I’ve been watching walking tours on YouTube, which are videos posted to show what different towns and cities are like around the world. There’s a continual flow of new videos being posted all the time, some taken from live-stream events, and others shot as a specific tour. I started by visiting places that I have been, and places where I would like to go as we come out of lockdown. The restrictions on travel have given me a new appreciation for the art of wandering about a place to explore what it is like. Just walking and taking in the sights and the sounds. As the video cameras have become smaller, and the quality of the recordings have improved, it’s possible to watch these videos in hi-definition. The gimbals and the image stabilisation processing gives a much smoother flow to the walk that was possible only a few years ago.
I’ve included four soundwalks in this episode of the Distraction Therapy podcast to give a flavour of what is being captured and shared in these videos. Are they a new form of documentary? There is minimal narrative, few use voice-overs, many don’t use music. They do give a great sense of time and place, and I’m sure they will develop a set of generic characteristics that fit alongside other forms of slow media.
Virtual Explore: Night Walk Around Ikebukuro Tokyo – Japan Walking Tour 2021 https://youtu.be/3hsG1V5Jd20
Samuel Rex: Leicester Afterdark, Walking in Leicester on a Saturday Night https://youtu.be/ORM5b7i05RU
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Go Explore: Montpellier Summer Walking Nightlife Tour https://youtu.be/Hm7nDNWsA2U
Night Walk in Lisbon, Portugal walking tour https://youtu.be/jlLZCXc-sto
Music this week is:
Amor Fati – Washed Out – Within and Without
King’s Lead Hat – Brian Eno – Before and After Science
Saudade (feat. JP Enfant) [Ambient Mix] – Tom Trago – Saudade
I’m a Fool to Want You – M. Ward – Think of Spring
Cartoon People – Freddi Henchi – Tribal Rites
Black Teeth – Syml – Dim