The lived in world can be sensed in many ways. During this course, two of the world's leading protagonists of field recording and ecoacoustics will delve into sound as a means of exploring and understanding the environments that surround us. Using various approaches to listening, recording and composing, this course will extend field recording as a practice existing between the aesthetic, the artistic and the scientific.
Acoustic recordings of the environment provide extremely valuable information about the health of ecosystems and offer viable means to understand and document the temporal and spatial complexities of changing environments. The emergence of the interdisciplinary field of ecoacoustics has resulted in a dramatic increase in the practice of field recording for artistic and scientific purposes. While the scientific advancements of ecoacoustics have provided valuable ecological information and clear evidence on the future possibilities - listening has not played an active role in many existing studies. Acoustic sensors are often deployed in the field by scientists and analysed using automated algorithms without listening to the environment or the resulting data. Yet listening and our comprehension of sound can inform every stage of the process and dramatically increase our abilities to collect precise information - from selecting locations in the field to recording techniques and analysis.
This course is underpinned by the creative possibilities of sound in understanding our environment. We will explore the importance of listening, the aesthetics of sound and the value of our auditory perception in the comprehension of acoustic data. From micro acoustic sensors to sophisticated spatial sound diffusion, this course will introduce the latest interdisciplinary research and ignite our auditory perceptions to interpret our sonic environment through listening, recording, analysis and creativity. The course will include field recording expeditions, theoretical workshops, experiments with new technologies and listening to immersive sound compositions that examine the health of ecosystems. Participants will have the opportunities to develop their own creative works and will explore how ecological sound artists and composers have propelled scientific research in ecoacoustics. This course will demonstrate the value of our auditory perception in ecoacoustics and the future possibilities of understanding our environment through sound.
Born in New Zealand in 1939 and living in the US since 1973, Annea Lockwood is known for her explorations of the rich world of natural acoustic sounds and environments, in works ranging from sound art and installations to concert music. Her interest in field recording and environmental sound has continued throughout her career. Jitterbug (2007), commissioned by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company for the dance eyeSpace, incorporates Lockwood's recordings of aquatic insects, and two improvising musicians working from photographs of rock surfaces. Her sound installation, A Sound Map of the Danube, has been presented in Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania and the USA. This is a surround 'sound map' of the entire Danube River, incorporating a wide variety of water, animal and underwater insect sounds, rocks from the riverbed and the voices of those whose lives are intimately connected to the river.
Recent projects focused on the natural world include Wild Energy (2014 ), a collaboration with Bob Bielecki - a multi-channel site-specific installation focused on geophysical, atmospheric and mammalian infra and ultra sound sources, commissioned by the Caramoor Festival of the Arts. A double CD collaboration with Christina Kubisch, <i>The secret life of the inaudible</i> (Gruenrekorder) was released in April 2018, and includes a reconceived stereo version of Wild Energy, together with Kubisch's Nine Magnetic Places and newly composed acousmatic works created by each composer from shared sound files.
Leah Barclay is an Australian sound artist, composer and researcher working at the intersection of art, science and technology. She specialises in acoustic ecology, ecoacoustics and sound art through research projects that investigate environmental patterns and changes through sound. Her work has been commissioned, performed and exhibited to wide acclaim internationally by organisations including Smithsonian Museum, UNESCO, Ear to the Earth, Al Gore's Climate Reality and the IUCN. She composes complex sonic environments, immersive live performances and interactive installations that draw attention to changing climates and fragile ecosystems. Leah leads several large-scale research projects including Biosphere Soundscapes, an interdisciplinary venture exploring the changing soundscapes of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves and River Listening, which examines the future possibilities of freshwater ecoacoustics in collaboration with the Australian Rivers Institute. Leah is the president of the Australian Forum for Acoustic Ecology, the vice-president of the World Forum of Acoustic Ecology and serves on the board of a range of arts and environmental organisations. She is currently a research fellow at Griffith University in Australia where she is leading a portfolio of research in acoustic ecology and climate change.
Outcomes for participants:
> Heightened auditory perception through the applied study of ecoacoustics, acoustic ecology, field recording, ecological awareness and deep listening practices introduced through critical enquiry, historical context, interdisciplinary perspectives and practical activities.
> Practical skills in field recording for both artistic and scientific purposes
> Practical skills in editing and analysis of acoustic recordings for both artistic and scientific purposes
> Practical skills in soundscape composition and live diffusion
The session will include daily sound walks, field recording sessions, lectures, practical sessions, listening sessions, editing and analysis workshops, composition workshops, one-to-one tuition meetings and a final concert of work produced. Following the session, participants will benefit from ongoing artist support from CAMP, Fuse Art Space and our array of specialised record labels and publishing imprints, including release, performance and installation/exhibition opportunities."