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Monday, April 30, 2012

Soundscape: Bugler's Cry

Bugler's Cry-The Origin of Sounding Taps (6:50) The sound of taps rings across the soundscape with the burial of soldiers lost in war.  Taps Historian and bugler Jari Villanueva explains the origins of America's most famous bugle call.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Lecture: Modeling Natural Sounds

Modeling Natural  Sounds with Modulation Cascade Process (27:51)  Richard Turner, University College, London. Auditory scene analysis is extremely challenging. One approach, perhaps that adopted by the brain, is to shape useful representations of sounds on prior knowledge about their statistical structure. For example, sounds with harmonic sections are common and so time-frequency representations are efficient. Most current representations concentrate on the shorter components. Here, we propose representations for structures on longer time-scales, like the phonemes and sentences of speech. We decompose a sound into a product of processes, each with its own characteristic time-scale. This demodulation cascade relates to classical amplitude demodulation, but traditional algorithms fail to realise the representation fully. A new approach, probabilistic amplitude demodulation, is shown to out-perform the established methods, and to easily extend to representation of a full demodulation cascade. Source: Vimeo

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Soundscape: Sounds From The Arctic

Sounds from the Arctic (3:56) In June, 2006, Bioacoustician Bernie Krause and a team of environmental sound recordists spend two weeks recording the biophony at diverse sites in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Source: New Scientist and YouTube.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Soundscape: Site-specific performance/sound intervention

N-Train Traverse (3:13) Thousands of commuters pass over the Manhattan Bridge every day. As soon as the train exits the tunnel, signal is restored to cell phones and faces immediately drop into their devices, ignoring the spectacular view of New York that can be seen only from this vantage point.

N-Train Traverse is a sound intervention that prompts commuters to appreciate the view. The composition is based on modular themes that are cued by specific views from the bridge, integrated into the visual score. Commuters watch and listen to the skyline as they sit amongst the musicians on the N train. Source: Vimeo

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Soundscape: Japan - Flowing Water

Water has a significant meaning in Japanese culture and religion and is found in the country's history, literature and mythology. Here are three reflective videos related to rain and water in the Japanese soundscape.

Rain On An Old Roof (2:12)  By Shinji Kanki. The sound of gentle rain falling on the roof of an old house in Kurashiki-city provides a quiet contemplative soundscape. Source: YouTube

Rainy Courtyard (1:02) By Hiroshi Sato. The sound of rain in a traditional garden and architectural setting.   Source: YouTube

Rice Field Water Sounds. (3:53) By Kurt Bell.  The hills and mountains of central Japan are pleasant places to walk and explore. During summer the rice farmers irrigate their fields and there is a distinct tinkle and gurgle which can be heard as water flows from irrigation channels into and out of each field. Source: YouTube

Hard Rain on the Roof (00:41) By Kurt Bell. A moment in the mountains when heavy rain cascades off a nearby roof.

Nagoya Garden (2:02) The sound of water is an important part of many Japanese gardens such as this one in Nagoya.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Soundscape: Cicada of Japan

The sound of the cicada is an acoustic symbol of summer's arrival in Japan as their song fills the air during the hot and humid months throughout the country.

Sound of Summer (1:01) The sound of a Japanese summer soundscape with the buzzing of cicada as background. Video by Kanal Von Docsnoek. Source: YouTube

Forest Cicada (1:05) The sounds of cicada reverberate at the edge of a mountain bamboo forest on an August evening. Video by  Kurt Bell.  Source: YouTube

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Soundscape Composition: Flow

Flow  (8:21) This video and more importantly the audio was created by Tim Opie using the composition technique known as eco-structuralism in which sound recordings, particularly field recordings, are analyzed for underlying structures and patterns. This analysis, used in conjunction with a strict set of rules, becomes the constructs of the musical work.

The field recordings for this composition were recorded at a waterfall near The Basin in Victoria, Australia. It was recorded just after the first rainfall since the major fires on Black Saturday had begun and had been burning for two weeks. There was some ash in the air and very little water in the river - just enough to get some flow, and a little fire relief. Source: Vimeo

Monday, April 23, 2012

Lecture: Architecture and the Sound of Music

How Architecture Helped Music Evolve (16:31) As his career grew, David Byrne went from playing CBGB to Carnegie Hall. He asks: Does the venue make the music? From outdoor drumming to Wagnerian operas to arena rock, he explores how context has pushed musical innovation.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Soundscape: Tunnel Improvisations

Soundscape: Tunnel Sound (5:00) The annual "Walk About Love" follows the Israel National Trail and is devoted to peace, love, and ecology. In this scene from a trail walk in 2009, the participants stopped in a tunnel and explored its acoustic properties by jamming for an hour using any instrument they had but mainly their voice. Source: YouTube

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Soundscape Composition: City Traces

