SOUNDING IS ALREADY RE-SOUNDING

What does it mean to be immersed entirely in listening?

Listening with all its being?

To be all ears. 

To tune in. 

To resonate.

If to hear is to understand the sense, then to listen is to be straining toward the possible that is not immediately accessible. 

The sonorous outweighs form and it is made of referrals.

Sounding is already re-sounding: it spreads in space, where it resounds while still resounding in the source. 

In the space, sound resounds in its birth. It re-emits itself while still actually ”sounding” which is already ”re-sounding”. That is nothing but referring back to itself.


Sonorous time takes place in immediacy. 

It is a present in waves on a swell, not in a point of line; 

it is a time that opens up, 

that is hollowed out, 

that is enlarged or ramified, 

that envelops or separates, 

that becomes or is turned into a loop that stretches out or contracts, 

and so on. 

Between sight and hearing there is no reciprocity.

I can hear what I see: a bell, a crowd, a drum. 

But I can never see what I hear. 

In the case of the ear, there is withdrawal and turning inward, a making resonant. But, in the case of the eye, there is manifestation and display, a making evident.

The sonorous outweighs form.

Where the visual persists until its disappearance, the sonorous appears and fades away into its permanence. 

Listening takes place at the same time as the sonorous event — visual presence is already there, available, before I see it. 

Sound has no hidden face; 

it is all in front, in back, and outside inside, inside-out in its appearance.

text according to Jean Luc Nancy’s Listening, 2002

By Mari Pitkänen