www.akueko.com - WFAE Koli 2010

International Conference of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology "Ideologies and Ethics in the Uses and Abuses of Sound"

Koli, Finland June 16-19, 2010

Drawing by Pessi Parviainen


 

ABSTRACTS AND PRESENTATIONS


The audio files can be listened to with the player embedded in the page. To listen to the files click "listen to the presentation" links. Audio editing was done by Juhana Venäläinen. All rights are reserved to the presenters.

Conference program & sessions (pdf)

Two radio podcasts from Koli by Thomas Burkhalter:
Ueber Geräusche die Welt deuten & Zwischen Krach und Stille

Soundwalk "National soundscape" by Pessi Parviainen

For comments / questions contact: info@akueko.com

Keynotes

Keynote panel II. Chair: Professor Kozo Hiramatsu
- Prof. Anahid Kassabian (Univ. of Liverpool): Ubiquitous musics and distributed subjectivity: affect, attention and listening

Keynote panel discussion III. Chair Dr, composer R. Murray Schafer.
Five Village Soundscapes – Acoustic Environments in Change from 1970s to 21st century. Listen to the presentation
Participants:
- Professor, composer Barry Truax (Simon Fraser Univ.): The specific model of the Acoustic Community and the 1975 Five Village Soundscapes
- Composer Hildegard Westerkamp: Listening to recordings - Five Village Soundcapes imagined
- Professor Helmi Järviluoma-Mäkelä (Univ. of Eastern Finland): Studying change and non-change in European villages
- University lecturer Noora Vikman (Univ. of Eastern Finland): Cembra all around the world
- Researcher Heikki Uimonen (Univ. of Tampere): Last of the Blacksmiths - The diverse pasts of Scottish village of Dollar

Concluding Panel VI. Chair: Composer Hildegard Westerkamp
- Keynote: Ass. Prof. Andra McCartney (Concordia University): Ethical questions about working with soundscapes
- Concluding remarks by Prof. Barry Truax. Listen to the presentation

Individual abstracts and presentations

Simo Alitalo: Planes, (no trains) and automobiles: ethics of recording
Kirsti Allik & Robert Mulder: The commodification of aural space: issues of sound and silence in Frontenac provincial park
Nick Antonio: Synergies between acoustic professionals: why we need to talk
Seth Ayyaz: Reconfiguring the Islamic sonic-social: The Bird Ghost At The Zaouia
Sabine Breitsameter: Listening – come hell or high water: aspects of violating aural autonomy
Nikos Bubaris: The silence effect: turning up the experience of film sound
Thomas Burkhalter: War concrète: Strategic responses to warfare in Beirut
Isabelle Delmotte: The soundscapes of Noise: ethics of production and cinema sound design
John Levack Drewer: “What would you like your city to sound like?”: ideological and ethical musings on urban soundscape design
Mikael Eriksson & Kimmo Modig: What a peaceful sound! - creating trouble between sound and ethics
Marisa Trench Fonterrada: Sound in myths and legends – a contribution for the study of the role of sounds for human beings
Nigel Frayne: Applying the philosophy of Acoustic Ecology to the creative sound design process in zoos and aquariums
Nicolai Graakjaer: Sounding out the shop – on music in commercial settings
Nina Gram: The iPod user: a contemporary auditory flâneur?
Jenny Olivia Johnson: Hearing is knowing, remembering is forgetting: memory, trauma, and the ethics of listening to childhood sexual abuse in Bunita Marcus’s “The Rugmaker” and Andra McCartney’s “Learning to Walk”
Laura Kaljunen & Juhana Venäläinen: Dialectics of an (in)audible wilderness - The meaningful sounds of nature and its uses in Ilomantsi
Olli-Taavetti Kankkunen: Listening to the sonic environment – Implications for music education
Outi Kautonen & Ari Koivumäki: Soundscape stories and routes in Pirkanmaa
Jeffrey Kittay: The best seat in the house: exploring the principles of design for the sound of the everyday
Meri Kytö: Sonic building blocks of Kuzguncuk community
Eric Leonardson: Tourists in the soundscape, acoustic ecology in Chicago
Anthony Magen & Michael Fowler: Soniferous city: auditory awareness in landscape architecture
Johannes Müske: Soundscapes as “local ideologies” – the case of the Flensburg harbour soundscape
Atsushi Nishimura: The significance of local participation and local initiative in soundscape design
E. Sirin Özgün: Challenging sounds: transforming the soundscape of Istanbul
Panayotis Panopoulos: Saving silence, finding your voice: sound ideologies of New Age
David Paquette: From soundscape to sonic place: listening in the environment
Andrea Polli: Airspace Antarctica
Bernd Rohrmann: Impacts of intense music soundscapes on people's communication in public
Scott Smallwood & Stephan Moore: Receiver: exploring soundscape through radio composition and audience improvisation
Charles Stankievech: Acoustic spatialisation of subjectivity: headphones, space and sound art
Keiko Torigoe: The Japanese hot spring soundscape
Kyoko Tsujimoto: Transferring sounds and layering auditory culture in East Asian cities: from the field of Dragon and Lion Dance of Hong Kong
Barry Truax: Interacting with inner and outer sonic complexity: from microsound to soundscape composition
Jacqueline Waldock: Liverpool soundscape: a discussion of the issues facing researchers in a changing urban environment
Noora Vikman: Surprising silence: modification processes of soundscape
Suzi Wiseman: Captive animals in an urban zoo soundscape
Yi Yuan: The ways of thinking about hearing in Buddhism - study on Surangama sutra
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Simo Alitalo
Finnish Academy of Fine Arts
Finland

Planes, (no trains) and automobiles: ethics of recording

This spring I was offered a possibility to take part in an artist in residency program sponsored by The Collection museum in Lincoln, United Kingdom. The aim of the residency is ”to research and create a body of work, that may result in a completed audio work or be the basis for development into an audio work”. The theme or a starting point of the residency was the Forest. Forest in this case refers to two things: The Charter of the Forest, a document that is an appendix of Magna Charta which provides common people with rights of use and way of forests. One of the original documents is held at Lincoln Castle. The other reference is to local lime woods, they are part of the ancient woodlands that Lincolnshire Lime Woods Project is trying to save and protect. I started to record environmental sounds in Chambers Farm Wood on the 6th of April and very soon it became clear to me that the conditions are somewhat challenging. At CFW there are overflights almost every 3 to 4 minutes. There are also quite few amateur pilots because Lincolnshire was the home of RAF bomber command. While recording at the Chambers Farm Wood I started to wonder what should I do with the project. How should judge the sound material I had recorded. What to do with all the airplanes coming and going? I continued to record for next nine days and wonder about the post-production workload that was piling up. Then suddenly on the morning of Thursday the 15th of April I realized that everything had changed. This paper considers some of the choices an environmental recordist ends up doing and tries think why we tend to do them.

Listen to the presentation (The beginning of the presentation is unfortunately not recorded due to technical mishap.)

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Kirsti Allik & Robert Mulder
USA

The commodification of aural space: issues of sound and silence in Frontenac provincial park

Our focus is the area within the 5,214 ha. Frontenac Provincial Park which straddles the southern part of the Frontenac Axis situated on a southern arm of the Canadian Shield, north of Kingston, Canada. This semi-wilderness park features granite outcrops, vast wetlands and mixed forests, plants and wildlife. Trails wind through rugged terrain that contains lakes, portages, canoe routes, hiking trails, and campsites. The park was designated a Natural Area by Parks Ontario in 1974, a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985, and a UNESCO Frontenac Arch Biosphere in 2007, because of its unique historical, geological and geographic features. Our key question is: what can be done to preserve the quality of the natural soundscape of this area? Currently, while there are regulations governing use of vehicles and boats, there are no specific laws governing the disturbance upon the natural soundscape, other than the making of "excessive noise" on wilderness campsites. There are no laws regulating noise near or beyond the boundary of the park. We are in the process of recording existing sound levels at various locations within Frontenac Provincial Park in order to determine the actual impact of human produced sounds on this acoustic landscape. Collected data includes multi-track ambient sound recordings of key categories (point-of-view recordings), hydrophone recordings in lakes and streams, sound level metering, GPS data, photographic images, and descriptive journaling. Our methodology includes "soundcanoeing" (we have experimented with a variety of paddles and paddling techniques, and are able to travel through the water with virtually no “self-generated sound”), soundwalking, and on-site stationary sound recording. By doing this, we hope to create a comprehensive and easily accessible data bank and archive in order to assist current environmental groups such as the Friends of Frontenac Park, as well as to raise public awareness of this issue in the Kingston region.

