"Perspectives on Listening" International symposium showcasing interdisciplinary research in acoustic ecology
In December 2017, Biosphere Soundscapes and the Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre are hosting “Perspectives on Listening” an international symposium and workshop bringing together an interdisciplinary group of researchers to explore the role of sound in our environment.
Biosphere Soundscapes is an interdisciplinary research project investigating the creative and scientific possibilities of acoustic ecology through environmental field recording, biodiversity monitoring and a diversity of creative projects spanning four continents. The project works in partnership with multiple organisations to develop and deliver socially embedded acoustic ecology research in collaboration with the communities of UNESCO biosphere reserves across the world. Biosphere Soundscapes is part of an exciting portfolio of interdisciplinary collaborations across creative arts and environmental sciences emerging at Griffith University.
Perspectives on Listening will introduce the interdisciplinary possibilities of acoustic ecology and ecoacoustics and highlight the value of listening in changing environments. The three-day program features keynotes from Steven Feld (USA) and Monica Gagliano (AU) in addition to panels, research presentations, live performances, immersive installations, sound walks and field trips across the rainforests of the Sunshine Coast and aquatic ecosystems in Noosa Biosphere Reserve.
Steven Feld is a leading American ethnomusicologist, anthropologist, and linguist who will present the 25th anniversary edition of ‘Voices of the Rainforest’ – his composition of a day in the life of the Bosavi rainforest and Kaluli people in Papua New Guinea. The work has touched audiences concerned with ecological integrity, interspecies art, and cultural survival, and remains in popular circulation through Smithsonian Folkways.
Monica Gagliano will speak about plant bioacoustics – a new field she has pioneered by demonstrating for the first time that plants emit their own ‘voices’ as well as detect and respond to the sounds surrounding them. Dr Gagliano is a Research Associate Professor in Evolutionary Ecology at the University of Western Australia and her research is radically transforming our perception of plants and more generally, nature.
The event is endorsed by the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE) and will feature virtual contributions from across the world supported by Arts Front, including artists developing new technologies for live streaming audio in remote locations, scientists pioneering new research in freshwater ecoacoustics and artists from Vanuatu speaking about indigenous perspectives on listening and climate change.
The creative program includes an immersive listening room and the Queensland premiere of Dr Leah Barclay’s new spatial sound installation “Migration Patterns: Saltwater” which features marine hydrophone recordings from the Great Sandy Biosphere Reserve. Perspectives on Listening concludes with sonic explorations through subtropical rainforests on the Sunshine Coast and a closing ceremony in the Noosa Biosphere Reserve.
This is an intimate event with limited capacity, registration for the three days is $120 ($85 for students). Biosphere Soundscapes and the Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre are also encouraging virtual registration and are working towards measuring and minimising the carbon impact of this event as part of an initiative to encourage environmentally sustainable research practices. The virtual registration ($40) is open for delegates anywhere in the world and will enable participation from community collaborators in remote locations across Mexico, India, Indonesia and Vanuatu.
‘Perspectives on Listening’ is a dynamic participatory event encouraging dialogue and collaborations that continue to promote Queensland as a global focal point for acoustic ecology. The outcomes from this symposium will inform the development of Biosphere Soundscapes programs in 2018 and build momentum towards the International Ecoacoustics Congress, hosted in Brisbane in June 2018.
Explore the program and register here:
A series of free one hour listening walks for all exploring our suburb and its surrounds throughout October.
Five artists explore the notion of a Soundwalk through their personal practices.
Anthony Magen (landscape architect)
Ben Byrne (musician)
Martin Kay (field recordist)
Polly Stanton (AV artist)
Prithvi Varatharajan (Poet)
check www.walkingbrunswick.com for dates and specific details of each unique walk.
Australian Wildlife Sound Recording Group 2017 Workshop and Conference
6th – 11th September, 2017
Camp Cypress, Baradine, NSW.
AFAE Members are preparing to venture deep into the Pilliga forest for a week of listening to the natural world – sharing the skills and experience of nature sound recording for a variety of purposes, ranging from scientific research, to artistic responses.
