Wander-listen: a method for exploring a city with the goal of seeing and hearing new aspects of the built environment; a process for seeking out new experiences in either familiar or unfamiliar territories.
I usually like to start by looking at a map and finding a place to try to get to that I think will sound interesting. This could be anything from a train yard, heliport, pedestrian bridge, shipping pier, a busy intersection or a large corporate fountain. Then I plan an initial route based, again, on the listening potential of the method selected. I’m a fan of the noises heard while walking and on public transportation. The best scenario is when I can take my time. It allows me to make decisions of movement based on what I hear. I can stay on the subway an extra station or exit a couple stops early. I can follow a garbage truck for a while in whatever direction it might be going or investigate a new noise in order to discover its source. I allow listening to guide my movement and I follow what I find to be of interest. Even when I have someplace that I need to be at a particular time, I try and leave several extra minutes for getting listening-distracted.