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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Soundscape Installation: Weather Systems Composition

Variable 4 (6:22) This is a documentary short about a generative outdoor sound installation based on translating weather patterns into musical patterns in real time, by James Bulley and Daniel Jones. With the use of meteorological sensors connected to a custom software environment, the weather itself acts as conductor, navigating through a map of 24 specifically-written movements.

Every aspect of the piece, from broad harmonic progressions down to individual notes and timbres, is influenced by changes in the environment: wind speed, rainfall, solar radiation, humidity, tropospheric variance, temperature, and more. The resultant composition is performed over a 24 hour duration through a field of 8 speakers integrated into the landscape."

For more information please see: footage: Drew Cox ( Source: Vimeo.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Lecture: Your Brain on Sound

Your Brain On Sound (5:17) Jack Moffitt reveals how the brain hears sound and how what you think you hear isn't always what's really there. Moffitt explores aural illusions, psychoacoustics, and how sound can be compressed in MP3 recordings. This is a presentation of Ignite New Mexico 5! Source: YouTube.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Noise Issues: What is Noise?

What is Noise? (7:53) Host Mo Rocca of the CBS program "The Tomorrow Show" addresses the future of noise in our complex modern culture. He notes that whereas the future is often represented as a place of quiet, as in Science Fiction films, it seems that we are becoming nosier. Noise is wasted energy and quiet machinery and appliances are much more efficient. He then asks, can things get too quiet.  Source: CBS News.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Education: Teen Hearing Loss

Teen Hear Loss On The Rise. Will young people be able to clearly hear the soundscape around them as they age? A stunning number of teens have lost a little bit of their hearing - nearly one in five - and the problem has increased substantially in recent years, a new national study has found. Some experts are urging teenagers to turn down the volume on their digital music players, suggesting loud music through earbuds may be to blame - although hard evidence is lacking. They warn that slight hearing loss can cause problems in school and set the stage for hearing aids in later life. Click2Read related article.  Source: CBS News

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Research: Sound of Grieving Beavers

Sound of Grieving Beavers (2:44) Dr. Bernie Krause has traveled the world recording and archiving the sounds of creatures and environments large and small. Many of his sound recordings are from habitats that no longer exist. One of his most disturbing recordings happened after wild life management officials dropped dynamite into a beaver’s home killing the mother and babies. The male beaver was wounded, and this is the sound he made later that night traveling alone across a lake. Source: FORA-TV

Monday, September 24, 2012

Project: Mapping Architectural and Urban Spaces

Klando (1:08) 'New Maps of Time' is a project and workshop about mapping architectural and urban spaces using sound and site-specific activity. The workshop was held in Prague and Kladno, October 9-13, 2009 and was made in collaboration with FAMU, Four Days in Motion festival and International Biennial Vestiges of Industry. Kladno is a city in the Central Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic. This project was coordinated by Milos Vojtechovsky and led by John Grzinich.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Soundscape: Times Square, Weather & Acoustics

Times Square is the center of New York City and it is a soundscape that is full of life all day and night. The acoustic environment is modified, in part, by the weather as is illustrated in these three videos: sunny day, rainy night, and snow storm.

Times Square (2:27) Known as the "cross roads of the world" is the heart of a continually active acoustic environment. On a bright sunny day the street activity reverberates throughout the canyon of buildings.

Rainy Times Square (2:55) A March 2011 rain storm changes the sound characteristics of the street scene.

Snowstorm in Times Square (1:28) A 2009 December snow storm softens the acoustic environment of time square.

Video Source YouTube

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Research: Soundscape change at Samford

Listening to the Soundscape (6:04) Automated recordings of soundscape changes during a day at the Samford Queensland Ecological Research Facility, Site SA01, 18 November 2010. See also the Real Lab website at:

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Soundscape Installation: Marc Behrens

Sound Embracing Context (3:40) Artist Marc Behrens speaks about his work at Futureplaces 2012. Behrens works on several cerebral and physical levels. His works mainly consist of concrete electronic music, installations, the occasional photograph or video. Recent activities include field recording trips to remote western China and the Amazon rainforest.
Behrens has performed and exhibited extensively across Europe, the Middle East, South Africa, North America, and East Asia, and developed collaborations with Achim Wollscheid, Bernhard Günter, Francisco López, Jeremy Bernstein, Nikolaus Heyduck and Paulo Raposo, among others.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Soundscape: Final Arrival - The Princess Marguerite II

Final Arrival (19:35) The Princess Marguerite II was a 373 foot long steamship that provided daily service between Seattle, Washington and Victoria, British Columbia. This sound-image production captures the soundscape of the steamship's final arrival in Seattle and the waterfront salute it received on the evening of September 17, 1989.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Soundscape: An Amazon Night

Amazon Night Scene (:37) This short video by Ian Reilly doesn't show much visually. It was recorded to illustrate the night soundscape of the Amazon rainforest at a jungle lodge near Puerto Maldonado. The videographer notes, "I'm a very visual person, but I found the sounds of the Amazon were almost as overwhelming as the times, the jungle was so loud as to be almost unbearable. Falling asleep to thousands of noisy insects is about as good as it gets for me."

