making spaces better for people

Still Here

DCIM100GOPROStill Here

by Alyssa Moxley and Ramona Stout

Still Here is a soundscape of the island of Santorini, in the Cyclades, Greece, recorded and composed by the artists Ramona Stout and Alyssa Moxley. Our composition, which includes ambient sounds, talk, and music, aims to explore a shared timelessness.

The visual realm of Santorini is littered with signposts of modernity. There are electric wires sagging across the valley and satellite dishes rusting on roofs. However, the scattered village soundtrack is almost entirely absent of sounds of the modern era. The island has increasingly become a tourist hotspot with local communities replaced by picture perfect facsimiles of themselves.

We have selectively edited our recordings from Santorini to create a timeless map. It is fundamentally inaccurate, romanticized, the aural equivalent of a landscape photograph in which all pylons and road signs have been photo- shopped into non-existence. Yet it is all drawn from the aural environment as it is today, and likely will be for many years to come.

These soundscapes will be transmitted on 5 very low power FM transmitters placed at a distance from each other in an empty room, transmitting on the same frequency. Five visitors at a time will be invited to enter the room, each with their own handheld radio receiver. As they move, listeners reconstitute the landscape and its communities. Visitors can opt in and out of the various soundtracks from around the island, choosing to stand by one transmitter only or journeying to different environments: cliff tops, village domesticity, celebration, church bells, singing, shoreline and docks, terraces, rocks and tall grass.

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