Olivia Poloni
Humming and memory

I’m interested in Olga’s notes on imagining things that are invisible and the use of humming to explore this concept. Using sound, humming and vibration to unlock images that were perhaps locked in the subconscious. Korean sound artist Suk-Jun Kim has an ongoing public sound project asking contributors to hum songs from their childhood, utilising humming to conjure memories and images from childhood.

In tune Out Of Tune – Berlin Humming (2009)

I hummed a tune to both my children when they were infants. I didn’t know the name of the song or the lyrics, it was just this random upbeat tune that unconsciously came out of me the first night I soothed my first born to sleep. It stuck around for years, this happy hum with no cognizant origins. Years later during a random family occasion my Aunt picked up her crying grandson and started humming the exact tune to console him. A wave of emotions spread across my body. I hadn’t considered that it was a tune that had been locked up in my mind from infanthood and burst its way out at the very moment I transitioned into motherhood, and that this very thing may happen to my children in the future. I have a complicated relationship with this Aunt which makes the whole thing messed up.