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Nick Antonio
Arup Acoustics

Synergies between acoustic professionals: why we need to talk

This presentation raises the question ‘What can acoustic consultants bring to the Soundscape community?’ and looks to generate discussion on potential collaboration. It will describe existing acoustic consultancy and where the profession is heading, firstly examining the broad philosophies of acoustic design and why they have recently begun to change. It will examine some previously disastrous acoustic approaches with an ear towards improving them. It will give in high level outline results of a number of key research projects looking to perception of sound, dose/response and legislation. It will take delegates, who need no background in building, environmental, legislative or sustainable acoustic design through opportunities only now available with new technologies. It will describe the power now available in auralization in achieving understanding and agreement. Participants will be taken through some of the futures of auralization. The presentation will draw on the practical applications of new research referencing in simple terms, the physics, the psycho-acoustics and relevance to diverse building types. It will describe the need for acoustic design and why this can and should be holistically integrated into the design process. The presentation will examine lost and new opportunities to reduce cost and provide a better environment.

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Seth Ayyaz
City University London (Department of Music)
UK

Reconfiguring the Islamic sonic-social: The Bird Ghost At The Zaouia

The Bird Ghost At The Zaouia is a composed machine for listening that reconfigures the Islamic sonic-social. It is a mutating sonic body intended for loudspeaker diffusion that can be encountered as installation or in a discrete listening environment. It is a network of fragments whose temporal sequencing undergoes variation. The germinal strands of the fragments were initially identical. Each sound underwent evolution and transformation through a series of algorithmic processing networks, with selections and survival of material into the next stage made listening. At times, recurrences have a familial resemblance, but often they diverge markedly, such that to the ear they become different entities. Much as memory can be fallible and fictitious, so too is the way I have approached the material, seeking to tease out any essence, to undermine the "authority" of the recording in order to arrive at a subjective re-experiencing of the sounding presences. Like memories, these fragments are traces of past residues, filtered, and reassembled. Each time the work is listened to it is different, perceptually framed by what comes before and what follows. The work deconstructs and reconfigures recordings made at various Zaouia (Sufi shrines), mosques and religious spaces in Morocco, Egypt and Lebanon while attending a series of Lilat, Dhikr, or Zar ceremonies between 2002 and 2010. At the request of the respective religious leaders, no “musical” material played during the various ceremonies has been used. I found birds, resonant tails, breathes, overheard conversations, adhan and extraneous sounds floating in, sounds that where left behind and not framed as part of “music”. These requests carried normative pressures, which in the Islamic context have roots in longstanding debates within Shariah, regarding the place and permissibility of sound and music. These debates have parallels with more contemporary exchanges between schools of sonic practitioners (designated as acousmatic versus soundscape composition), regarding norms, ethics and listening modes appropriate to the use of recorded audio – along the sound object versus the soundscape axis. Reflecting upon these dual contexts, I became interested in an ethico-aesthetic exploration of the lines of demarcation between music and non-music beginning with the aural residuum of the recorded and religiously freighted spaces. In this paper I consider ethical aspects of recording and working with the field recordings that have arisen during the making of the work.

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Sabine Breitsameter
Hochschule Darmstadt (Department of Media)
Germany

Listening – come hell or high water: aspects of violating aural autonomy

Clairaudience, a term coined by Murray Schafer, is explored in its double and ambiguous character. By linking this hightened sense of sonic awareness to motifs from literature and mythology, this paper exemplifies the different degrees of freedom, which are related to focusing on the aural representations of the world. It identifies the ways how religious, political and societal authorities try to make their followers and participants listen, and shows strategies of subversion, applied by the listening subjects, to defend its autonomy.

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Nikos Bubaris

University of the Aegean (Department of cultural technology and communication)
Greece

The silence effect: turning up the experience of film sound

In the key scene towards the end of the Greek film ‘Ricordi Mi’, it appears that the main character remembers the central moment from her past love and life story. In this two-minute scene, no sonic data is recorded on the film. In building up to the climax of the narrative, almost unnoticeable short periods of silence mark the transitions between sets of recollections that are yet to be associated. The narrative time is not marked clearly and is highly non-linear, but the soundtrack of ‘Ricordi Mi’ gives a particular sense of diegetic presence in the multiple interior and exterior worlds of the characters. As such, ruptures between scenes are often marked with various modes of “complete” and “almost” silence. This paper discusses film silence – as in the example of ‘Ricordi Mi’ – as an interplay of attentive and distracted listening that intensifies the cinematic acoustic experience. Film silence, as it has been aptly pointed out, is not simply the absence of sound, but a mode for sounds to be delineated from and related to each other. Using silence is a temporal and highly selective process that does not only serve the classic drama structure, but also resonates with the very logic of film time. What silence de-centralises at one point, it concentrates at another. This centripetal and centrifugal function moves the audience in and out of the narrative by shifting points of audition. In this sense, film silence punctuates the cinematic acoustic experience in a multitude of possible ways. We will discuss this with particular reference to the cultural logic of cinematic audio technologies, the aesthetic practices of sound design, and the use of sound as an experiential mode of cultural consumption.

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Thomas Burkhalter
Independent Scholar / Norient.com – Independent Network for Local and Global Soundscapes
Switzerland

War concrète: Strategic responses to warfare in Beirut

The Lebanese people went through long periods of war and conflict. Exploding bombs, rockets, missiles, grenades, and gunshots became an ordinary occurrence. Music became propaganda, protest, a symbol of escapism, and a gate towards a better world. The focus of this paper lies in musicians and sound artists: What role did they play over time? How did they respond to warfare musically? And how was their music used and misused? The paper is based on extensive ethnographic field research in Beirut. It includes sound examples from different times, and interview sequences from musicians of different generations. The paper observes and describes the following main positions: The (leftist) protest singers of the Civil War period (1975 – 1990) used metaphors and/or programmatic music to describe traumatic war experiences. One cassette by the singer Philemon Wehbe became a top seller on street stalls all over Lebanon: “Lebanon, they fucked you!” Wehbe sang, and the Lebanese people from different political fractions sang along. Some composers and musicians wrote propagandizing music for the different militias, or jingles for the many community based radio stations. Rock bands rehearsed and performed in small shelters and tried to forget the tragic events. Some musicians fled, or hid in their houses. For today’s generation of musicians and sound artists, war is still very present. The “blubbering.” “jarring,” and “clapping” of Mazen Kerbaj’s trumpet seems to resemble the noises of rifles and helicopters; and Raed Yassin’s piece “Civil War Tapes” with its sound samples from the war period -- political speeches, bombs, radio jingles, and synthesizer pop – is a powerful and disturbing recollection of traumatic memories. These sound artists know all the weapons of war just by listening to their sounds, and they hear from where to where a rocket flies. During the 2006 war between Israel and Hizbullah, some argued that they even felt nostalgic about their childhood in war -- a challenging answer for the Swiss ethnographer.

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Isabelle Delmotte
Southern Cross University (School of Arts and Social Sciences)
Australia

The soundscapes of Noise: ethics of production and cinema sound design

While cinema is a visual language, a movie's richness and cultural distinctiveness is often achieved through the multisensory dimensions of sonic content and their interconnectivity with images. One of the main roles of cinema sound designers is to give affective dimensions to sonic environments, as the characters on screen are both listeners and visual observers of the fictional worlds they inhabit. However, in the chronology of a film production, sound design often comes last unless the acoustic elements define some of the characters, mostly present in science fiction or horror films. Cinema privileges dialogue and to some extent musical scores. Other sounds are often overlooked and catalogued as sound effects, and the role of the sound designer is likewise relegated to the technical periphery of a movie. The technical briefs of professional cinema sound designers put them at the junction of inventiveness, evolving technology, cultural distinctiveness and global markets. Their multi-skilled and intertwining roles demonstrate creativity. In an ethical framework based on creative integrity, I shall argue that sound designers should have a conceptual role, from inception, in the artistic development of a film. To evaluate the potential of such a role I will discuss the impacts of the sound production and the importance of acoustic environments in the Australian feature film "Noise" (Saville, 2007). This particular film encompasses at once the importance of sound environments for acoustic perception and the emotional involvement engendered in the viewer/experiencer through the work of sound designers. In the context of my research on acoustic ecologies and the senses, I will outline the pivotal role of this movie as the creative generator of sound expressions central to the artistic practice of my PhD investigation.

