Soundwalking Privately-Owned Public Space

A soundwalk is a guided listening tour that encourages participants to actively consider the sonic dynamics and significances of our everyday environments. The soundscape, as with all aspects of urban space, are infused with power relations and defined by complex orchestrations between civic, commercial, and industrial land uses. This walk was choreographed to weave through various privately-owned public spaces in downtown Vancouver. These spaces complicate the neat binary between public and private, combining elements of private ownership, securitization, and rules and restrictions, with publicly accessible amenities such as shelter, seating, and open space. Using soundwalking as a way to access and assert the right to these common spaces, the walk explored the dynamics of group listening and observation amongst the tensions of spatial ambiguities in public/private divides. Two walks were held in 2017, presented by Vancouver New Music and the International Society for Contemporary Music’s World New Music Days.


  • 2017__World New Music Days, International Society for Contemporary Music, Vancouver, Canada
  • 2017__Vancouver New Music, Vancouver, Canada