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Lecture: Susan Parks and Right Whale Acoustics

Right Whale Acoustics (5:52) Bioacoustics researcher Susan Parks discusses the challenges that right whales face in trying to communicate with each other in an increasingly noisy ocean, at the November 17, 2012 at Penn State's Research Unplugged. Click2Read additional information. Source YouTube

Friday, September 14, 2012

Phonography: First Recorded Sound

First Recorded Sound (:10) The 10-second recording by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville, is   of a singer crooning the folk song “Au Clair de la Lune”. It was discovered  in a Paris archive by a group of American audio historians. It was made, the researchers say, on April 9, 1860, on a phonautograph, a machine designed to record sounds visually, not to play them back. But the phonautograph recording, or phonautogram, was made playable — converted from squiggles on paper to sound — by scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif. Source: NY Times and YouTube

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Soundscape Composition: Urban London

Recording the Urban Soundscape (2:33) In this short documentary a City Music student explains her love of cycling around London and recording the rich urban soundscape, including the sounds of the River Thames. Her objective is to use the recordings in a composition on which she is working.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Soundscapes: Austin, Texas

Soundscapes (1:39:02) This YouTub page organized by Alive Arkhive contains 21 soundscapes averaging a little over a minute each apparently filmed in the Austin, Texas area. Most of the videos focus on natural acoustic events such as bird song, thunderstorms and rain fall. Source: YouTube.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Soundscape: Tribute to John Cage

4'33" A John Cage Centennial Panama (4:37) This video from Panama is a tribute to John Cage's 100th Birthday and is performed on the street. Although it is most often "heard" in a concert hall, Cage may have appreciated the soundscape in which this work is performed.   4′33″ (pronounced "Four minutes, thirty-three seconds") is a three-movement composition. It was composed in 1952 for any instrument (or combination of instruments), and the score instructs the performer not to play the instrument during the entire duration of the piece throughout the three movements. The piece purports to consist of the sounds of the environment that the listeners hear while it is performed, although it is commonly perceived as "four minutes thirty-three seconds of silence. Click2Read more about this composition. Source: YouTube

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Soundscape Composition: In The City

In The City (1:55) Shots of Leicester City on a dreary day in September to which a soundscape composition by Bill Newsinger  has been created. Leicester is a city in the East Midlands of England along the River Soar. It is the largest city in the region. According to the 2011 census Leicester had the largest proportion of people aged 19-and-under in the East  Midlands with 27 per cent. Today, the city has a large ethnic minority population mainly from South East Asia. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Soundscape Composition: Train Delay

Train Delay (1:23) A sontage of rail related soundscape recordings by Ann McDougall of Canada. Source: YouTube

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Soundscape Installation: Are You Listening Leeds?

Are You Listening Leeds? (39:42) This is a public soundscape project based in an empty shop unit in Leeds Shopping Plaza in the city centre. It took place on 12th June 2010, with an accompanying window installation running until 29th July 2010.
The idea for the project came about as the result of a discussion about the sounds of city life, whether sounds were afforded the same aesthetic status as visual culture, and how sounds were used and heard in a city.  The project involved devising a 24-hour soundscape of the city reduced to 24 minutes, recording in 24 different locations. This was then combined with simultaneously projected 24-hour timelapse of the Leeds skyline, equating with the time of the sounds, to emphasise the multitude of changing sounds in one city. Source: Vimeo

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Soundscape: Hoi An Vietnam

The following videos present soundscape experiences by visitors to Hoi An Vietnam. Hoi An has a pedestrian-friendly Old Town area closed to cars. The city is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century. Its buildings and its street plan reflect the influences, both indigenous and foreign, that have combined to produce this unique UNESCO heritage site. Hoi An is located on the South Central Coast of Vietnam along the South China Sea and is home to approximately 120,000 inhabitants. 

Quiet Streets of Hoi An (1:02) A night time stroll down a street in the historic district reflects a time past without cars and shops open to the passing of pedestrians.

Hoi An (8:16) This video presents a daylight view of the historic district and then moves out into the surrounding area. The contrast between the soundscape of night and day is an interesting exploration.

Source: YouTube