Intro to Tips for Collaboration
The work of Found Sound Nation focuses on collaborative creation, invention and discovery. We believe that collaborative creation is a deeply effective way to draw awareness to the beauty, trauma, and hidden potential in our communities. The practice grounds us in a space of listening, compassion and empathy, which underpins all of the work that we do.
Our goal is to facilitate joyful and authentic artistic processes that set the stage for adventurous collaboration, genuine connection, and that center our individual and collective humanity. These processes take place in all kinds of settings – from long-form immersive residencies with professional musicians to workshops with youth and elders in schools or community centers to public art popups in city streets.
At the center of each project are three fundamental strategies that we employ to co-create music and sound. Although these concepts are always in development, for the moment let’s call them: collaborative invention & creativity, social engagement and the sharing of story, and egalitarian dialogue and listening.
By collaborative invention & creativity – we refer to the collaborative generation of new material through improvisation, original compositions, and/or re-imagining, re-framing, and reconfiguring existing music and sound. The mechanisms for doing this are discussed in the rest of this Field Guide, and make up the bulk of the ‘Recipe Book.’ These recipes are designed in such a way to catalyze quick creative impulses, circumvent self-doubt, cultivate an environment of mutual support and generative fun, and catalyze a creative flow in which new ideas – perhaps ones the participants themselves may not have thought possible – emerge unexpectedly.
By social engagement & the sharing of story – we mean that when we bring people from all backgrounds into the process of collaborative creation, much of this work (not necessarily all of it!) is intertwined with connecting with our stories, our histories, our communities, and the issues facing the world. This can take a myriad of forms: Music and sound creation workshops with people young and old; performances that bring audiences viscerally into the stories behind the work; conversations, pot-lucks, and much more. The connections with society might be abstract, in the case of a piece of music based on historical photos or inspired by stories of people in the community. Or it might engage directly with a community, as in a public street studio or a youth workshop.
By egalitarian dialogue & listening – we refer to a process in which all voices are valued, regardless of age, gender, country of origin, language skills, professional experience, background etc., and invited and encouraged to express themselves. We believe that if we listen to each other compassionately and dialogue with respect and empathy, we’ll collectively arrive at the most profound insights and more resonant musical work. Perhaps this isn’t so much a ‘strategy’ as rather part of the ethos that underpins all of our co-creation strategies.