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John Levack Drewer
Unit for Sound Practice Research, Music Department, Goldsmiths, University of London
UK

“What would you like your city to sound like?”: ideological and ethical musings on urban soundscape design

Soundscape studies, both in theory and practice, was unashamedly underpinned with ethical and ideological musings from the start. In Murray Schafer's Tuning of the World (1977) he audaciously put forward the notion of the soundscape as an all-encompassing symphony, “unfolding around us ceaselessly” of which we are not merely passive audience members; rather we are empowered with the responsibility as its “performers and its composers”. Notwithstanding an international network (and regional off-shoots), a number of social science studies, artistic interventions and symposia, the response to Schafer’s proposed worldview has remained peripheral on economic, political and cultural spheres. However within the current milieu this status is rapidly shifting. In 2006 I found myself on a panel with Richard Cowell, director of Arup Acoustics. On working on the master-planning for the proposed Chinese eco-city, Dongtan, with an air of democracy, Cowell posed the question: “what would you like you city to sound like?” In 2008 DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) commissioned a review of “The Practical and Policy Applications of Soundscape Concepts and Techniques in Urban Areas”. In Euronoise09, organised by European Acoustics Association and the UK Institute of Acoustics there were 35 papers related to soundscape studies, consolidating the discipline of acoustics’ strategic evolution from noise control to soundscape design. Meanwhile the field of bespoke corporate sound design is quietly replacing the more generic and ubiquitous take on elevator music, the developers of the otherwise super-silent Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid sports car are exploring what sounds they should broadcast from its inside and outside, and the Mosquito, a repulsive alarm calibrated for under 25s that can emit 17.4 kHz at 108dB, is being used in an estimated 3,500 sites across the UK. Before we can sensibly address the question of, “what would you like your city to sound like?”, this paper recasts Schafer’s opening gambit from a 2010 megalopolis perspective. Probing at the motivations, tacit ideological orientations, the interplay of received aesthetics and ethics, and the ultimate goals (albeit unspoken) of urban soundscape design, the paper refers to compositional, cultural and spatial concepts including ideas and reflections posited by Cornelius Cardew, Guy Debord, Paulo Freire, Scott Lash and Celia Lury, Doreen Massey, Jacques Rancière, Richard Sennett, Nigel Thrift and Yi-Fu Tuan.

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  Mikael Eriksson & Kimmo Modig
Theatre Academy Helsinki (Department of Lighting and Sound Design)
Finland

What a peaceful sound! - creating trouble between sound and ethics

Today, on the 24th of March, we are thinking about Koli and our upcoming presentation there. We are trying to identify our preconceptions of the space where we will present our ideas and we wonder whether the acoustics of the room are suitable for even the softest of sounds we would like to play. "How could we obtain an audio recording of a horse being slaughtered", we wonder, "for trying out if reduced listening really is an ethical form of listening or even possible in all situations?" Also, how tired will everyone's ears be after all the exciting sound walks? The Swiss canton of Zürich has appointed an animal advocate to act as a lawyer on behalf of animals in court cases. If we look at ethics as a way of defining what we respect and what we do not place value on, we might come to think about what kind of dignity sound demands in artistic practice. How can I commit to dignity when working with sounds? And what gives an artist the right to create a sound installation based on the soundscape of the surroundings of someone else; is that dignified? If not, does sound also need a lawyer to represent it? We, as artists working with sound, recognize that within art there is no sound that in itself would be ethically problematic. As with all art, meaning and questions of appropriateness are completely relative to the context in which the ideas of the artist are presented. This way of looking at things narrows the ethical challenges of sound in art to a realm of questions such as what is worth listening to and what is worth making others listen to? Thus other questions relating to the ethicality of sound present themselves as problems of altogether different fields of discourse, relating to for example ethics in general, anthropology, or acoustics. In our presentation we will raise questions such as “Which is less ethical, the sound of a motorcycle or the demand to ban it?”, “It's only waves in the air, what are you upset about?”, and “Can sound really be abused, and if so, how much does it suffer?”. Our presentation takes the form of a performance that combines academic presentation and demonstration with strategies from the performing arts. Using numerous sonic examples we will try to create new problems between sound and ethics.

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Marisa Trench de Oliveira Fonterrada
Institute of Arts – The State University of São Paulo – UNESP
Brazil

Sound in myths and legends – a contribution for the study of the role of sounds for human beings

In this proposal it is discussed the importance of sound for human life. Sounds convey hundreds of information from the physical conditions of the environment to the deep meaning they have for human beings through memory, imagination and symbolic meanings, and its presence can be detected in myths and legends from any space and time worldwide. We will examine some Greek myths and native Brazilian myths in which sound or music have an important role, comparing them in order to discover their similarities and differences as well as the role of sound in each story. The study of these myths may help us to understand some of the issues we are facing today and better understand the role of sound in contemporary world.

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Nigel Frayne

Resonant Designs
Australia

Applying the philosophy of Acoustic Ecology to the creative sound design process in zoos and aquariums

The sonic environment plays a vital role in the life of most living organisms. The sonic environment of the zoo and aquarium also plays an important role in the aesthetic and interpretive experience of visitors. This paper presents an overview of the rationale and opportunities that exist for including sound into the creative design process leading to a Sonic Masterplan for the modern zoo and aquarium. Topics covered include the application of the principles of acoustic ecology, the art and craft of soundscape design, techniques and methodologies and the potential pitfalls resulting from the use of new technologies in soundscape delivery systems. Examples will be drawn from the author's experience in a wide range of projects in particular for Singapore and San Diego Zoos.

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Nicolai Graakjaer
University of Aalborg (Department of Communication & Psychology)
Denmark

Sounding out the shop – on music in commercial settings

“Shoppers linger in the aisles longer when there is music playing; more favourable impressions of products are formed when music that the listener likes is heard; music can stimulate the productivity of workers; music soothes and suggests” (Tyler 1992: 113). This and similar statements represent typical rationales of American mall managers dating back to the late 19th Century. For quite some time these rationales were not supported by empirical research. However, recently research on music in commercial settings has witnessed a boom illustrated by the fact, that more than thirty studies have been published within the past 20 years. Predominantly, this research is quantitatively oriented and it has been published within market research and experimental social psychology. This research suggests effects of music in commercial settings that are remarkably similar to what mall managers casually observed more than hundred years ago. Following a review by Hargreaves & North (2008) the effect of music can either be understood in physiological or cognitive terms, referring to psychobiology and knowledge activation respectively. This presentation will scrutinize the effects of music in commercial settings from a qualitative position. Based on a review of existing literature, the presentation will discuss in what ways and to what extend it is reasonable to suggest that music ‘has effect’ on consumers in commercial settings. The somewhat individualistic notions of psychobiological and knowledge activating effects will be contextualized by framing the issue of effects within the particular kind of situated activity, setting and cultural resources (inspired by domain theory, Layder 2006) arguably involved in and representative of music in commercial settings. By way of a short introduction (following Graakjær & Jantzen 2009), music in commercial settings shall be presented as a supplementary device enforced on consumers. It functions as sonic architecture in that it binds elements together or establishes distinctions in space and it is programmed to modulate situational aspects of consumption. The overall effect at which this music is aiming is not usually the creation of strong, intense and relatively short-lived emotions but rather a balanced mood fit for the occasion. It is driven by an urge for mood enhancement and/or branding. Its effect is situational, relying of course on the individual consumer’s predispositions, frame of mind and actual mood, on the social and cultural specificities of the targeted audience (taste, etc.) but also on the specifics of the actual setting and patterns of interaction herein.

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Nina Gram
University of Aarhus (Department of Aesthetics and Culture)
Denmark

The iPod user: a contemporary auditory flâneur?

