Chris Watson Week pt. 01

In the lead up to guest lecture next week, Monday 2nd December, I will be featuring Chris Watson everyday this week.

Click on the picture for the first port of call:

CW Header

 

[Photo: http://www.chriswatson.net/]

Gabriella Scanio – Field Recording compilation

I have received the first output from the Acoustic Ecology module, on the Creative Music Technology degree programme. One project is to record using a variety of equipment and techniques.

Listen to the results of Gabriella Scanio’s recent portfolio of field recordings, consisting of hyrdophonic and electromagnetic sounds, and various places around Scarborough:

“30 second clips all combined into 1 track of places/items situated around Scarborough, England.

Sound 1: Kitchen events
Sound 2: Train Station
Sound 3: Shopping Centre Lift
Sound 4: Arcades
Sound 5: Cash Machine
Sound 6: Printer
Sound 7: Electromagnetic recording of a laptop
Sound 8: Electromagnetic recording of a cash till
Sound 9: Electromagnetic recording of a car stereo player’s speakers
Sound 10: Inside a car from underneath the driver’s seat
Sound 11: Inside a car from the driver’s seating position
Sound 12: Beach Waves
Sound 13: Inside a Bath”

Gabriella Scanio

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David Attenborough: My Life in Sound

See below. David Attenborough has worked a lot with sound recordist Chris Watson, do not miss this fantastic opportunity to hear them in conversation. More on Chris Watson later.

[Text and image from BBC Media Centre]

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“In an exclusive interview for BBC Radio 4, David Attenborough talks to Chris Watson about his life in sound.

One of Sir David’s first jobs in natural history filmmaking was as a wildlife sound recordist. Recorded in Qatar, Sir David is with Chris Watson (a current wildlife sound recordist), and is there to make a film about a group of birds he is passionate about, The Bird of Paradise. It is in Qatar where the world’s largest captive breeding population is and it is in this setting Chris takes Sir David back to the 1950s and his early recording escapades, right through to today where Sir David narrates a series of Tweet Of The Days on Radio 4 across the Christmas and New Year period.

Presenter/ Chris Watson, Producer/ Julian Hector for the BBC”

Monday 16 December

11.00-11.30am

BBC RADIO 4

Same Questions, Different Answers

For those interested, here is the paper co-written by Matt Barnard, Magnus Johnson, and Rob MacKay and presented recently by Matt at the Symposium on Acoustic Ecology.

It presents the aims and outcomes of the original, voluntary pilot module which was the impetus for the current level 6 module in Creative Music Technology.

Same Questions, Different Answers? The Convergence of Art and Science in the Pilot Module ‘Acoustic Ecology’

And here is the cinematic trailer of Sound of our Surroundings, a research group formed as a result of the module:

More information on the About Us page.

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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