Listen as The Guardian’s Ian Sample interviews Bernie Krause, soundscape ecologist, who tells him that “sound can be a powerful tool for conservation.”
on the “sensorial wonders of field recording”:
Link via Boing Boing.
What happens when a political regime is hellbent on tearing down the old, building the new and destroying the unique sonic footprint of a place? Learn more about the importance of sound and memory in this fascinating piece about Çevikayak Yelmi and her quest to save the sounds of Turkey.
are getting louder. Alastair Boone, City Lab, writes about Stuart Fowkes, the founder of a new project called Protest and Politics, “a sound map that documents the sounds of protest, as they grow louder in cities around the world.” Boone reports that “from Brexit to Trump’s election, the past year has known more protests than many before it,” but he adds that Fowkes’ project includes sound from as early as the Gulf War in 1991.
Protest and Politics is part of a larger program founded by Fowkes, Cities and Memory, which is essentially a world sound map. What makes his new project different is that it is “the first to document the sounds of history.” “What’s great about this project is that it’s little slices of history,” Fowkes explains.
Listening to his recordings of protests in the United States, one can hear the same chants across the country. The “same sort of unity is present abroad,” where “casserole protesting, for example, using pots and pans to make noise in lieu of voice,” which originated in Latin America, is also heard in recordings from Europe and Canada.
Taken together, Fowkes hears “something of a unified voice that’s becoming stronger, becoming louder.” He concludes that “[m]ore and more, people feel like they’re part of something.” And that is what Fowkes hopes people take away from listening to his project. Says Fowkes, “I think there’s a general feeling that we need to rise up and make our voices heard.”
Science Daily reports that many attempts have been made “to explain how past people experienced their wider world,” but those attempts have primarily “focused on sight at the expense of sound.” But things are changing, as “researchers from the University at Albany and the University at Buffalo have developed a tool that puts sound back into the ancient landscape.” The researchers “use[d] GIS technology to advance a largely theoretical discussion into a modeled sensory experience to explore how people may have heard their surroundings throughout an entire archaeological landscape, or soundscape.”
Science Daily writes that the “attempt to infuse character into the material world and incorporate the relationship between people and their surroundings is part of what’s called phenomenology.” Says Kristy Primeau, an archaeologist, PhD candidate, and employee at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation:
From a phenomenological perspective, the difference between a space and a place is critical. People don’t live in a vacuum and we have to look at all aspects of the lived experience.
Do click the link above to read the entire piece. It’s a fascinating topic and well worth your time.
Livia Albeck-Ripka, Vice, writes about Bernie Krause, soundscape ecologist, and his lilfe’s work in “This is what extinction sounds like.” Albeck-Ripka tells use about how Krause came to spend a lifetime recording the sounds of our natural world:
He might have guessed where his career was heading, having scored Apocalypse Now and been an early adopter of the plastic sound of 80s synth. Back then, Krause thought of the natural world as mere ambience. Earlier, he had been a violinist, a guitarist, and part of the folk band the Weavers. But in 1968, commissioned by Warner Bros. to make an album that included some samples from nature, he ventured just north of San Francisco into the Muir Woods one October afternoon and had an epiphany.
“The moment I switched on the recorder and heard the incredible impact of the outdoor space,” Krause told me recently, “I made the decision then and there to find a way to do that for the remainder of my life.”
But now, Albeck-Ropka writes, “he has become an expert in the sound of extinction.”
Although our planet is under a lot of stress, it’s not entirely grim–there are signs that the natural world finds a way to continue on. Click the link above to read the entire article.
Link via @QuietMark.
Calling Thunder: The Unsung History of Manhattan. Click the link to see and hear a series of videos that recreate the sound of Manhattan when it was known as Manhatta.
Link via Antonella Radicchi.
CanadaSound aims to make library of Canadian noises. Haydn Watters, CBC News, reports that a “new project is hoping to round up Canadian noises like these to make a soundscape of the country.” So, what iconic sounds are on the short list? “The roar of a snowblower. An orca’s breath underwater. Bed sheets on a laundry line, snapping in the Newfoundland wind.” Watters writes that the project, The CanadaSound, wants people to submit “their Canadian noises” online with the aim of making those sounds accessible by musicians “making new music.”
We think this is an excellent project and would actively encourage a similar one for the U.S. What iconic U.S. sounds would you include? The cruel and relentless drone of the Mr. Softee jingle? The ear-blasting screech of New York City subway cars braking as they enter Union Square Station? The loudest stadium crowd roar encouraged in a sadistic display of bravado by sports team franchises? Or perhaps the unconscionably loud scream of a motorcycle with an after market tail pipe racing down a residential street, setting off car alarms in its wake. Oh….never mind.
Adding that the sound of the wind blowing through a wheat field or waves lapping up on a beach–any beach–at dawn would be pretty fabulous. Your suggestions?
Link via London Sound Survey.
Sarah Laskow, Atlas Obscura, reports about what scientists have learned from “Listening to Icebergs’ Loud and Mournful Breakup Songs.” Laskow writes that seven years after the largest iceberg broke off of the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica, “the largest remaining chunk floated out into the South Pacific where, in the warmer water, it began to disintegrate.” And for the next year, “the ocean was noisier than usual.” Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had suspended hydrophones underwater and they “were picking up strange signals.” Interestingly, the scientists “didn’t even know that icebergs made noise,” says Haru Matsumoto, an ocean engineer at NOAA who has studied these sounds.” But now they do and they measure “the extent to which those sounds contribute to the noise of the ocean,” because “the sounds of ice could help them understand the behavior and breakup of icebergs and ice shelves as the poles warm up.”
Click this link to hear what the scientists are hearing.