The increasing popularity of the iPod and other mp3 players seems to indicate that modern consumers are reflecting on their auditory environment. By using om3 players they take the situation in their own hands creating for themselves more interesting, pleasurable and cohesive soundscapes. This tendency is growing and spreading. Sound walks are not only personal instruments for private auditory escapes, they are also popular in the art world, where artists create sound walks that make us relate to and experience our surroundings in new ways, as well as in the field of cultural communication and tourism. In the last couple of years the podwalk has been a popular way of getting information and interesting stories about historical topics related to specific buildings, settings or geographical areas. My paper will address some of the final questions presented in the call for papers: “Who has the right to fill the urban space with music, and [in particular] how is it currently happening?” With the iPod and other mp3 players as my point of departure I wish to exmine how personal soundtracks and private listening experiences may be understood as more than self-interested consumer habits. This position is contradictory to common descriptions of iPod listening as creating exclusive and excluding sound bobbles (Bull, 2005, 2008; Beer, 2007; Simun, 2009 et al.). In reference to Adorno’s theory on the function of popular music the private listening is occasionally understood as creating an illusory experience of urban space or a distraction from the (auditory) reality (Adorno, 1976:42). During my presentation I will examine personal mobile listening (weather it being iPod listening, listening as part of a performative audio walk or listening to an informative cultural audio guide) as new ways of interacting with the surroundings. To support this position I will introduce Walter Benjamin’s notion of the flâneur as a frame of reference between the iPod listening, the perfomative listening and listening to podwalks. Furthermore I will draw on Dufrenne’s theory on the aesthetic object as a perceived object and through this perspective I will examine the personal sound walks as an aestheticizing activity.

Full paper (pdf)

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Jenny Olivia Johnson
Wellesley College
USA

Hearing is knowing, remembering is forgetting: memory, trauma, and the ethics of listening to childhood sexual abuse in Bunita Marcus’s “The Rugmaker” and Andra McCartney’s “Learning to Walk”

Bunita Marcus’s “The Rugmaker,” a string quartet commissioned by the Kronos Quartet in 1986, was initially inspired by the patterns of Turkish rugs, a passion she shared with her teacher and longtime companion Morton Feldman. Andra McCartney’s “Learning to Walk,” a digital audio soundscape completed in 2004, was inspired by her experiences with a chronic hip injury. Yet as both composers began working with the sounds that would constitute these pieces, they each recovered visceral, terrifying, and highly synaesthetic memories of being sexually abused as children. For Marcus, the violin and viola timbres of the string quartet triggered sensations of being sexually “touched” and “felt” by her father’s hands, and for McCartney, the rich, metallic bell samples of her soundscape appeared “white,” caused her body to feel “cold, huge, empty, and full of pain,” and eventually helped her to recall the harsh, high-frequency scraping sounds of white curtains on a metal rod that comprised her acoustic memory of being raped in a hospital as a child. This paper explores these two avant-garde compositions from the standpoint of recent psychological and neurological scholarship on traumatic memory and sound-touch synaesthesia. The idea that memories of psychic trauma can be unconsciously repressed and later “recovered” in tact has been a subject of great controversy in recent discourses on trauma, with proponents claiming that extreme adrenaline rushes in the traumatized body cause the brain to process and store traumatic memories differently than normative ones (Levine 1997), and dissenters arguing that theories of repressed memory are culturally attractive but scientifically groundless (Loftus 1996). There is a similar lack of consensus in studies of synaesthesia, with some researchers claiming synaesthesia has no connection to memory (Ramachandran 2001), and others finding evidence that synaesthesia is deeply intertwined with memory (Smilek 2002). In my discussion of these two remarkable pieces and their role in unlocking painful memories, I argue that these composers’ traumatic memories may have never been repressed at all, but instead remembered according to the circuitous logic of synaesthesia: touch becomes music, sensation becomes sound, and sound becomes the safekeeper of terrible secrets and unspeakable memories.

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Laura Kaljunen & Juhana Venäläinen
University of Eastern Finland (Department of Finnish language and cultural research)
Finland

Dialectics of an (in)audible wilderness - The meaningful sounds of nature and its uses in Ilomantsi

Ilomantsi is the most eastern municipality of Finland and the European Union with approximately 6000 inhabitants situated in a plenty of small villages. These are spread around a comparably large area consisting mostly of uninhabited wilderness. Ilomantsi is known both as a preserver of Karelian culture and as an area of wild nature and big predators. Our study concentrated in two villages with an industrial heritage, Möhkö and Käenkoski. The study consists of two complementary research questions. First of all, how are the sounds(capes) and silence in Ilomantsi used and given meanings to? And second, how is the nature and “wilderness” in Ilomantsi used and given meanings to? These two interrelated questions are studied in the context of post-industrialization of the economy and production in Ilomantsi. The field work took place from 2nd November to 6th November 2009. The research material was gathered mainly by interviewing local nature tourism entrepreneurs. Other methods used were listening, recording and observation. In addition, we have studied business marketing materials and regional development strategies. The study concludes that silence, tranquility and sounds of nature are used extensively as a means of marketing the tourism industry of Ilomantsi. However, the forest industry remains one of the most important sources of income, utilizing nature in its own noisier way. Means of livelihood such as ironworks, felling and timber floating have shaped the soundscapes and landscapes for a long period of time in villages like Möhkö and Käenkoski. Still, the image of “intact wilderness” is being used for marketing by nature tourism entrepreneurs. In the everyday life of the entrepreneurs, nature and its sounds have more complex and varied meanings, reaching from the “common peripheral life” beyond the public image.

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Olli-Taavetti Kankkunen
Sibelius-Academy (Department of Music Education)
Finland

Listening to the sonic environment – Implications for music education

Living in a daily sonic environment most people spend the majority of their day in communication activities like listening. In many classrooms, students compete with excessive noise and reverberation to stay focused on what their teacher is saying. However, listening receives the least instruction at school: listening seems to be just a matter of school disciple. If people are not trained in active and attentive listening, how do we expect them to improve their listening skills? Soundscape researchers have suggested that sound education should be added to formal education. By thinking over the arguments which on the other hand support and on the other hand abjure taking the sonic environment aspect into account in general education, this paper is outlining the first philosophical steps on the path towards sonic environmental education as related to music education. Presumably we can found similarities (and differences) between listening to music and listening to sonic environment. Acoustic Communication is a useful framework for understanding a complex system as sound, human being and environment is. In the interest of comparison, I draw attention both to music as Fine Arts listening and to listening of sonic environment in the context of acoustic communication. After constructing theoretically the headlines of both aesthetic and praxial music philosophy concerning listening, based on the Philosophies of Bennett Reimer and David Elliot, we are faced with a dilemma: both aesthetical and praxial music philosophies are insufficient environmental paradigms in the context of sonic environment. Music education as listening education seems to have tools and goals, which are to some degree, but not completely, proper for listening to sonic environment. Thus, the basis of Fine Arts does not as such fit for the criteria of listening to environment. The contradiction concerns the basic questions: why, what and how students should listen to environment in addition to music. These questions awake more questions such as democracy versus individual freedom or criticality and sensibility towards sonic environment. There are essential differences between the ways of listening to music and listening to acoustic environment. This will be – after showing that learning to take account those differences are essential for the citizen – the main argument for adding sound education and the environmental listening to formal education. I will argue several valuable and useful (instrumental) reasons of listening in general and listening to sonic environment, which constitute for the citizen of society the basis of sonic environmental skills and the grounds of ethical thinking.

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Anahid Kassabian
University of Liverpool (School of Music)
UK

Ubiquitous musics and distributed subjectivity: affect, attention and listening

At the end of the discrete human subject, what is listening and who is doing it? In this talk, I will consider the five terms in the title, exploring how new modes of listening, new forms of engagements among bodies and musics and listenings, are creating new modes of being, new subjectivities that are distributed over human and nonhuman networks. Listening, in this sense, is both an activity and an actor; bodies are both actors and substrates, etc. The study of the musics around us and our engagements with them is undoubtedly a soundscape studies topic, and yet that literature has not been as central to this study as I had expected. I hope that this study, then, may contribute to opening some new avenues for the field to explore.

