YoungEun Kim
Selected Works
Work List

Ear Training
Single-channel video, stereo & binaural sound
15 min

Ear training is having people listen to sounds played on a piano and identifying the pitch. Such exercises seek to develop accurate perceptions of pitch, one of the most important elements in Western music. Part of Western musical education, this training was distorted in wartime Japan into a military exercise to build soldiers' listening abilities. At the request of the Japanese Navy, it also led to the establishment of the pitch division in the Joseon Music Contest. 

Ear Training (2022) reconstructs the ear training that drills used in Japan's classrooms and among its armed forces around the Sino-Japanese War. The reenactment of this training is based on scores written by students and unit members, interview materials, audio recordings, and works of other researchers studying the times. Through a narrator's first-person experience and point-of-audition (POA) soundscape with the use of binaural (3-D) sounds, the video recreates a collection of enemy aircraft sounds that students listened to in the classrooms and the underwater warship sounds analyzed by the Japanese Navy. Through this reenactment, the work summons forth bizarre auditory events that had been lost to history.

*This video features binaural audio recordings. For the best listening experience, listen with headphones.

#1-2 Installation View at SONGEUN, Seoul (Photo by Jihyun Jung)
#3-5 Still cut

1 min Video Excerpt