Work description by Manuela Ammer
With Sound Walks, Max Neuhaus intended to take the use of everyday sounds in the concert hall, as propagated by John Cage and others, a step further. Instead of bringing sounds to the audience, he took the audience outside to experience the acoustic everyday world on site. The Sound Walks began with Neuhaus asking the audience of the performance/concert to gather outside. He then put a stamp with the word LISTEN on their hands and led the group through its everyday environment. The idea was for people to concentrate in silence on the listening experience until they returned to the point of departure, thus refocusing their auditory perspective. Neuhaus also led excursions to places that could not be entered and that caused noises that could not be recorded. In 1978, he produced a do-it-yourself version of the work in the form of a postcard bearing the word LISTEN, which the owners could place at selected locations.