Aural Architecture

 

in collaboration with Jamil Haque and Gelsey Bell.

joint-stereo audiovisual media,

2022.

WARNING: Contains some short scenes and fast transitions.

“Aural Architecture” considers aural experiences originating in the mind communicated through sign language and voice. These aural gestalts or perceptual sonic configurations may occur either in the real world or human imagination, be embodied in multisensory modes of expressions, and never emerge the same to everyone.

This work challenges two of the biggest misconceptions about deafness and sound: d/Deaf persons live in silence, and only hearing persons can access sound, both of which are inaccurate. Aurally diverse people embody sound in various ways: sonic, visual, tactile, and imagination. Whatever divergent they are, aural gestalts may be properties that d/Deaf and hearing people have in common.

“Aural Architecture” is inspired by
2013’s multisensory workshop in Sharjah by architect and designer Jeffrey Mansfield that investigates how “pure” sign language which recreates the sensation of sound allows us to listen visually.

 composer & director

Jay Afrisando

signer

Jamil Haque

vocalist

Gelsey Bell

project manager

Terry Perdanawati

camera operator

Arif Angga

camera assistant

Cahya Haniva

film editor

Jay Afrisando

recording, mixing, and mastering engineer

Jay Afrisando

sign language recorded at

Sign Language Center, NYC, NY on 17 December 2021.

voice recorded at

Harvestworks Audio Studio, NYC, NY on 18 December 2021.

many thanks to

gamin

Michael Duffy

STRUM (Sound, Technology, and Research at the University of Minnesota) Electronic Music Studios

Jamil Haque is an instructor and teacher of American Sign Language at Sign Language Center in New York City, New York. A Deaf person, he loves meeting new faces and teaching ASL and Deaf cultures.

Gelsey Bell is a Brooklyn-based vocalist, composer, and scholar. She has released multiple albums, toured internationally, and received awards from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Opera America, the Japan Foundation, and others. Her recent works include the soundwalk Cairns and the dance-music work shuffleyamamba. She is currently a resident artist at the HERE Arts Center where she is developing the opera mɔːnɪŋ.

 

This project was supported by the Jerome Foundation through the Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship 2021-22.