The event is hosted by the Australian Wildlife Sound Recording Group at Camp Cypress near Baradine, on the edge of the Pilliga forest, the largest expanse of contiguous dry woodland in inland NSW, and a wonderful area for birdlife and wildlife sound recording.
The workshop will be a week of expert presentations and discussion, covering all aspects of wildlife and environmental sound recording, including:
Workshop facilitators include AFAE President Dr Leah Barclay, AFAE founding member Dr Ros Bandt and AFAE board member Andrew Skeoch who is the president of the Australian Wildlife Sound Recording Group. The week will also feature presentations from Jennifer Ackerman – science writer and author of ‘The Genius of Birds’, ecoacoustics specialist Michael Towsey and a range of other presenters you can explore here.
The workshop and conference is suitable for beginners, field naturalists, student and professional researchers, artists/musicians and anyone interested in engaging with the natural world more deeply through listening and acoustic ecology.
Download the program here or explore further information about the program and registration on the Australian Wildlife Sound Recording Group website.
AFAE Board Member Jesse Budel is currently travelling through the US and Canada conducting research on acoustic ecology. Recently, he met with World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE) founding members Barry Truax and Hildegard Westerkamp in Vancouver, and toured the Simon Fraser University studios and World Soundscape Project archives. Jesse will be writing about his research and experiences in an upcoming AFAE newsletter and website feature. Jesse’s field work is funded by a Carclew Fellowship, Helpmann Academy Grant and Rural City of Murray Bridge Small Wins Grant.
AFAE founding member and internationally renowned Australian sound artist Dr Ros Bandt has created a stunning 2 CD set of original sound works fusing old and new, east and west influences with her cross-cultural modern Australian spike fiddle, the tarhu. This extraordinarily resonant instrument probes 6 world heritage sites in Europe and the Pacific, accompanies poetry in ancient Greek, Persian and Maltese, and connects with artists from China, Vietnam, Thailand, Turkey, the US, Greece, Crete, Germany, Australia, Thailand, and Samoa. She investigates the environmental issues of global warming in the arctic, water usage, fishing and farming ethics, and the biosphere reserves of America. The connections trace back to the worlds oldest bird, the lyrebird and the longest continuing culture on earth in Australia. Ros Bandt is at once a composer, sound artist and skilled musician, as at home in the concert hall, the gallery, the electro-acoustic studio, the internet or the bush as these CDs show. The works created over a decade interpret each acoustic space individually, from improvised solos and duets to elaborate electro-acoustic symphonies and award winning multi- channel works remixed. But it's the sonorous worlds she creates that are so worth the deep listening they invite.
Tarhu Connections launched on May 19th 2016 at the 14th century Venetian Sabbionara Gate in Hania, Crete at the opening of the collaborative exhibition Listening through the Walls, one of the tracks on the CD. It is in Hania that the Bandt developed her unique style on the tarhu informed by 30 years of performing , recording, sound research and acoustic ecology practice. Seven tracks were made at this incredible location. Purchase the double album online via the Hearing Places website.
In support of the project Bandt produced the ABC Radio Feature ‘Listening through the walls’ commissioned for Soundproof in 2016 which can be streamed online here. This radio feature explores one of the most ancient city states, Hania in the northwest of Crete, where walls have been built, destroyed, reformed and recycled according to its chequered history. It's one of the most contested morcels of land—changing hands from the Greeks, to the Christians, the Ottomans and Venetians, all before the two world wars. In this radio piece, Bandt collaborated with two local Haniot artists to take the people of Hania on an acoustic walk and discover through listening the changing identity of this fascinating town.
Ros Bandt began making multi-channel sound works in 1972 and has been a pioneer in the interdisciplinary possibilities of acoustic ecology both in Australia and internationally.