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Outi Kautonen & Ari Koivumäki
University of Eastern Finland & Tampere University of Applied Sciences
Finland

Soundscape stories and routes in Pirkanmaa

Pirkanmaan äänimaisemat (Pirkanmaa Soundscapes) is a project collecting descriptions and observations about the soundscapes in the province of Pirkanmaa around the city of Tampere during the Spring, Summer and Autumn of 2009 as well as in winter 2010. It is organized by The Finnish Society for Acoustic Ecology in collaboration with the School of Art and Media in Tampere University of Applied Sciences and the Department of Music Anthropology, University of Tampere. The project is supported by the Finnish Cultural Foundation, Pirkanmaa Regional Fund. The aim of the project is to explore the diversity of soundscapes within the area by means of recording and searching for information about different sounds connected to everyday life or special occasions, work or holiday, different seasons, urban or rural areas. Proposals of sonic environments worth recording have been received from February 2009 onwards. The project has a blog in which people can listen to and comment on different soundscapes as well as explore the suggested descriptions which are also shown on the map provided. Roughly hundred descriptions of soundscapes around Pirkanmaa region were gathered and dozens of recordings made with the people. Compared to the earlier project One Hundred Finnish soundscapes [2] the research group made more interviews and recordings with the informants. This is to say this time the soundscape was recorded more in the background or alongside the interview rather than making simply a sound recording as such. Why? One reason was to give more emphasis on each persons own soundscape stories -subjective ways of interpreting the sonic environment. Already from the beginning of the project one of the objectives was to find “ear witness archetypes”: children, youngsters, adults, different professions, urban/rural people – to be able to hear their different discourses and attitudes to the soundscape. Finally one of the goals was to create soundscape routes on the map. Technically speaking Google worked well in linking audio-visual material as well as blog texts on the map. These kinds of soundscape routes might act as commodification of aural space, sound and silence for people around Pirkanmaa region and elsewhere. Making soundscape routes with the locals in the web can be seen as a strategy for the citizens and planners to develop and guarantee the soundscape comfort by exploiting the information of important soundscape phenomena gathered from people.

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Jeffrey Kittay
The Center for Discovery, Harris, New York
USA

The best seat in the house: exploring the principles of design for the sound of the everyday

Millions of people with severe cognitive disabilities (intellectual and developmental disabilities, diminished intellectual capacity due to aging) live in residences that pay some attention to visual design but not the everyday soundscape. In spite of their disabilities, however, most of these residents are acute listeners and, as music therapy has shown, their auditory sensibility, and even musical intelligence, is intact. Their constant listening is often their most meaningful link to the world around them. Mostly non-verbal and non-ambulatory, these are captive audiences who lack capacities needed to control or mask intrusive or noxious sounds; enrich barren, sterile sound environments; or physically flee. This vulnerability makes it ethically necessary for us to intervene, ever mindful of the heavy responsibility involved. Having been asked to design the everyday soundscape for such residences, I see the project as not merely abating noise, or programming occasional background music, but adapting existing acoustic/electroacoustic sounds, and designing new ones, to afford:
· connecting residents with each other, with staff, and natural environments;
· helping them locate themselves cognitively within space, time, and cyclical routines and rituals; and
· building a repertoire of revisitable sounds to enrich their sense of self through associations with past experiences (individual, collective), and expand and deepen aesthetic pleasures.
These three goals have a high degree of interdependence. Since no consistent research exists on such an effort, I am compiling a book on pertinent findings from other fields, including sound design in film, sociology of music, human factors engineering, and ethnomusicology, along with psychoacoustics, acoustic ecology and onsite sound-installation art. My presentation will sketch what a theory of everyday soundscape design would look like, and list sample design recommendations. Often, the acoustic ecology “movement” presents itself as an appreciation of the rich and disappearing repertoire of natural sounds and sounds heavy in meaning from cultures with which we are increasingly out of touch. As attractive as this approach sounds, it never fully escapes the suspicion of being optional, a luxury. A powerful additional strategy is to demonstrate how the understanding of acoustic ecology answers an urgent need of those audiences critically vulnerable to our current neglected quotidian soundscapes. The nature of that vulnerability extends, in varying measures, to us all, so that to listen first through the “prism” of those with the largest stake in the auditory, and to design for them, is to discover many basic principles of soundscape integrity, and to clarify what all of us must demand of our environments.

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Meri Kytö
University of Eastern Finland (cultural research, ethnomusicology)
Finland

Sonic building blocks of Kuzguncuk community

The Kuzguncuk valley in Istanbul, Turkey, is regarded as a good example of a close knit neighborhood (mahalle) with multi-ethnic past and strong nostalgic narratives. It is also considered to be one of the most traffic hum free neighborhoods next to the urbanized Bosphorus area. The locals are very much aware of this and guarding it with infrastructural decisions. What are the soundscapes of Kuzguncuk? What is the significance of acoustic rhythms and dynamics to the community? My aim is to find out what, where and when the “silence” of Kuzguncuk is, and how the everyday acoustic rhythms construct a sense of place with the locals. How does the acoustic community construct meanings of not only nationality and ethnicity but familiarity and belonging? The data, observations, interviews and recordings are collected during two months of field work in Spring 2010.

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Eric Leonardson
Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
USA

Tourists in the soundscape, acoustic ecology in Chicago

This presentation traces the formative activities of the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology (MSAE), a new chapter of the American Society for Acoustic Ecology. The MSAE owes its existence to the confluence of three cultural factors:
· The thriving experimental music and sonic arts communities in Chicago, Illinois
· Ubiquitous growth of portable audio recording technologies
· Interest in acoustic ecology (namely through the writings of R. Murray Schafer)
This presentation examines the acoustic ecology in its active role in Chicago, Illinois, a city renowned for its modern architecture. One activity of the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology is the conduct of the World Listening Project, a not-for-profit organization that aims to promote understanding the world’s natural environment, societies and cultures through the practices of listening and field recording. Among the stories of MSAE first year of activity is its partnership with the Gropius In Chicago Coalition (GCC) in its effort to stop the City of Chicago’s demolition of it own great architectural legacy: eight buildings on the 37-acre campus of the former Michael Reese Hospital, designed in the 1940s by a team of architects lead by Walter Gropius. The City had planned to build its Olympic Village on the site for its unsuccessful bid to host the 2016 Olympics. Here market forces of tourism collide with large sectors of Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood. The concerns for healthier soundscapes and historical preservation now intersect with the desperate need for jobs, education, and healthcare. The destruction began on July 30, 2009 when the 60-year old landscape design of Michael Reese Hospital campus was “clear cut” by the City of Chicago, sparing only a few trees and community parks. It was an ominous and capricious show of power, nearly 600 hundred trees cut down with all shrubbery, flowers, and ground cover scraped from the site. The landscape was some of the most beautiful in Chicago. The significance for the soundscape was a design that contributed to a peaceful sonic environment: shielding it from the acoustic smog of heavy traffic that surrounds the campus on all sides. This was not an accidental consequence of the landscape design but an intentional decision for Gropius and his design team who understood that a place of healing requires sonic peace. Now a major work of Gropius’s built legacy in the State of Illinois has been lost, leaving behind what GCC founder Grahm Balkany called, “a colossal monument to waste and stupidity.”

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Anthony Magen & Michael Fowler
Urban Initiatives, Melbourne
RMIT University, Melbourne
Australia

Soniferous city: auditory awareness in landscape architecture

Soniferous City was a 2009 design studio led by Anthony Magen and Michael Fowler within the Landscape Architecture program at RMIT University in Melbourne Australia. This paper outlines the goals and methodologies used in the studio as well as exploring deeper concepts about the role of landscape design praxis within the future built environment and the relationship between soundscape and landscape within contemporary landscape design pedagogy.

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Andra McCartney
Concordia University
Canada

Ethical questions about working with soundscapes

When soundscape composers, documentarians and artists work with soundscapes, they are expressing relationships to the place and its inhabitants and visitors, to the sounds listened to, recorded from or projected into the space, and to the audience of the work. Each time a soundscape composer designs a soundwalk or a theatre piece, an installation or broadcast work, relationships with the world are expressed through how the maker treats the place, the sounds and the audience. What are the ethics of this expression, and how are these ethics informed by underlying ideologies of sound, of sound production, and of sound ecology?

