Below I have written briefly about some of the strands of research that inform my creative practise.
Archive for the Influences / Theory Category
Another important strand of my research grew out of my interest in synaesthesia, a condition in which one sensory modality directly stimulates a perceptual experience in another. For example, a synaesthete might be able to hear a colour, or taste a shape (Dann, 1998). I’ve always been fascinated by the visuality of sound, particularly how visual ideas of texture, gesture and transformation can be translated into a sonic language and vice versa. To me, soundscape composition is an inherently audio-visual medium, as our experience of it unfolds in the mind’s eye as much as the ear.
If you’re interested in synaesthesia, you may wish to read an article I wrote, which was recently published in Grey Matter magazine. It’s entitled “Comparing the relationships between music and image-making in the works of Kandinsky and Klee with that of Electroacoustic composers“.
The essay is preceded by a short introduction, which outlines my previous project Sonorous City and how the research for the essay relates to it. To download the full article click the image below:
Dann. T (1998) Bright Colours Falsely Seen: Synaesthesia and the Search for Transcendental Knowledge New
Haven: Yale University Press
Here is a video introducing the Positive Soundscapes Project:
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.
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