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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Soundscape Composition: Great Plains Tornado

Tornado Watch On The Plains (3:10) In this audiovisual presentation the composer explores his childhood and life in the midwest. Growing up in Illinois, warm spring/summer weather and tornado sirens frequently went hand-in-hand. What better soundscape to recreate?

Every "completed" sound in this is a conglomeration of numerous independent sound sources. The footsteps are a good example: they consist of a solid boom for the actual foot's landing, a crunchy gravel sound when the foot hits the ground, and the swishing of reeds and tall grass with each step taken, amongst many others. This project was mixed using Protools 6.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Soundscape Composition: Get It Away

Get It Away (2:46) Composer David Byrne stayed in A Room for London, a one-bedroom installation above the River Thames, from 17 - 19 February 2012. During this residency, he created this soundscape-based composition. He notes, "I brought along some field recording gear to use. I went out during the day and recorded sounds that I thought might be useful and evocative. It turned out that most of the sounds - even the church organ in Southwark Cathedral - seemed to converge around a common rhythm (London's tempo is 122.86 beats per minute). It's a bit too good to be true - that every large city should have its own rhythm, but here it is. I let the sounds dictate the groove, the tempo, and then I simply played along.

Sound sources:

Strawberry seller: Borough Market
Train: Southwark
Woman Evangelist: Spitalfields Market
Organ: Southwark Cathedral
Jackhammer: near Waterloo
Footsteps: mine, embankment
Thames waves: near Surrey water

Friday, August 24, 2012

Soundwalk: With Guy de Bievre and Alper Turkkan

Soundwalk: This walk was held as part of the Human Cities Brussels-Instanbul focus during Istanbul Design Week 2010 at the Old Galata Bridge in 2010. It was lead by musicians Guy de Bievre and Alper Turkkan. This international 2-day event included lectures, breakout sessions and workshops for architects, urban planners, sociologists, designers, artists and representatives of the civil society (associations and NGO’s involved in urban culture, creativity and intercultural dialogue) from Turkey and various European countries. Source: Vimeo

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Soundscape: County Fair

County Fair (7:00) The soundscape of an American county fair is much the same across the country each summer. This is the Lane County fair in Eugene, Oregon. The video is divided into four segments (1) carnival rides, (2) animals (3) events and (4) return to carnival midway. There is an ambient sontage of children and adult voices, power generators, mechanical equipment, air conditioning, animals, music, and amplification systems. One soundmark heard above the acoustic array is the crowing of roosters in the animal section. Source: Vimeo

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Soundscape: Outside Charles Ives Door

American composer Michael Gatonska  is producing a three part field recording of the soundscape outside the studio of Charles Ives (1874-1951).  Each soundscape was captured during a different time of day.

Gatonska's goal is to record examples of the soundscape that Ives would have heard while composing in his studio on a typical hot and muggy summer's day or evening. Ive's music was intimately linked to the landscape, history, philosophy and literature of Connecticut and Massachusetts, and he held the conviction that the whole world of sounds was open for experiment and use. 

The Charles Ives Acoustic, Part 3 (TBA) Evening  (not yet posted)

Source: You Tube

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Project: Paisajes sonoros de Tuxtla Gutiérrez

Tuxtla Gutierrez (9:29) (Spanish)  The concept of soundscape is explored as a tool to document the "Intangible Cultural Heritage" of Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas. This video is made as part of the research process for a PhD thesis  in religious studies by Sheila X. Gutierrez Zenteno. Source: You Tube

Friday, August 17, 2012

Project: Soundscape Presentation

Soundscape (7:27) This video by David Macfarlane was exhibited as part of 'Noise' 24-26th November 2011 at the North Inch Community Campus, Perth. The piece investigated the varied sonic environments found around Perthshire, captured on location using a variety of microphone techniques, such as binaural and surround sound. The final show featured a range of three audiovisual exhibits which attendees could interact with. This presentation was displayed on a full-size wall projection in 4-channel (quadraphonic) sound, however has been bounced to stereo audio and lower resolution for You Tube. Given the various acoustic environments it is best to listen to this with headphones.  Click2Read background material related to the development of this exhibit. Source: You Tube

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Lecture: Remote Sensing of the Soundscape at SERF

Remote Sensing (26:48) Queensland University of Technology Adjunct Professor Stuart Gage gives a presentation on environmental sensing research conducted at the University's Samford Ecological Research Facility (SERF). Professor Gage is a world leader in complex biological systems analysis and is currently developing metrics for assessing ecosystem health and predicting future pressures on natural resources. His recent research in environmental acoustics has led to new research activities in Australia. Source: You Tube.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Soundwalk: Tornoto's Pape Subway Station

Pape Subway Station (9:32) According to the maker of this video:  "This soundwalk is a result of my getting visually lost in the Toronto Transit Commission's "Pape" subway station. That wasn't the intention originally: it was supposed to indicate my difficulty in the subterranean spaces because of my visual limitations. I accidentally zoomed in after a couple of minutes of shooting, so the visual is not very indicative of what I see. The soundscape, though, is fascinating. Source: You Tube.

Note: As the videographer notes his camera zoomed in causing the resulting imagery to be quite random - which is someways facilitates the maker's goal. The environmental sound is interesting and might be best listened to with headphones.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Soundscape Composition: Urban Soundscapes

Urban Soundscapes (3:22) A video work on the interaction between man made architectures and sounds. Source: YouTube.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Documentary: One Square Inch of Silence

One Square Inch of Silence (4:22). This is a clip from Nicholas Sherman's film "Soundtracker", a documentary about the search by acoustic-ecologist Gordon Hempton for the last natural environments free of human sound making. Hempton notes that if we could protect one square inch of the soundscape from noise that act of protection would affect 1,000 square miles. Source: You Tube. 