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Johannes Müske
Hamburg University (Institute of Folklore/Cultural Anthropology) /
Göttingen University (Göttingen Research Group on Cultural Property)
Germany

Soundscapes as “local ideologies” – the case of the Flensburg harbour soundscape

Sounds and tones are omnipresent elements of our sensory surrounding and the constituting parts of soundscapes. From a social and cultural anthropological perspective, senses are not transparent “windows to the world”, but socially “encoded instruments” (Michael Herzfeld). Soundscapes are therefore not only constituted by a specific acoustic environment but also by collectively shared meanings, which are mediated through “local ideologies” such as traditions. In my paper I discuss soundscapes in line with Pierre Nora’s concept of the lieux de mémoire. Nora collected and investigated material and immaterial sites evoking ideas of French national history and identity. The Nation state as a construct based on specific ideologies relies on collectively shared memory sites like the Marseillaise – an example of an acoustic memory site. This holds also true for soundmarks in a local context. The term soundmark connotes an “acoustic community” (R. Murray Schafer) for whom particular sounds provide meaning. In preparation for a student’s exhibition at the Flensburg Maritime Museum (Germany), the project members conducted interviews with pedestrians and experts in Flensburg. Thereby we discovered that people’s associations with the sound of the Flensburg harbour are often linked to maritime stereotypes, like the sound of sea-gulls, ship horns, or the running rigging of sailing yachts. By analysing our own sound recordings, however, we realised that the soundscape was mostly dominated by sounds of the nearby car traffic. A look at recently invented traditions helps to understand this contradiction. Since the late 1970s, people enthusiastic about the history of the harbour and the local tourist agency have invented various festivals related to the maritime past of Flensburg. The maritime heritage and its presence in the city is growing in the last three decades. It plays a vital role for the local understanding of Flensburg as a maritime city. The ethnographic case study draws on short interviews, qualitative research, and sound recordings. The data was collected in the context of a project seminar. The paper will also present findings of the sound exhibition project, hafen-klang-landschaft (harbour-soundscape).

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Atsushi Nishimura & Kozo Hiramatsu
Okinawa National College of Technology
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
Japan

The significance of local participation and local initiative in soundscape design

This paper discusses the significance and indispensability of local residents' participation and initiative in accomplishing a successful soundscape design, based mainly on an analysis of the Hirano Soundscape Museum project, a community development activity in Osaka, Japan, in which the authors have been involved. The authors also compare the case of the Hirano Soundscape Museum and two other cases in order to construct a theory of soundscape design. The two other cases are as follows. The first is a soundscape study by residents of Nagasaki in which they selected 20 good soundscapes of the city. The second is the landscape design of the Rentaro Taki Museum, in which a designer reconstructed a previous sonic environment with the cooperation of local residents. The cases are analysed in terms of (1) local initiative, (2) local participation and (3) public funding. Although some formal differences appear among the cases, the participation and initiative of local residents were undoubtedly indispensable in all of them. The authors’ field work yielded evidence that the local residents' participation and initiative were essential to the soundscape design.

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E. Sirin Özgün
MIAM (Center for Advanced Studies in Music)
Istanbul Technical University
Turkey

Challenging sounds: transforming the soundscape of Istanbul

Istanbul is a global city where permanent struggles over identities take place. It is the milieu where tragedies of hatred (the serious attacks on ethnic minorities) and political tragedies (the street battles of 1970’s, the bloody Sunday of 1977’s 1st of May etc.) happened in the last century. Despite the vivid memory of these tragedies, struggle over the rights to express identities and political demands continue. One aspect of these struggles is the cyclic events of the street: political manifestations where thousands of people meet, street carnivals/festivals, and different rituals. These events intervene with the everyday flow of city life. The most salient means of these interventions are the occupation of a place otherwise used for different purposes and the use of sounds which challenge existing everyday codes of the city soundscape. In this paper three different events will be presented: the 1st of May celebrations, the Newroz celebrations of the Kurdish people and the Easter celebrations of Istanbul’s Greeks. The first one is a merely political event which gained a ritualistic character during the years after 1977 massacre. It became a myth of conquest of the city’s most popular square where the massacre happened, each year the place of it being the subject of struggle between trade unions and the government. Newroz, originally an agricultural spring feast, which gained political meanings over the last 30 years of ethnic struggle, is a celebration where political and ritual intertwine. The Easter celebrations of Istanbul’s Greeks take place in churches. Where it takes place, it creates a new and different sound environment for both the participants and the others. All three events will be analyzed in terms of their manner of intervening with the city’s soundscape, their relation to the environment in terms of breaking the codes of the soundscape and the ways they transform it.

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Panayotis Panopoulos
University of the aegean (Department of social anthropology and history)
Greece

Saving silence, finding your voice: sound ideologies of New Age

In countless New Age meetings, workshops, collective activities, magazine articles and advertizing brochures, all around the globe, a rich discourse on sound, silence and aural space is constructed. New Age cultures constitute interesting fields of research on the articulation of contemporary ideologies of sound and hearing. New Age cultural discourse considers sound and silence to be major topics of spiritual empowerment and self-fulfillement; special emphasis is given to silence as a trope of an idealized lost calmness under current conditions of sensory overstimulation, as well as to voice as a trope of a genuine, yet endangered, inner sensibility, under attack in contemporary noisy environments. What is the impact of New Age ideologies of sound, with their special emphasis on the degradation of urban soundscapes, on wider aural sensibilities and acoustic ecology? How do these ideologies influence wider discourses concerning the quality of natural and human-made environment? What can we learn from the study of these ideologies about the theoretical bases of acoustic ecology and how can this study influence the future development of soundscape studies?

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David Paquette
Concordia University (Department of Communication Studies)
Canada

From soundscape to sonic place: listening in the environment

In this presentation, I will offer a reflection on the traditional notion of the soundscape, and propose to consider place as a research paradigm in acoustic ecology. Place and space have become prominent concepts in contemporary transdisciplinary research as well as fine arts. The work of French philosopher Gilbert Simondon also makes possible a reconsideration of the potential of sounds and sound practices to be considered as traces of the complex processes that create and shape place. I will begin by looking at soundscape as a model of representation of the sound environment, and evaluate its ontological and epistemological basis. I will then introduce the philosophical and geographical notion of place, and show its relevance to acoustic ecology as a research domain but also as a space of reflection on the role and reception of all sonic forms. Simondon’s concept of the milieu will similarly be introduced, in a way to emphasize his understanding of the multi-dimensional and mediating nature of place, and the use of sound as an informational and structuring agent. Finally, I will describe the sonic place and its theoretical and methodological potential, based on a number of recent and current research projects. Listening as a method of inquiry results in a particular ontological framing of the world, in which the researcher is always involved. But listening to a place necessitates a reintroduction of other senses in a way to make possible an understanding of sounds not just as acoustic realities but also as indicators, traces of a larger ecological but also ethical system to which they partake, or from which they result. The sonic place, by enlarging the range of issues and environments that can be explored and critically researched through sound, creates points of contact with other disciplines while providing acoustic ecology with a supplementary approach to deal with the increasing complexity of real and virtual sound worlds.

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Andrea Polli
University of New Mexico (Colleges of Fine Arts and Engineering)
United States

Airspace Antarctica

This paper investigates how sound transmission can contribute to the public understanding of climate change within the context of the Poles. How have transmission-based projects developed specifically in the Antarctic, and how do these works create alternative pathways in order to help audiences better understand climate change? The author has created the media project Sonic Antarctica from a personal experience working in Antarctica. The work combines soundscape recordings and sonifications with radio-style audio interview excerpts.

