Soundscape Guide

16 Sep

Considering some of our readings on R. Murray Shafer’s World Soundscape Project, and various other researchers in the area of acoustic ecology, we will use this exercise as both a method of active listening, and a platform for presentation. You will each focus on one space of interest (within a block or two of the classroom, inside or outside) where you will spend some time as a field researcher. -This can mean taking sound samples, written notes, photos, etc.

In the mode of a soundwalk, though staying at this fixed location, you will develop a short presentation (3-5 minutes) that will portray the dynamic sound environment of your site. Keep in mind the positions on interpreting soundscapes that we have been studying: Are you revealing an alternative narrative? A hidden layer of Ur-sounds? Are you excavating a composition of sounds embedded in this micro-environment? You might take cues from Labelle on site and dislocation, or Westerkamp on isolating pure sound, or Shafer on ‘hi-fi’ vs. ‘lo-fi’ ambience. -Remember David Drury on enhancing the environment through indicating details of soundscape architecture? And Toby Lester on mapping the sounds of his workplace and their effects on ones emotional experience of place (American Life)? Please consider the material we have been reading as groundwork, and spend some time closely listening to your chosen environment to construct your soundspace presentation. We will visit each site as a group to hear your guided tour next week (September 22).


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