Sonic affordances : the perception of density and calm in Indian cities
Christine Guillebaud, a social anthropologist and an ethnomusicologist, is a Research Fellow at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). She is the co-Director of the Research Centre for Ethnomusicology (CREM-LESC), located at the University of Paris Nanterre.
"I am an anthropologist of sound milieus’. By milieu, I mean a composite world made up of sounds produced, perceived, and listened to either intentionally or coincidentally. This simple definition, centred on the idea of experienced ‘sound worlds’, is inscribed in a wider anthropological undertaking. Vehicular traffic is quite dense in the city, the din of horns deafening, and sidewalks and pedestrian areas nearly non-existent. People are immediately immersed in a very dense milieu that initially gives the impression of a vast chaos of sound. But looking more deeply, one sees that instead of considering the sound space in a single overarching and coordinated way, it is better understood as different scales of listening that are mainly organized around individuals and other non visible entities. My presentation will consider Indian sites (stations and public parks), for everyday public interactions, which involve different procedures for sound perception as well as singular ways to manage the daily flows, individually and collectively. "