- The leader asks the entire group to lay on their backs in a circle, heads facing toward the center. Working with eyes closed helps participants hear each other more effectively.
- Start with a random location that has a lot of sound possibilities. For example, a forest, a city street or a carnival.
- One by one each participant makes a vocal sound appropriate to the location. For example, on a city street you might hear a dog barking, a car horn, the ‘v-rooom’ of a bus, some footsteps, people saying good-bye, a doorbell, a police siren, etc.
- Ask each participant to use their listening skills so they contribute to the environment without dominating it.
- After this initial exploration is done, discuss how to shape it as a composition. Which sounds make good ambient sounds, to be consistent throughout the performance? Which sounds are event-based or story-based, and should appear in the composition only occasionally?
- Once these decisions are agreed upon, do a version of the soundscape that is more intentionally shaped.
VARIATIONS As part of the shaping and refining process, you can create a soundscape orchestra and have the leader ‘conduct’ the participants with hand gestures. Pointing, raising or lowering a hand for volume, a thumbs up asks the person to sustain the sound.