Äänijooga: Wellbeing Through Sound and Movement

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
P1 OPINNÄYTTEET D 2016 Grayson
Degree programme
69 + 6
This thesis discusses Äänijooga (sound yoga), an event series and practice consisting of yoga sessions done within an interactive live sonic environment. It documents the treatment of sonic composition and yoga routine by linking sonic and physical gesture, somatic philosophy, and discusses comparative practices and participants’ experiences during Äänijooga events. Gentle forms of yoga are done within a sound environment, and both activities are produced in a way as to reinforce and benefit each other. The practice of Äänijooga draws on listening practices such as soundwalking and Pauline Oliveros’ listening exercises and various forms of yoga and meditation. Äänijooga uses a multi­speaker setup, immersive and site­specific sonic environments built with MAX 6, and often uses projected audio­reactive visuals built with VDMX. The placement of projectors, number and placement of speakers, visual behaviour and aesthetic, sound selection and behaviour, and particular focuses of the yoga sequence/asanas are all taken into account each time an Äänijooga event is held in a different space. With certified Slow Flow yoga practitioner Reeta Partanen, we created four individual sessions where both practitioner and artist attempted to mutually shape participants' experiences through using aspects common to movement and sound: intensity, pacing, direction, and sequence. By using corresponding signals and cues in multiple media to guide a participant, the goal was to deepen an individual's presence, clarity, and relaxation, as well as encouraging them to gain new insight toward listening and their body. These sessions occurred in Arkadia International Bookshop, Vapaan Taiteen Tila, Lapinlahden hospital, and Oranssi Klubi. These sessions involved approximately 100 participants in total. Äänijooga as a series continues to grow, taking place in many well­established institutions throughout Helsinki such as the aforementioned spaces and Kiasma. It continues to be my personal and professional goal to establish Äänijooga as its own recognised practice, and introduce its practice and concept to as many different communities and audiences as possible.
Ikonen, Antti
Thesis advisor
Ikonen, Antti
sound, yoga, sound environment, wellbeing
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