City Traces (4:17) The inspiration for the name 'city traces' came through a desire to capture the ephemeral traces of the repetitive cycle of the daily city life which are imperceptible to the naked eye. This work is by Haris Ladopoulos and Nick Starvrakis. Source: YouTube

Friday, April 20, 2012

Soundwalk: Montreal West

Montreal West (6:49) (Audiovisual program). Andra McCartney lead this soundwalk that begins on the Concordia University Loyola campus and moves southwest towards the Montreal West train station. The participants, students in a graduate 'Media Technology and Practice' course, interact with with the soundscape making their own sounds. Click2Read more about this particular soundwalk.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Soundscape: Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center (30:19) This is a montage of video footage shot in 2008 and 2009 that highlights the natural areas of the NASA facility and its soundscape. This production is by AIRBOYD.TV,  a video and news hub for aviation and aerospace enthusiasts. Source: YouTube

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Soundscape Composition: Sounds of the NYC Subway

Sounds of the NYC Subway (03:31) By Peter Woodbridge. An experimental film made in the New York City subway system on the day after America heard the news of Bin Laden's death. The video mixes conversational fragments, music,and the sound of the subway in this portrait of the underground rail system. Source: Vimeo

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Soundwalk: Hildegard Westerkamp

Soundwalk with Hildegard Westerkamp (5:38) Video by Massim Liverani. Hildegard Westerkamp leads a soundwalk  through the Parco dell'Anconella in Florence, 28 July 2010. Source: Vimeo.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Soundscape Project: Live Performance Based on Seismic Data

While Rome Burns (1:17) In this work by Michaela Davies, the muscle movements of the musicians in a string quartet are controlled by sonified seismic earthquake data via electric muscle stimulation (EMS). This concert was performed at the Mona Foma festival, Hobart, Tasmania (2012)  Click2Read more about the process.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Soundscape: Tokyo's Tsukiji Fish Market

Tsukiji Fish Market (9:01)  By Akiharu Hioki. The Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market commonly known as the Tsukiji Market is the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world and also one of the largest wholesale food markets of any kind. The market is located in Tsukiji - central  Tokyo, and is a major attraction for foreign visitors. This is a beautifully shot non-narrative soundscape exploration of this facility that was built by the city after the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake destroyed much of the existing private markets of the time.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Soundscape Project: Sound Absorption and Reflection in Snow

Snow Absorption and Reflection (1:20) This short video documents the effect on the acoustic environment of  central city "torgyta" with and without the snow. Traffic intensity was similar on both occasions. Snow absorbs sound like organic soil and peat. A greener city therefore provides a lower background noise and creates conditions for a more appropriate sound environment where all other sounds are able to arrive. Click2Read more (Swedish).

Friday, April 13, 2012

Documentary: Voices of the Sea

Voices of the Sea (58:24) This BBC Earth documentary is part 3 of the Ocean Giants series and takes a look at whales and dolphins that depend on sound to function in their ocean home. They use ultrasound to see inside other creatures, clicks and whistles to speak, and echolocation to navigate and hunt in the pitch-black depths. Humpback whales’ songs carry thousands of miles, while a sperm whale scans the ocean depths with a sonar laser beam louder than a thunderclap.  Documented by underwater cameramen Doug Allan and Didier Noirot.  Source:

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Soundscape: Listening to the dawn chorus

How to Listen (5:27) Pascal Wyse joins a guided soundwalk through Woodchester Park, Gloucestershire (UK), to listen to the dawn chorus. The video introduces a number of birds native to the region. Wyse is a multimedia producer and contributor for the Guardian. Nice video for those interested in watching and listening to birds and their morning song. Source: The Guardian

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Project: The Madrid Soundscape Map

Paisaje Sonoro - Soundscape (7:01) In this  Spanish language TV program a panel discusses the purpose and background of the Madrid Soundscape interactive map project. Source: Vimeo

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Documentary: Soundscape Journey

Soundscape Journey (4:42) In 2003, following a year-long nature sounds study in Sequoia National Park, Craig Miller, founder of Vox Terra and Bernie Krause, founder of Wild Sanctuary, co-produced this four-and-a-half minute "journey." It takes you from the familiar cacophony of the urban soundscape to a serene spot in Sequoia Park. Take the journey and see how desensitized to urban noise you've become. Source: QUEST (KQED-TV)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Soundscape: Pier 39 San Francisco

Pier 39 (1:40) Frames per Sound is an online installation art attempting to capture the character of each district of San Francisco by experimenting with editing through the use of dynamic split screen motion dependent on binaural soundscape recordings. To better understand the context for this video visit the Framespersecond web site.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Soundscape: Paradise Bay - Antarctica

Paradise Bay  (1:35) Paradise Bay is a harbor in West Antarctica. It is one of only two ports used for cruise ships to stop on the continent. The Argentine scientific base is located  here as is a Chilean scientific station. In this video you can hear the sounds of the penguin rookery and ice on waves along the shore. Source: YouTube

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Soundscape Installation: The Ground Falls Away: Expansion

"This is a multichannel video and sound installation that looks at the terrestrial movement of conservation and economic expansion displayed in the landscape of Panama’s Canal Zone. 