INVISIBLE PLACES 2017
SOUND, URBANISM AND SENSE OF PLACE
7-9 APRIL 2017
SÃO MIGUEL ISLAND, AZORES, PORTUGAL
Many studies engaged with acoustic ecology have focused on urban environments, motivated by increasing concerns about the sensory impoverishment related to the dominance of anthropogenic sound associated with traffic and other types of transport, machinery from industry or construction, alarm signals and other sounding activities, which often mask and interfere with our living environment. These anthropogenic sounds have tended to be linked to a lack of environmental quality, as they inhibit the perception of other natural sounds. The sounds of the wind, the water, the voicing of certain animals originating from natural landscapes often contrast with human sounds in urban landscapes. They often share the same physical characteristics as measured by volume, duration, frequency or tone, but are experienced by humans differently. Beauty is in the ear of the beholder, we could say.
Soundscapes are part of any ecosystem and a fundamental manifestation of life. Every individual and species contributes and responds differently to a given sonic context with its own perceptual mechanism and will use diverse communication strategies. Development processes and urbanization have directly influenced the environment, often in negative ways that eliminate or diminish unique sounds, causing loss of social identity and cultural diversity.
The aim of this conference is to bring together scholars, artists and theoreticians on soundscape art and ecology and encourage them to present new perspectives that will further interdisciplinary research and practice. We still know little about the complex relationships between landscapes and soundscapes or the significance of acoustic ecology for all living organisms including ourselves. Focused study and intentional stewardship of our sound heritage for the holistic evaluation of landscapes is fundamental to the evolution of all species, and will have a great impact on the survival of many.
More information at www.invisibleplaces.org
Sound + Environment 2017
Art | Science | Listening | Collaboration
29 June – 2 July 2017 | University of Hull
‘Sound + Environment 2017' is an international conference bringing together artists and scientists to explore the ways in which sound can deepen our understanding of environments. Keynotes include BAFTA award-winning sound artist and field recordist Chris Watson and Australian sound artist and president of the AFAE Leah Barclay. Through exploring scientific and artistic approaches together, the conference will engage with sound in order to create complementary ways of investigating, understanding, and taking action. This conference is endorsed by the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE). Call for papers and creative works: www.soundenvironment.net
[Arts + Sciences x Technology = Environment / Responsibility]
A Sense of Place
August 21 to 23, 2017
i-DAT, Plymouth University, UK.
The 6th edition of the Balance-Unbalance International Conference will be held from August 21 to 23 of 2017 in Plymouth, UK. Produced by i-DAT in collaboration with the Sustainable Earth Institute, Art and Sound at Plymouth University, North Devon’s UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Beaford Arts, Fulldome UK and the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology.
The theme for BunB 2017 is “A Sense of Place”. Our increasingly mediated relationship with the environment brings new insights to the invisible forces that affect complex ecologies. From meteorological data flows to temporal climate change models, our relationship with our environment is becoming more abstract, simulated and remote – tempering our desire to act. Could it be that we know more and experience less? BunB17 maps the coordinates of our Sense of Place – the horizontal landscape to the vertical transcalar spaces of the macro/micro.
Balance-Unbalance encourages submissions related to acoustic ecology. Deadline for submissions is January 16, 2017 (midnight, UK time) and notification of acceptance is February 28, 2017.
More information at www.balance-unbalance2017.org
Dr. Toby Gifford is an acoustic ecologist, audio technologist and sound designer. His research focusses on ‘Aural Embodiment’ – the notion that much more of our lived experience is mediated through sound than is typically understood. His Jambot software has received national acclaim, appearing on the ABC New Inventors program. Interactive installations have been exhibited in the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, the Museum of Melbourne, Splendour in the Grass music festival, and the European Capital of Culture Festival in Patras, Greece. He has been artist-in-residence at the Gallery of Modern Art developing live soundtracks for silent films. He is an active acoustic musician, live electronic music performer, and works at the arts/science nexus. His research in Ecoacoustics specialises in soundscape analysis for freshwater ecosystems.
Welcome to the final edition of the AFAE Newsletter for 2016! This members update includes reports from our recent AGM, news from the WFAE and a series of events and opportunities for 2017.
2016 has been an exciting year for the AFAE with various members activities and a national conference. Feedback from members in 2015 identified the need to host national events to expand our current focus on virtual meetings. As a result we agreed to host a conference and we are pleased to report this was a highly successful event.
