Manual: How to Listen (Swoon/Dave Bonta.)

Manual: How to listen from Swoon on Vimeo.

Video by Swoon
Text by Dave Bonta

Just as the tail bone is a vestigial tail, the ears are vestigial cabbages.

Wear a hat to ward off ear worms, which if unchecked can turn into ear butterflies.

Listen with the heart. It’s not really designed for that, but it gets bored just pumping blood all the time.

Listen with your skin: each body hair is an antenna.

Turn on, tune in, drop into a really comfortable couch.

That “still, small voice” is neither God nor conscience but a long-deceased great aunt with a few things still on her mind.

Take notes.

All sound can be heard as music, but not all music can be heard as music.

Your life did, in fact, come with a soundtrack—what have you done with it?

The listener, too, must improvise.

One chord is enough for most purposes—don’t be greedy!

Silence can take four basic forms: pregnant, shocked, utter, and radio.

Pregnant silence is the most tragic, since she always dies giving birth.

Compose in her memory a sonata for the ear trumpet.

Swoon (AKA Marc Neys), born 1968, lives in Mechelen (Belgium). He has produced over 90 videpoems and collaborated with various writers in different languages. His videopoems and Shorts were shown at international festivals all over the world.”Like all good art, the work of Swoon transports us to a state. It is a state of attention and reverie at the same time, where the artist shares with us his own intense experience of the moment, and then sends us each on our own inner investigations.” (Yahia Lababidi)

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