Tuesday's thoughts March 24, 2011

This year's festival is sensual – and already it is grabbing us with all of our senses. We started yesterday with sounds, smells and tastes, both academically in the Estonian National Museum, and practically, tasting delicious food in Mooste manor. Tuesday continued by adding to these senses the visual. At the festival opening, we were eating the „festival flesh“ in the form of potato porridge. We'll see if by the end of the week our seventh sense will be discovered...

At Monday's workshop, Contours of Sound, there was a lot of talk about how the senses are related to each other, and we experimented by separating things that usually go together. We tried out whether the world of sounds could stand on its own, or will it start looking for an image as soon as the latter is missing. Indeed, which are the sounds that make us imagine more of visual images, and which soundscapes create something else, something independent? Whether human voices or animal cries will make an image more easily than a thumping of an MRI-machine? Or whether we feel the harsh winds of Nepal on our face, just by hearing them from the loud speaker? Or will this sound create its own reality, which has nothing much to do with Nepal?

So the question rises: whether the world that we hear is really the same world that we see? A temptation comes to answer – not quite the same, if we here in Tartu hear the laboratories of Harward university. When we hear sounds taken from a film, then it doesn't matter how visual our imagination is, we never see the images as are in the film. It is a strange experience of separation, especially when we are thinking about the people who see only, and do not hear, or hear only and cannot see... because we may well close our eyes or put ear plugs in, but we can never truly realise what is their way of experiencing the world. Still, viewing has to be recognised as primary of the human senses, there is nothing to do about that. Even the people who work with sound tend to use the filmmakers' vocabulary – travelling shot, close up, general plan, depth of field..

Madli, festival blog keeper

Fabulous tastes from the Mooste food club