See also:

October 1, 2011 Gordon Hempton at Sonikas 7
October 1, 2011 Saving Silence from Extinction
October 4, 2011 Washington's Natural Sounds
October 14, 2011 Ear to Ground
September 12, 2011 Soundtracker: Amazon
May 14, 2012 The Search for Silence

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Lecture: Opening Your Ears to Data

Opening Your Ears to Data (13:46) Professor Mark Ballora discusses sonification -  the use of acoustic data. His current research focuses on auditory representations of scientific data sets. Source: TEDx on You Tube

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Soundscape: Kamakura Snow Festival

Snow and Lights (4:05) This is one video in a series of beautiful soundscape films by Akiharu Hioki. This particular video was made at the Kamakura Snow Festival in Yokote.  According to the Japan National Tourism Organization, "A room made by carving out a mound of snow is called a kamakura. In Yokote City, more than 100 kamakura and countless miniature kamakura are made. The candle lights of these snow white kamakura produce a quiet, beautiful spectacle against the darkness. This 400 year old festival is said to have its origins in the traditional event of returning New Year decorations to the gods by burning them, and also in the custom of children chasing away birds damaging crops. Inside the kamakura, an altar is set up to honor the water gods and to pray for plenty of clear water, while sake and rice cakes are offered to the gods. Passers-by are invited by the children, in Akita dialect, to come inside the kamakura and drink some sweet fermented rice brew. Everyone has a good time chatting while eating rice cakes and sweets, which is the conventional way of spending time in kamakura. On the other hand, numerous rows of tiny kamakura stand in the grounds of the Yokote Minami Primary School in the city, with the lights shining from within creating a very romantic scene." Source: You Tube

Friday, August 10, 2012

Soundscape: Tokyo's Ameyoko Street

Ameyoko Stroll (5:05) In this video you wonder down Ameyoko, a busy Tokyo street along which various markets sell products such as clothes, bags, cosmetics, fresh fish, dried food and spices. The name "Ameyoko" is short for "Ameya Yokocho" (candy store alley), as candies were traditionally sold here. It is best to use headphones when listening to this in order to hear the 3-D binaural soundscape. Source: You Tube.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Soundscape: Lakefront Minute

Lakefront (1:03) A short single shot of a Chicago lakefront listening to birds, insects, distant fog horn, motorboat and water. Source: YouTube

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Soundscape: Voice of the lion

Lion's Roar (:56) This amazing footage of the oldest lion of the Makulu Mapogo at the Idube Game Reserve in South Africa is a fascinating close-up acoustic experience. Source: Rob The Ranger on You Tube

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Interview: Nicola Belucci and Wolfgang Fasser

Interview: Nicola Belucci and Wolfgang Fasser (7:25) The documentary film Nel Giardino die Suoni (The Garden of Sound) explores the work with handicapped kids by music and physical therapist Wolfgang Fasser.

Fasser is a Swiss musician, sound researcher and music therapist who lost eyesight as a young person. For many years, he has worked in Tuscany with severely disabled children, introducing them to the world of sound by using all kinds of natural sounds, noises and music. Fascinated by the sounds of his environment, he is constantly recording sonic events like singing birds early in the morning. Later he plays uses these recordings with children. This Art-TV, recorded in Munich, explores the story behind the film. Source: Art-TV

Film Trailer (1:55) Il Giardino Dei Suoni (Source: You Tube)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Soundscape Installation

A Sound Garden (1:24) The Sound Garden created, by Douglas Holis, for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Seattle Washington, is a poetic grove of linear 21' high steel towers supporting wind-activated organ pipes mounted on vanes that move to face the wind. The site overlooks Lake Washington in Seattle. As people wander along the 300' custom brick and gravel path or sit on perforated steel benches, they encounter a beautiful shoreline, light, wind and sound as portrayed through the organ pipes. Source: You Tube

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Soundscape: Say it in a whistle

Say it in a whistle (3:26) Human communication as part of the soundscape takes many forms. On La Gomera in the Canary Islands, people can say anything with a whistle. The ancient whistling communication was invented centuries ago - and it works in any language. Source: CBS Sunday Morning

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Soundscape: San Francisco Mid-Market Area

Mid-Market Area (6:15) This short observational video documents the Market Street area of San Francisco between 5th street and 10th. A diversity of  urban sounds can be heard from trolly cars to street arguments in this city soundscape. Source: You Tube.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Education: Minute of Listening

Minute of Listening is a creative learning project through which the Sound and Music project hopes to enable every child in the the UK to gain access to a huge diversity of music and sound and, for sixty seconds each day, to focus on the richness and enjoyment of the act of listening.

From January to March 2012 over 20,000 children at 70 schools around the UK took part in the pilot for Minute of Listening, experiencing a new minute-long extract of music or sound each day. You can find out more about the project at:

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Soundscape: Paris Cafe and traffic

Paris Cafe and Street  (:51) The romance of a Paris street side cafe is put to the test in this video documenting  Paris soundscape. The cafe, facing the river, was separated from it by a major street, the quai de la Mégisserie, which is partially visible to the left and reflected in the glass of the café.

The fact that people still sit at the cafe and enjoy drinks demonstrates how strong the appeal of Paris is for visitors (most of the people seen here are tourists). Source: You Tube

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Soundscape Installation: Play Stockholm (interactive)

What is the soundscape of Stockholm like? Is it different from other big cities? This interactive installation suggests that Stockholm's soundscape, noise and all, is one of the many good reasons to travel to Sweden's historical city.  

This is an interactive web site that allows you to click, play, and mix to create  your own music from the sounds of Stockholm. There are twelve videos that you can activate and create your own "soundscape composition"

Click2View Play Stockholm interactive video site.

Source: You Tube