.
John Grzinich is passionate about sound and listening. Rather than just being someone who merely ‘works’ with those elements, he is deeply involved in the actual experience, placing the listening realm in a very important spot in his life, as a way of extending his artistic practice as such, in order to place sound in his own way of living; a journey, as he calls it. He lives in Estonia, where is constantly involved on projects related to listening, sound art, field recording, among other fields. He also commands the MoKs residency and is very active in several outputs, including art projects, workshops, performances, audio releases and other interesting activities you can explore on his website.
Grzinich’s work is not only concerned with the process of field recording, but the pure act of listening, here understood not just as a way of perceiving sounds but primarily as the art of being deeply being aware not only of sound, but everything that’s resonates in and around us, all the “social and mental” aspects of sound, not valued just as something we just own and collect. As Grzinich suggests, that is something important for us right now, to be able to connect with the environment as a whole structure of life, rather than just a place with objects we perceive.
That is what actually starts the artist’s journey towards the recognition of the sonic environment as a living system in which we establish not just languages, but feelings and experiences, which are actually activated directly from the act of listening itself, where Grzinich’s perspective becomes highly important, as he invites to go to the direct experience of sound that is in fact an experience of embodiment with the territory, so is not necessarily reliant on contemporary technologies, but in the natural act of listening.
This is masterfully reflected in several inspiring ways in which Grzinich works: field recordings, (audio) visual experiments, listening exercises and a well-documented process in which a bunch of ideas and practices (several of which he openly shares) converge, making him an artist we all should pay attention too. If there’s something exciting in our way of discovering the fact of sound/listening, is to find people who not only shares that passion, but is also kindly enough to share what’s behind their vision and experience.
John Grzinich is a great example of that, since his way of valuing listening has an implicit intention of sharing, learning and activating sound not just in the individual experience but also in the collective way of sharing ideas, of creating community towards sound. That’s why I initially got interested to know a bit more about his perspective, so after some e-mail interchange, he finished the following interview.