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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Soundscape: Red Wood Ant

Formica Aquilonia (6:05) By John Grzinich. A short film documenting the activities of Formica aquilonia, or Red Wood Ants. The ant colonies are easily recognizable by the large mounds that they build out of debris from the pine forests they inhabit. The mounds also tend to be clustered together with the activity between them is so frequent that ant highways, or noticeable paths, form on the forest floor. Source: YouTube

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Soundscape: Walk to Work

Walk To Work (21:39) By Greg Hopper. This piece began as pure audio to which Hopper has added images using inexpensive cameras attached to his clothes to photograph his walk to work through the cemetery, across the bridge and then around the lake to his office.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Soundscape: Oregon's Wilson River in the Rain

Wilson River (7:31) It often rains in the state of Oregon and sometimes it is nice to just go out and watch a river flow by while the rain falls around you as in this video of the Wilson river in Oregon. The combined sound of the river and the falling rain provides a peaceful and relaxing scene. The Wilson River is a stream, about 33 miles (53 km) long, that flows from the Northern Oregon Coast Range to Tillamook Bay. (Photo:Wikipedia) Source: YouTube


Monday, May 28, 2012

Soundscape: Sakitsu

Sakitsu (2:14) By Akiharu Hioki. This beautiful video explores the soundscape of the picturesque fishing town of Sakitsu in Kumamoto Prefecture. Kumamoto Prefecture located in south western Japan. It is an area of the country blessed with amazing natural Beauty. Source: YouTube

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Education: Children and Hearing Loss

Noise, Children and Hearing Loss (4:20) Noise pollution can really hurt a child's ears. That includes household appliances, an ever increasingly noisy urban environment, and the amplified sound of entertainment media and technology. This short program explores ways in which to protect a child's hearing. Source KVPT Fresno, California. YouTube video.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Documentary: Din On The High Seas

Vacarme en haute mer (50:41) The depths of the sea are as full of exciting sounds and voices as  any other habitat rich with species. This film explores this fascinating soundscape and the issues that underwater noise, most often the result of human activity, has on the creatures of the deep. French language film by Jerome Julienne and John Jackson. Source: Daily Motion.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Project: Sound For Electric Vehicles

Audi E-Sound (2:02) The sense of hearing provides the brain with acoustic signals that warn of approaching danger be it predators or, more often today, auto and truck traffic. The development of electrically operated vehicles has the potential of quieting the soundscape, but at the same time creates issues of safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and others who encounter e-cars and trucks in crosswalks and other situations where the two come together. Replacing the sound of the combustion engine with electronic motor sounds has become an issue for many and a challenge for car designers. 

This video looks at the development of 'e-sound" by Audi. This is a realtime technique of generating synthetic motor sounds for the essentially silent vehicle in order to warn pedestrians and cyclists of the car's proximity. Source: VIMEO.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Interview: Gordon Hempton - One Square Inch of Silence

The Search for Silence (3:10) In this April, 2009 KATU-TV (Portland, OR.) interview, acoustic-ecologist Gordon Hempton discusses his search for silence. His book, 'One Square Inch of Silence: One Man’s Search for Natural Silence in a Noisy World', tells the unique story of silence and sound and how they affect and impact our lives in profound ways.  The book charts Hempton’s journey across the United States as he travels from his home in Washington State to the nation’s capital in Washington, DC.  Hempton argues that “preserving natural silence is as necessary and essential as species preservation, habitat restoration, toxic waste clean-up, and carbon dioxide reduction.”  His argument is compelling, and with a green movement sweeping America and the world, Hempton is fighting to include natural silence in the quest for a cleaner, safer planet." Source: KATU-TV Portland, Oregon.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sound Walk: Portland's Urban Scene

Urban Portland Scene (6:39) Kenya D. Williams lead a Portland, Oregon urban soundwalk on May 4th that began at the Urban Center Plaza on the campus of Portland State university (PSU). The walk lasted about 1 hour followed by a discussion of the listening experience. Mr. Williams is a student in the Urban Studies Ph.D. program at PSU where he is researching the role sound plays in urban and environmental planning. This video includes short clips from that walk with several stops at Portland's amazing water features. The weather included rain, sun, and hail, which all added to the soundscape. Note that the microphone on the small pocket camera used for this document was not adequate to capture the full sound experience heard on the walk.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Project: Deep Water Whale Communication

Whale communication (11:19) "Using the Navy's underwater submarine listening system, Christopher Clark at Cornell University,  has been able to track deep water whales, like the blue whale and fin whale, throughout the ocean basins."

"These animals use sound to communicate over very long distances; for example, a whale singing off the Grand Banks of Canada can be detected in Puerto Rico! But as the number and noise of commercial ships has increased, it is likely to interfere with the whale's ability to hear one another. What the long term effect of this will be on the whales is largely unknown." Source: Cornell University

Friday, May 11, 2012

Soundscape: Ginza - Tokyo

Ginza (2:07) By Akiharu Hioki. This beautifully photographed video of Tokyo's Ginza district at night places the viewer  directly within its rich soundscape.  Headphones are suggested for listening. 

