Author Archives: Matthew Barnard

Bernie Krause: “a picture is worth 1,000 words but a soundscape is worth 1,000 pictures”

Just added Bernie Krause and the Wild Sanctuary to the links page. He is a leading expert in soundscape ecology. When Rob presented the Sounds of our Surroundings workshop at SeaSwim, we discussed issues raised in Krause’s book The Great Animal Orchestrasuch as the categories of biophony, geophony, and anthrophony. These can also be found in this exciting paper on soundscape ecology published in the Bioscience journal co-authored by Krause amongst other names:

Soundscape Ecology: The Science of Sound in the Landscape

The Great Animal Orchestra is a must read for those interested in the preservation of soundscapes or the effects that acoustic environments have on their inhabitants.

GreatAnimalOrchestraBOOK

I saw Bernie Krause give a talk at the School of Sound in April this year (2013) and, amongst recent anecdotes, reiterated issues from his book such as the dramatic differences in the soundscapes of Lincoln Meadows due to selective logging. There was a significant reduction in biophony, in wildlife inhabitants, and haven’t returned since. He argues that despite the obviously reduction in plant life, the contrast is something that video or photography cannot represent; only our ears and microphones can identify the destructive effect that activities such as logging have on a natural environment.

See his TED talk below!

 

Watch this space for new works from the AE module!

If you’re reading this then you’ve heard something.

AcousticEcologyUoH will now be an informal output for works produced on the Acoustic Ecology module at University of Hull, Scarborough Campus, and an input of some news and stuff about acoustic ecology generally. There’s just been a symposium hosted in Kent on the subject which saw the flocking of a diverse, albeit small, worldwide community and three practitioners from Scarborough Campus attended and presented so interest should be spiking. Peaking like Cat’s Bell.

See here for information on the Symposium on Acoustic Ecology.

The symposium raised the debate about the nature of Acoustic Ecology so if anyone has any contributions please comment anywhere or be in touch with me to post on your behalf. That is: t.emam@hull.ac.uk

For now I’ll post embeds of students’ work from their own SoundCloud page until we get our own sorted.

Obviously, this blog is completely voluntary and has nothing to do with assessments, feedback, and results etc.

Tariq

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The Piano Makers @ St. Peter’s Church, Nottingham as part of World Event Young Artists 2012

The Piano Makers was selected for the World Event Young Artists 2012 event that is taking place in Nottingham, England, during 7th – 16th September 2012.

Hosted in the impressive St. Peter’s Church, in Nottingham, the piece is presented in the form of an installation, with a number of wireless headphones available to listen. The work is on loop from 11am – 4pm, 7th – 14th September.

The Piano Makers uses source material that is binaurally recorded – small microphones are worn inside the ears, resulting in recordings that, when played back over headphones, sound externalised and enveloping. The installation is completely free, and I recommend you visit the numerous other events that WEYA have organised during the week.

Programme note:

From The Piano Makers, written by D. Wainwright:

The frame and strings
of a fully strung grand piano
must withstand the pressure
of about 20 tonnes

The Kemble piano factory in Milton Keynes was the last to exist in the UK until its recent relocation to Indonesia and Japan. Using binaural recordings made during a visit to the factory before its closure, The Piano Makers is a study of piano material and manufacture, and the idea of the tension and pressure that the instrument withstands.

With thanks to Peter Corney and all of the Kemble Pianos Ltd. employees at Milton Keynes for obliging my intrusion.

This global event will showcase a selection of the best international creative talent, across a spectrum of artforms, in one city, providing an opportunity for 1000 artists from 100 nations to join together and share their creativity on an international platform.

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Sounds of Our Surroundings Workshop

Dr Rob Mackay ran a sound mapping and field recording workshop as part of his artist’s residency with Sea Swim on the 28th July in Scarborough’s South Bay.

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Meeting at the ‘Sea Swim’ Beach Hut, participants traversed Scarborough’s South bay, mapping the soundscapes which can be heard, using a range of recording techniques. Sounds were captured using Zoom H4 recorders, a set of Soundman OKM binaural mics, and a pair of Aquarian H2a-XLR Hydrophones.

The different recordings were woven into a sound collage on a laptop in the Beach Hut on the 29th July, conveying different perspectives of the bay, both above and below the waves. The finished collage can be heard here: 

The sound recordists/workshop participants were: Tariq Emam, Rory Saxman Stephenson-Eves, Pat Lawty, John Wedgewood Clarke, Suzen Fyfe, and Martin Haswell.

Sea Swim’ is part of imove: a cultural Olympiad programme in Yorkshire. It is a project that explores how swimming changes the way we feel ourselves to be IN our bodies:

‘I am thrilled to be patron of this beautifully simple and simply beautiful idea.  Poetry is going down to the sea again.’

Carol Ann Duffy, The Poet Laureate, Patron of Sea Swim

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Water Soundscape Composition Contest – European Acoustic Heritage

European Acoustic Heritage

The European Acoustic Heritage project is currently taking submissions for a soundscape composition competition revolving around the theme of Water.

Open until August 13th 2012, the call is for compositions that involve some aspect of water (be it the obvious or the associated) with an emphasis on culture and context – we have plenty of inspiration here in Scarborough. The compositions must be 10 minutes or less in duration (always a problem for me!).

More detailed information on the contest and the EAH project in general can be found HERE

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SoundCloud Found Sounds: It’s raining rain!

One of my recordings has made it into the SoundCloud Found Sounds blog this Tuesday:

“The final rain sound for the day is binaural — which means it’s time to take out those headphones! It’s a high quality recording by Matt Barnard, which means that if you close your eyes and listen, you’ll start to feel like you were there amongst the rain, wind, and thunder in Fulford Road, Scarborough.”

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UK SoundMap – The British Library’s National Sound Mapping Project

The UK SoundMap is a currently active ‘community-led’ project that aims to sample the sounds of Britain as heard by you and me, and him and her… and basically anyone with a device capable of recording sound – even a smartphone. Everyone is encouraged to contribute, and should do so. The mammoth project utilises the free AudioBoo web platform to host, stream and map the contributed sounds, which culminates in a comprehensive, soniferous survey for all to browse, research and enjoy.

Why is the British Library doing this? If you need an answer:

Britain’s sonic environment is ever changing. Urbanisation, transport developments, climate change and even everyday lifestyles all affect our built and natural soundscapes. The sounds around us have an impact on our well being. Some sounds have a positive or calming influence. Others can be intrusive and disturbing or even affect our health. By capturing sounds of today and contributing to the British Library’s digital collections you can help build a permanent researchable resource.

The Acoustic Ecology team have started to contribute – check out recordings pinned around Scarborough and Rievaulx, including a thunderstorm, a gurbling river and Civil War weaponary reverberating around the fields surrounding Rievaulx Abbey in North Yorkshire.

In partnership with the NoiseFuturesNetwork, the project has been open to submissions since July 2010 and will remain open until the end of June 2011. The final map will be studied by the Noise Futures Network team and results will be published in time. Go on, upload your recordings on AudioBoo, pin them on the map and remember to tag them with ‘uksm’ for inclusion!

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