In July 2016, the Australasian Computer Music Association joined forces with the Australian Forum for Acoustic Ecology and NIME 2016 (New Interfaces for Musical Expression) to host an interdisciplinary conference at the Queensland Conservatorium on the theme of Sonic Environments.
Sonic Environments invited composers, performers, academics, field recordists, acoustic ecologists and technologists to present research and creative works exploring the ecological, social and cultural contexts of our sonic environments. This conference aimed to expand our current perceptions of acoustic ecology and the role of sound and technology in understanding rapidly changing environments across the world.
The program featured over 100 artists and presenters showcasing new work from Australia, New Zealand, Europe, USA, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, South Korea and Vanuatu. Sonic Environments opened with a dynamic keynote panel featuring international leaders in the field of acoustic ecology who each presented short provocations on the conference theme. Panelists included Sabine Breitsameter (Germany), Sabine Feisst (USA), Stephan Moore (USA), Andrew Skeoch (Australia), Vanessa Tomlinson (Australia) and Ian Whalley (New Zealand). It was a pleasure to host members from our WFAE affiliate organisations from Germany, Canada, and the USA.
The AFAE management committee experienced a significant change at our recent AGM, with Nigel Frayne and Anthony Magen both standing down from their current executive positions. While they will both remain on the committee, I wanted to take this opportunity to acknowledge their dedication and commitment over the years. I would have never been able to take on the role of president without their consistent advice, guidance and support. Anthony and Nigel have been the backbone of the AFAE for many years and have also served in various capacities for the WFAE. As the previous president of the AFAE, Anthony has played a critical role in the WFAE, including his role on the editorial committee for Soundscape Journal. Anthony’s sound walks have been a valuable tool for public engagement around the field of acoustic ecology in Australia and he has been instrumental in the design, development and governance of every aspect of our organisation.
Nigel Frayne has had an incredible impact on the field of acoustic ecology. As a founding member of the AFAE, he has spearheaded various activities over the years, including the 2003 WFAE conference in Melbourne, which was a pivotal event for many people, both nationally and internationally.
As the first and longest-standing chair of the WFAE, his commitment, passion, persistence and dedication transformed the organisation into a truly global network. Nigel’s vision to make the WFAE a more manageable organisation resulted in a restructure into clusters of groups with geographical administration and governance. This was the beginning of WFAE affiliates, which is how we continue to operate internationally today.
On behalf of the AFAE, I want to thank both Anthony and Nigel for their incredible investment in our organisation and commitment and dedication to the field of acoustic ecology. I am extremely grateful for the support and will look forward to ongoing collaborations in other capacities.
I am pleased to report we have a new management committee in 2017, with Toby Gifford stepping into the public officer role and Andrew Skeoch, Vicki Hallett and Jesse Budel joining as new committee members. I will continue as president through 2017 and Anthony Magen and Nigel Frayne will remain on the committee in advisory roles.
The reports from our 2016 AGM are available to all members and video documentation is available for those who were unable to attend. The other important outcomes from the AGM was the decision to update our digital presence, which includes launching a new website in January 2017. As part of the digital transition, which includes our existing virtual forum project, we will begin actively using social media in 2017. Please join us on facebook and twitter to connect with other members and stay up to date with the AFAE.
As the members of our organisation, we want to support and promote your work. Our current focus on virtual meetings is not designed to replace physical events or meetings, just extend our opportunities to engage with members across Australia. If you would like to be involved in planning these activities, or have your own ideas, please don't hesitate to contact us. Please suggest ideas or projects that you believe are well aligned with the AFAE in 2017 and we can help bring them to fruition. Members are welcome to host local AFAE meetings, sound walks or events and we are always happy to promote your activities through our national database. The AFAE exists to connect and support the acoustic ecology community across Australia.
It has been a privilege to serve in the position of president for the AFAE throughout 2016. Thank you again to Nigel Frayne and Anthony Magen for their ongoing support. I am thoroughly looking forward to working with all of our members and new management committee in 2017 and hope we can continue to bring a wider awareness and engagement with acoustic ecology in Australia in beyond.
We hope our members across Australia have a wonderful festive season and happy new year!
President, Australia Forum for Acoustic Ecology