Andrea Cohen and longtime collaborator, Wiska Radkiewicz, are sound artists who have created instrumental, electro-acoustic, and mixed music as well as radio, theatrical and audiovisual works. In 2000 they formed the SoundSon Collective within which they collaborate on various audio projects as well as on pedagogical activities. Their working partnership sprang not only from their shared artistic interests, but also from a personal friendship of many years. Living on different continents (Europe and North America), they have developed their own unique ways of communicating with sounds and of composing online with soundscapes. As a result, they have created situations which allow individual perceptions to merge into a collective sensitivity and expression. The collaborative nature of their activities inspired them to invite artists from other countries to join them in their audio communications.
The guiding aesthetic choice Cohen and Radkiewicz have made in their collaborative work is the principle of composing with sounds captured from the real world. Their understanding of music rests on a sound domain in the broadest sense, including spoken voice, sounds produced by objects, and environmental sounds. Their work is an expanded concept of music, defined as sound organization without prioritizing certain sounds over others.
Their mutual interest in communication with sound and composition with soundscapes inspired a search for an idiosyncratic and experimental approach to audio sharing and collaborative composition, which ultimately became the SoundSon Project, a web-based interface and meeting place which allows composers or students from around the world to collaborate on sound compositions through an ongoing exchange of sounds.
All the collective works created in the SoundSon environment are composed from soundscapes recorded by the participating artists. These recordings constitute a bank of sounds which are then used in the composition. Based on many years of composing collaboratively in this way, Cohen and Radkiewicz have come to believe that the act of attentive sound recording generates an intense relationship with one’s environment, and that by sharing their individual recordings, participating artists share this intensity with others while negotiating both divergences and convergences between individual sensitivities.