Recorded on location, in one of the world’s largest construction sites, artists Andrew Freeman and Jay Needham explore the physical and cultural conditions of the canal-zone as the metaphoric hourglass of the Americas. 

In this initial offering from their ongoing work in the region, the “expansion” project presents a fluid focal point for the artists; the installation points to a commercial and ecological zone where multinational pressures conspire to unearth the inevitable collision between global conditions and the environment. 

Produced in a partnership with the Panamanian NGO, Associatión Panamericana para la Concervación, the work examines a newly widened canal that harbors a myriad of consequences in the wake of its prior existence as part of a transnational US military landscape."


Las Cienegas Projects Installation (1:31) This video provides and overview of the gallery in which the installation is located.
The Ground Falls Away: Expansion (08:24) Two screen presentation within the gallery.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Lecture: Harris and Shanken - Tuning In and Spacing Out

Tuning In and Spacing Out (31:57).  A presentation that explores sound and space as modes of understanding environmental phenomena. Drawing on a variety of examples from sound art, visual art, and science,  Yolande Harris and Edward Shanken weave together extreme ideas from the mythic and scientific significance of marine mammals to the surprising interconnectedness of the sea and outer-space. A consideration of how ways of experiencing space through sound modulate between fact and fantasy, actual and virtual. Presenters: Edward Shanken, University of Amsterdam and Yolande Harris, University of Leiden/Orpheus Institute. Sonic Acts: Session 5 - 2010.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Soundscape: Pike Place Fish Market

Pike Place Fish Market (5:05). People come from all over the world to visit Pike Place Market, an historic, open air market located in the heart of Seattle, Washington. Within the complex is  the Pike Place Fish Market, founded in 1930. It is  known for the tradition of fishmongers throwing fish that customers have purchased, before they are wrapped. There is a definite acoustic background punctuated by the shouting exchange of of the fishmongers.

"A typical routine will involve a customer ordering a fish, with their fishmongers in orange rubber overalls and boots calling out the order, which is loudly shouted back by all the other staff, at which point the original fishmonger will throw the customer's fish behind the counter for wrapping. Initially, the shouted repeating of the ordered fish began as a prank on one employee, but was enjoyed by customers, so it became a tradition. While working, the staff continually yell to each other and chant in unison while they throw ordered fish. At times, the fish market staff will throw a foam fish into the crowd to scare bystanders, or select a customer from the crowds to participate in the fish toss. Above the areas in which they throw fish, the market hangs a sign that reads, "Caution: Low Flying Fish". 

Source Text: Wikipeda. Video: YouTube.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Interview: Lawai Marafa and Soundscaping Hong Kong

Soundscaping the Urban Jungle (3:57) Dr Lawal Marafa of the Chinese University of Hong Kong's Department of Geography and Resource Management explains what soundscaping is. He defines it is a method of filtering or masking sounds which are annoying or stress-inducing with either physical obstacles to block sound waves or using calming, natural sounds to drown out noise pollution. In the way landscaping makes environments more aesthetically pleasing, soundscaping aims to make environments more aurally pleasing. Source: YouTube

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Phonographer: Chris Watson on field recording

Chris Watson (9:42) This is a Swedish produced video archived on Chris Watson's web site, which is a great location for one to explore and learn more about his work. This  informative video is in English and Swedish.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Soundscape Composition: Portrait of a Sounding Object

Portrait of a Sounding Object (7:23) This performance piece is centered around a tall metal water tower located in an empty field. The performers use mallets and other tools to create a live soundscape composition recording. Two contact microphones were attached to the tower. Artists: John Grzinich, Yannick Dauby and Wan-Shuen Tsai in Mooste, Estonia (summer 2007).

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Education: A Sound Addiction

Those who choose a sound oriented career often do so based on early interests and experiences with listening. Some approach acoustic-ecology from an artistic perspective and others from a social or scientific one. In this set of videos four individuals explore their early fascination with the sounds around them and how being influenced by what they heard  they  opted for an a career in acoustic science and engineering.  These individuals  have been students at  the University of Salford's Audio and Acoustic Engineering Research Centre, in Manchester, UK.

(1:41) Charlie Mydlarz "The Whole Nine Volts"
(2:34) Jon Hargreaves "Sounds So Bad"
(2:43) Neil Bruce "Addicted to Sound"
(2:44) Trevor Cox "Engineering Baby"

Source: YouTube