There is an excellent series being repeated on Radio 4 at the moment. People who 'listen' in various capacities in their professional life describe their experiences.
I often spend time with students discussing and exploring the difference between hearing and listening. The workshops that we do identify hearing as a passive state as opposed to listening, an act in which meaning is contingent on purpose. There's a great example of this in episode 2 when a violin maker describes the process of listening to pieces of wood before making his selection. Interesting contributions (as ever) from Chris Watson.
Interesting short series on BBC Radio 4 at the moment. Playing the Skyline http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04bgdn0 in which musicians are invited to create work in response to a given view. The approaches of the musicians vary wildly and remind me of the work of Neil Young scoring Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man. The score divided critics:
The other-worldly, sometimes jarring music baffled a few of the critics. “A mood might have developed here,” wrote Roger Ebert in a scathing review, “had it not been for the unfortunate score by Neil Young, which for the film’s final 30 minutes sounds like nothing so much as a man repeatedly dropping his guitar.” Others heard genius. Rock historian Greil Marcus, in his “Ten reasons why Neil Young’s “Dead Man” is the best music for the dog days of the 20th century,” wrote: “The music, as you listen, separates from the movie even as it frames scenes, banter, recitals. It gets bigger and more abstract, and it becomes hard to understand how any film, showing people doing this or that in specific, non-abstract ways, could hold it.”
"I only need to record an empty tin can rolling about for a bit. I can work from this recording for hours and the sound is so transposed and unrecognisable that the tin can disappears. Indeed, from a box of matches can come melody, harmony, percussion...Sound material in itself has inexhaustible potential. This power makes you think of the atom and the reservoir of energy hidden in its particles, ready to burst out as soon as it is split."
Pierre Schaeffer In Search of a Concrete Music (University of California Press 2012)
This quote concisely articulates the breadth of potential in the infinite palette of sounds that is the starting point for all of our work.
A very useful resource from SAM.
This composer's toolkit contains excellent advice for anyone who is starting out in the industry. The toolkit is designed to give composers and sound artists information and advice on how to build and sustain a career in their chosen profession.