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Bernd Rohrmann
RomanResearchRoad, Melbourne
Australia

Impacts of intense music soundscapes on people's communication in public places

Ecological issue: Public places - such as markets, pubs and restaurants, cinemas, theatres, teaching venues, shopping centres, sport venues, transportation facilities - have a particular 'soundscape' which affects visitors' perceptions and behaviors. For example, people in a restaurant encounter several kinds of soundscapes: sounds resulting from running the place, sounds created by customers, sounds from outside, and the sounds provided by the music systems which are run in most public places; none of these soundscapes are under the control of the visitors. Thus the question arises, what do they actually desire, and do they like what they experience in this kind of environment? Almost all people going to a shop or restaurant or gym do so for a practical reason, e.g., eating, buying something, exercising; hearing music is not their primary aim. The music imparted there may entertain or disturb. Conducted research In a series of 15 socio-psychological field studies, demands and appraisals of supplied music were explored, surveying what sound levels do occur, whether customers want music to be present or absent; the desired content and level of music; their perceptions and evaluations of the actual music situation, and how the soundscapes impact on communication. In the first study, "Influence of music in cafes & restaurants", 6 cafes and restaurants were looked at, with personal interviews of customers (N=72). The study "Sound levels and social interactions in music venues", dealt with 3 venue types: pubs, restaurants and gyms (3x3); including N=32 qualitative interviews. In a further study, "Music levels in Melbourne University eateries", 17 venues were inspected. In all studies sound measurements (Leq, L-peak) were carried out. Using a different approach, in "Sound levels and social interactions in eateries", N=79 customers of cafes and bistros were observed. Finally, "Social interactions in eateries with music: Staff and management attitudes" were explored in 8 venues. Most of these studies were repeated in Austria, Germany and Netherlands. Findings and interpretation: Results from study indicate that customers have specific preferences, and that satisfaction with a restaurant visit is influenced by their evaluation of the music soundscape they encounter. Although the measured sound levels were substantial (Leq's up to 85 dB[A], with peaks well above 100), most customers accept these levels. In study , the sound exposure was similar; the interview data suggest that communication behavior changes in loud environments, for example, the use of words decreases while facial expressions become more essential. Yet the tolerance for 'noisy' settings appeared to be considerable, and quiet situations not much searched for. Study confirms the current trend of rather loud soundscapes in public environments. Finally, the results from signal that those running a venue rather than customers steer what's happening. Crosscultural comparisons yielded by and large similar insights. Practical implications: These findings can be interpreted as part of a wider context: Quiet localities have become rare, and a need for music in about every kind of public place seems to be postulated. Yet their is a price: It seems that the quality of human interactive communication in music-dominated environments is impaired. Nevertheless, given the surprising acceptance of strident soundscapes - are they a principal feature of the contemporary culture? This thought leads to further questions - Do people who live in largescale urban environments know and need 'quiet' soundscapes at all? What kind of soundscapes do humans 'really' desire? On-going research needs to explicate these facets.

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Scott Smallwood & Stephan Moore
University of Alberta
Canada

Receiver: exploring soundscape through radio composition and audience improvisation

In 2007, the authors embarked upon a residency in the northern Catskills in upstate New York at free103point9’s Wave Farm. Our idea was to construct an installation/performance event that engaged with the natural soundscape through the use of radio transmitters and an audience equipped with portable radios. A multi-layered soundscape composition was created using local sound sources, and then each layer was broadcast on a separate channel using low-power radio transmitters, tuned to tightly neighboring frequencies, in order to ensure that interesting new sounds would emerge through the processes of radio interference. Live signals from nearby radio stations added further layers to the composition. The sensitive balance of each radio’s electronics provided a medium for the interaction of adjacent radio frequency bands, mediated by the radio’s controls, the local topography, and the audience/performer’s bodily interaction with the radio’s reception. Audience members wandered through the woods, exploring the sounds of tree frogs and crickets mixed with their own individual tuning performances on their radios, while engaging with their location through multiple modalities. This project has proven to be repeatable in different contexts, and has evolved into a portable performance scenario. This paper will describe in detail the process of composition, programming, and performance, as well as outlining future directions.

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Charles Stankievech
Yukon School of Visual Arts, Yukon Territory
Canada

Acoustic spatialisation of subjectivity: headphones, space and sound art

Continuing the trajectory of listening first established by the medical stethoscope, this essay discusses the role of headphones in shaping our acoustic perception of the world and the resulting spatial organisation of our subjectivity. Instead of considering the social relations of sound reproduction as is the norm in the humanities and cultural studies, or the “high fidelity” of headphone technology in scientific R&D and consumerist desire, this essay considers the psychoacoustics of headphone space from a phenomenological position. Particularly, I explore the strange effect of “in-head” acoustic imaging, which is usually deemed a “noisy” artefact of technology. A survey of literature on the topic reveals that little is written on the history and development of headphones compared to the length of their use (longer than motion pictures, for example) and their present ubiquity in several fields, ranging from the military to the arts, from the news to medicine. The first part of this essay traces the history of modern listening as developed by the stethoscope and the technical attributes maintained with headphones. The second part of this essay presents three sound artists who creatively work with headphones for peculiar spatial results. In the 21 century, conceptual artist Bruce Nauman maybe crying for us to get out of his mind, but he and other sound artists like Ryoji Ikeda, Bernhard Leitner, Janet Cardiff and the author of this paper are wanting more and more to get into your head. What matters is not only what they are saying, but how you are hearing it. A companion sound exhibition “Headphones: Sound Without Space” was curated by the author for the Architectural Association (London) presenting fifteen audio tracks relating to the issues of this research, including the tracks discussed in this paper: http://www.stankievech.net/projects/aaradio/headphones.html

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Keiko Torigoe
Aoyama Gakuin University (School of Cultural and Creative Studies)
Japan

The Japanese hot spring soundscape

Since ancient times human beings throughout the world have cultivated a rich diversity of bathing customs and traditions. The Finnish Sauna and Japanese Furo remain among the most iconic today, continuing to feature as important activities in everyday cultural life. The etymology of Furo, the Japanese term for “hot bathing”, can be traced back to two words: Muro and Furo. Muro means cave and is used to describe a steaming bath called an Iwaburo, while Furo is a water container used in the tea ceremony. Historically the term Furo meant “steaming bath”, but this was later modified to describe “a bathtub for the lower half of the body” and finally “a deeper bathtub for the whole body”. Sketches and illustrations depicting Furo bath scenes provide a useful historical insight into Japanese bathing culture, which encourages a variety of interpretations of diverse bathing soundscapes. Japan is home to a wide range of different Furo experiences and environments. Among these the outdoor open-air bath Roten-buro, represents the Japanese bathing experience in its purest and most popular form. From a soundscape perspective, Roten-buro provides an engaging sonic experience of the natural hot spring, fostering awareness and appreciation of the surrounding natural environment. Often perched high up in mountain alcoves, Roten-buro bathers sink back into the natural ambience of dripping water, running streams, frogs and cicada. Such bathing hotspots are also commonly found along the coast, hidden among rocks and vegetation. Bathers journey to these sea-view springs to bask in hot water, while the wind washes them with sounds and scents from across the waves. Other types of coastal Roten-buro include the Sunamushi-buro “sand steaming” baths and the Doukutsu-buro “large cave” baths, both of which have remarkable acoustic properties. The Furo is an integral part of everyday life in Japan that combines a myriad of physical experiences and perceptive states. In this modern age of built-up concrete design and hightech high-rise living, the Roten-buro represents an increasingly precious experience of time and space, through the soundscape of the natural Japanese climate and land.

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Kyoko Tsujimoto
The Graduate University for Advanced Studies (Department of Comparative Studies)
Japan

Transferring sounds and layering auditory culture in East Asian cities: from the field of Dragon and Lion Dance of Hong Kong

It is often stated that globalization reigns over the world's landscape. In East Asia, large cities like Shanghai, Seoul, Tokyo, and Hong Kong all have similar looking skylines defined by tall buildings . Visually, this makes these cities look almost the same. However; if we perceive “landscape” through the other four senses, we can discern features that are typically more East Asian. We may notice the varieties of flavors and tastes of the local foods, the subtleties in the changes of the four seasons. In this presentation, I consider soundscape as one part of an entire “world of senses”. Focusing particularly on Hong Kong’s mixture of sounds from an “auditory” perspective, I try to define its most common East Asian features. During the Lunar New Year, colorful Dragon and Lion Dances are performed in Chinese communities all over the world. They are accompanied by the loud sounds of drums, cymbals, and gongs. This presentation focuses on East Asian soundscapes, based on my field research among performers in Hong Kong, where Lion and Dragon dances are performed at not only ritual events, but opening ceremonies of shops, public holiday celebrations, or personal parties. These sounds do not consist of "one kind of music", but are in themselves a multilayered complex of sounds. They are produced by traditional instruments, mixed with those of the contemporary, urban soundscape. Before modernization, each community shared its own characteristic sounds, in "Acoustic Community" as Murray Schafer has described, but now they are combined with various other sounds that originate from outside the community. Now we can hear a mixture of modern sounds, like background music and ringtones from mobile phones. These changes in the modern cities have been including indigenous music, and they are undertaken by people who themselves live in cities. I try to analyze this change as "Acoustic Communication" beyond the boundaries of community. My research in Hong Kong shows that the Dragon and Lion Dances are also affected by it. For example, these performers do not belong to the same neighborhoods, and arrange dates and get to know other teams' performing styles coming from different regions and countries. They are highly dependent on Information Technology, which has changed people's means of communication. These are also new forms of "Acoustic Communication". In this presentation I investigate these soundscapes referring to Steven FELD’s “lift-up-over-sounding” notion. I try to adapt it to a modernized East Asian city.

