Acoustic Ecology

My work is strongly influenced by experimental music and sound-based artistic practise; in particular Acoustic Ecology, defined by R M Schafer as:

…the study of the effects of the acoustic environment or SOUNDSCAPE on the physical responses or behavioural characteristics of creatures living within it. Its particular aim is to draw attention to imbalances which may have unhealthy or inimical effects.

The Positive Soundscapes Project, a detailed 4-year study, has been trying to identify and find solutions to these imbalances in both London and Manchester. Similarly, the New York Society for Acoustic Ecology has spearheaded several community-based soundscape projects, such as Sound Seeker and City in a Soundwalk, which encourage participants to actively engage with their sonic environment and reflect upon its impact on their daily lives. (NYSAC, 2007: 55)

Although the scale of my work and research may be smaller in comparison, I see my project as running parallel to those aforementioned. Whilst the agency of getting people to engage with certain elements of their city’s soundscape via a composition in a public space may differ from their methods, a common goal is shared –  to heighten the sensitivity of our ears and help us establish a stronger connection with our environment through listening.

References

Schafer, R. M. (1977) The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment & the Tuning of the World, Vermont: Destiny Books

New York Society for Acoustic Ecology (2007) New York Society for Acoustic Ecology, In: Carlyle, A. Autumn Leaves: Sound and the Environment in Artistic Practise, Paris: Double Entendre

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