The Ginza is recognized as the most exclusive and expensive shopping area in Japan. It is also known for having the most expensive real estate on earth. The streets are lined with neon signs, department stores, boutiques, bars and restaurants.  Source: YouTube

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Soundscape: Music In Unexpected Places

Human sound making is an activity that can temporarily alter the acoustic character of an architectural space and the expected sounds associated with it. Here are to examples promoting the Copenhagen Philharmonic (Sj√¶llands Symfoniorkester) in which they performed in the manor of a "Flash mob" aboard a metro train and within a train station. Both events were well planed, highly organized, and documented. The performances were unexpected by those passing through the space and, as often seen in flash mob videos, individuals seem puzzled, amused, annoyed and appreciative of the musical events. 

Peer Gynt  (2:17) In April 2012 the Copenhagen Philharmonic surprised the passengers in the Metro by playing Edvard Grieg's Peer Gynt. The event was created in collaboration with Radio Klassisk. All music is said to have been performed and recorded in the metro, although some question this given the clarity of the recording. An individual, claiming to be the director, wrote that he could "…guarantee…that the music was recorded in the train car!" He goes on to say, "I must admit though, that the take we used, which was the best (sound recording), was where the train was standing almost still and people where practically holding there breaths." This suggests, and given the train is moving in the video, that the sound from one session and images from other sessions were edited together in post production. Produced by MAKROPOL

Bolero (4:53) As one of the first professional symphony orchestras ever, the Copenhagen Phil (Sj√¶llands Symfoniorkester) did a "flash mob" like event at  the Copenhagen Central Station on May 2nd 2011 playing Ravel's Bolero. In this video the ambient conditions of the station's soundscape are much more pronounced, than in the metro video above, but the clarity of the stereo field recording is quite solid. The conductor is Jesper Nordin. 

Observational video of Bolero Performance (13:37) Here is a comparative video of the same event photographed some distance back from the performance itself. The orchestra can be seen within the context of the larger architectural space.  The acoustics of the station are much more defined with station announcements and the ambiance of the building audible.

Source: YouTube

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Project: Sonic Playground

Sonic Playground (5:00)  First in a series of events that was organized by the Chicago Park District's Inferno Mobile Recording Studio (IMRS), Sonic Playgrounds was a new performance experience that had artists literally "playing" the playgrounds and creating music in the moment. These evening events were both artistic performance and public interaction. IMRS intended that artists involved use various techniques of sound amplification and control to make the Playgrounds a living sound installation in which the community came together to create a unique musical experience. This video was shot and edited by Great Scott Media and Presented by Eric Leonardson.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Soundscape Installation: OASIS

OASIS (3:32) The Ovoidal Acoustic Shielding Interactive System (OASIS) is an urban sonic installation which provides the listener with a retreat from the sound polluted city. There is an extensive description with the video although it is a bit difficult to follow given it was apparently automatically translated. Source: YouTube.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Interview: Jacob Kirkegarrd - Acoustic Spaces and Unheard Sounds

Acoustic Spaces and Unheard Sounds (23:44) "Jacob Kirkegaard’s installations, compositions and performances focus on the scientific and aesthetic aspects of resonance, time, sound and hearing. His installations, compositions and performances deal with acoustic spaces and phenomena that usually remain imperceptible. Using unorthodox recording tools, including accelerometers, hydrophones and home-built electromagnetic receivers, Kirkegaard captures and contextualizes hitherto unheard sounds from within a variety of environments: a geyser, a sand dune, a nuclear power plant, an empty room, and even sounds from the human inner ear itself. Kirkegaard will talk about his works." Source: Vimeo

Friday, May 4, 2012

Soundscape Composition: Sonic Wasteland

Sonic Wasteland (1:48) By Justin Ascott. "A non-narrative exploration of an urban wasteland - an interstitial no-mansland , fenced off and bounded by commercial buildings. The film presents this ignored non-place, as a surreal, still, alien world, populated by detritus and resonating sound waves. Through each scene an animated line delineates the topography, drawing attention to spacial boundaries and shapes. 

The visual sequences are foregrounded by a musique concrete composition, comprised of recordings of natural sounds transformed using modulation filters into a montage of abstract sonic vibrations. 

Supported by Tecnologico de Monterrey, MexicoScreenings: Selected for screening at the Lightworks 2012 festival of film, sound and new media held in Grimsby Minster (UK) on the evening of 16th March." Source: YouTube

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Soundscape: PIGscape

PIGscape (4:51) This video provides an introduction to the field of soundscape ecology and how the elements of biophony, anthrophony, and geophony are interrelated. It then discusses PIGscape, a project that monitors the temporal sounds of female pigs prior, during and after farrowing while having  access to open pasturing at a Michigan State University student organic farm. The pig vocalizations are documented and compared with pigs that are confined, such as is typical of today's pig farms. It is hoped that by making a comparative study of the sounds these animals make, that an understanding about the comfort level and well being of these animals can be better understood. Source: YouTube.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Soundscape Composition: Conductor

Conductor (5:00 ) By Aleaxander Chen. Conductor turns the New York subway system into an interactive string instrument. Using the MTA’s actual subway schedule, the piece begins in realtime by spawning trains which departed in the last minute, then continues accelerating through a 24 hour loop. The visuals are based on Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 diagram. Click2Read more 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Education: Auditory Perception

Auditory Perception 2.0 (1:38) This is a prototype of an educational software product that has the aim of engaging children with issues of attentive hearing/listening.  The main focus is to raise children's awareness of their own aural environment. The video illustrates a soundscape that is amplified by adding sonic elements to a city scene and how the soundscape changes with each additional element. Source: YouTube