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Barry Truax
School of Communication, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver
Canada

Interacting with inner and outer sonic complexity: from microsound to soundscape composition

It is possible to think of the two extremes of the world of sound as the inner domain of microsound (less than 50 ms) where frequency and time are interdependent, and the external world of sonic complexity, namely the soundscape. In terms of sonic design, the computer is increasingly providing tools for dealing with each of these domains, such as granular synthesis and multichannel soundscape composition. The models of interaction involved with the complexity of each of these domains are instructive, and will be presented with sound examples.

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Jacqueline Waldock
University of Liverpool (Department of Music)
England

Liverpool soundscape: a discussion of the issues facing researchers in a changing urban environment

This paper will address the issues that arise when undertaking soundscape research in the multicultural city of Liverpool. Liverpool’s status as Capital of Culture in 2008 prompted a large regeneration of the city. One site of regeneration was the Welsh Streets. The Welsh Streets are historically and recently a multi-ethnic community. The first houses were built in 1881 by Welshmen from North Wales moving to the city for work, the Welsh Streets residents soon gained Irish neighbours, as approximately 30% of all workers were Irish. In the decades that followed neighbours arrived from Jamaica, Ghana, Ethiopia and other African states to create a vibrant community. However the regeneration process brought huge controversy over the draconian methods employed by the council and fierce debates between the residents and the council are still raging. The Council’s plan was for “phased clearance and redevelopment”, phased clearance being the removal of people from the houses that they own. As you might expect some residents were not willing to move out and have their homes demolished. As some have stayed and many have moved or been moved the soundscape of the Welsh Streets has changed dramatically. The soundscape project in Liverpool focusses specifically on the Welsh Streets. The diverse backgrounds and turbulent nature of the area bring new and challenging problems for the soundscape researcher. I will argue that the unsettled nature of the area and the shifting sense of place, forces the researcher to address issues of class and grading both in the soundscape and in the methods employed.

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Noora Vikman
University of Eastern Finland, Faculty of Philosophy
Finland

Surprising silence: modification processes of soundscape

From certain point of view the relation between tourism and silence of the environment seems an amusing paradox – and in practice nearly an impossible encounter. Surely the distinctive marks of this paradox always remain, but what about possibilities of sustainable tourism as future livelihood? Surveys of tourist activities in official statistics do not tell the stories about small scale tourism initiatives. Still they do exist. In the middle of the immaterial turn of economy, specially the processes in which localities identify to new slogans like silence and quietness are interesting. In my future research I will combine three partly overlapping themes in soundscape research: soundscape comfort, search of silence and the commodification processes of place utilizing the immaterial sound. Are there any positive hooks to grasp in the phenomena called silence as a source of a stronger local identity and utilizing it in creating everyday livelihood in the margins of tourism? I’ll ask this question in Italy and Northern Carelia, Finland, and listen to the local agents as well as different agendas’ values in projects of tourism improvement and research. Specially interesting are the cases in which their views possibly interact. In my paper I will present everyday life, future visions and some efforts made in tourist projects networking in some communities of Northern Carelia, Finland. I deal with the questions of “materiality of silence” and ideologies of “eco tourism”, “nature tourism” and “slow travelling”. I will present one of the rural area development projects in which silence has been used as a rhetorical triumph when marketing existing facilities and try on an ethical perspective to the division of tourist-anthropologist-listener as an agent in the field.

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Suzi Wiseman
Texas State University-San Marcos (Department of Geography)
United States of America

Captive animals in an urban zoo soundscape

Accelerated extinctions since 2003 have resulted in total reliance on captive breeding for certain taxa. Yet some critically endangered species reproduce poorly in captivity. With stock aging and fewer wild animals entering the zoo system, effective breeding is imperative. Zoos associate behavioral enrichment with improved health and reproduction, and with more natural behaviors. Sound is sometimes incorporated in training or as a lure, yet few studies have explored captive animals’ innate response to their soundscape, or the jeopardy of adaptation to anthrophonies if these creatures should be reintroduced to the wild. Research indicates that modern urban dwellers are increasingly unable to recognize important sound cues due to the noise through which they must filter these cues. In addition, humans have been shown to demonstrate measurable physiological changes when subjected to excessive noise for prolonged periods. What is the effect of the soundscape on animals with particularly sensitive hearing that have been transported from a wild environment into an urban zoo? For creatures such as rhinoceri – largely stimulated by scent and sound - I explore whether their soundscape influences their behavior. Could their soundscape be modified to encourage mental, emotional and physical well-being – which may thereby promote breeding? I contend that for animals with poor eyesight but excellent hearing, and for others which have never seen the surroundings of their facility, the soundscape becomes their landscape. It is their only method of deciphering the wider vicinity, apart from scent. This task is even more difficult and potentially confusing if they have never experienced such a soundscape before. I wish to ascertain whether, even after long acclimatization, typical sounds of an urban zoo cause stress and whether an appropriate wild natural soundscape may stimulate a different response. An urban zoo in Texas is sampled for sounds representative of its daily activity. A CD is compiled of such sounds, and played to rhinoceri when there is minimal ambient noise in their environment. Recordings of natural elements are also played. Their response to each set of stimuli is compared to their normal baseline.The studbook and keepers’ journals for each rhinoceros are noted to explore whether wildborn animals may behave differently from captive born. Sex and personality are also considered. If rhinoceri and other captive and domestic animals react to their aural environment, altering this may prove a cost effective method of enrichment, reducing stress and stereotypic behavior and encouraging reproduction.

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Yi Yuan
University of Eastern Finland (Cultural Studies)
Finland

The ways of thinking about hearing in Buddhism - study on Surangama sutra

As one of the three most central sutras in Buddism, Surangama sutra is especially related to hearing. Since Surangama Sutra is caused by events about hearing and also run through by hearing. Mahayana Buddhism believes that all manifestations and subjects in the universe which are produced by causal conditions, and also die out from it,are exactly transitory mental images. The three basic concepts about hearing in Buddhism, Srotra-indriya (auditory faculty), Sabda-visaya(sound environment) and Erh-shih (auditory consciousness) are in this circle, too. The only timeless and eternal reality(or truth) is the Tathata(thusness) so-called Buddha-Nature, which is also the nature (essence) of hearing. Hearing plays a critical role in the way of developing into Buddhahood. It can mislead one to forever delusion[illusion], whereas, it can also designate the way to develop into Buddhahood. It is depend on what you use to listen, how you listen, and what you listen to. In Surangama Sutra, it is listed three kind of hearing ways: The first one is to use Ear organ to listening to the outside sound. The second one is to read other beings’ inner world via Ear in mind. Last but not at least way is in virtue of Hearing mind to reach the inner world of ourselves. Both the former two direct to outside world, except the last one is turning back to inside. Earthlings are absorbed in permanent searching for sound from outside world. In this case the nature (essence) of hearing will be covered by sound. Hence, the first way will not be a proper way for the ordinary people to develop into the Buddhahood. To hearing of the other’s inner world through your ear in mind is too much easier said than done for the ordinary people. Thus, it is not recommend, either. However, by means of turning back to listening to the inner world and letting the outside sound die out can reveal the nature of hearing as well as the Buddha-nature. This hearing way, which is actually the path for leading all the beings to develop into Buddhahood, directs not to the sound can be heard but the eternal silence----Nirvanna , which is the highest level being aspired for in the Buddhism. Surangama Sutra discloses us the hearing way of Buddhism, a way towards eternal silence. That is the way of Buddha to reveal the truth.

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