Acoustic Ecology website

Date

2008

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Other

Peer reviewed

Abstract

Following a research fellowship with British Antarctic Survey (2003-4) [ http://earthear.com/antarctica.html ] I developed a project with the Centre for Environmental and Marine Sciences (CEMS-Hull University) funded by Leverhulme Trust.

The research had two imperatives: to investigate new technology and field recordings as the sound source for composition; and to interpret the research of CEMS through acoustic ecology. Projects were established with CEMS researchers e.g. Intertidal Ecology Research Group (IEG) led by Dr. Sue Hull, and environmental pollution with Dr Magnus Johnson.

The audio recordings were deliberately evocative, using modified acquisition systems including binaural, Ambisonic, hydrophones, and jury-rigged electronics to evoke a deeper sense of place and take the mind of the listener “into” the audio recording: e.g. Spurn Head, buried hydrophones on the edge of a surf zone and through the duration of the recording were destroyed by the sea thus placing the point-of-audition centre stage; other images included water moving under ice sheets, dead trees swaying in the wind, and the path of a river from source to busy port.

Two prominent phonography record labels published the resulting collection of audio files: Aud Raplh Roas’le (Gruenrekorder, Germany, 2010) and Esk (3Leaves, Hungary, 2012)

The success of this experimental approach to the acquisition process marks a significant insight into the presentation of environmental space from a phenomenological perspective. Issues surrounding acoustic ecology, especially anthropological sound pollution, are heightened when the mind of the listener is taken to these places, to experience them beyond sound documentation. Notable reviews mentioned picturing the ‘Silver surface of the water undulating above us and the stone strewn bed beneath us’ http://thefieldreporter.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/1616/ (accessed 28 Aug-2013), and imagining ‘Undercurrents of engines, low thrums that reverberate below the liquid, implying the earthen basin in which it lies.’ http://www.gruenrekorder.de/?page_id=2693 (accessed 28 Aug-2013).

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Acoustic Ecology

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Research Institute

Music, Technology and Innovation - Institute for Sonic Creativity (MTI2)