Total Pageviews

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Lecture: Dr. Sarah May - Reverence and a Noise Experiment at Silbury Hill

Dr. Sarah May, research archeologist with English Heritage, discusses her research about the acoustic dimension of Silbury Hill  and the relationship between sound making and listening throughout the adjacent soundscape. Silbury Hill is a prehistoric artificial chalk mound near Avebury in the English county of Wiltshire. This lecture was given at the Acoustics and Music of British Prehistory Research Network symposium at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge University, June 19, 2006. Clic2Read more about Silbury Hill 
Part 1 (9:44) 
Part 2 (9:51) 
Part 3 (5:44) 

Friday, March 30, 2012

Phonograper: Bernie Krause - Field Recording Sequoia

Sounds of Nature (2:24) Mr. Krause is a bioacoustician who left the studio for natural sound. Krause discusses his experience in the soundscape and the enrichment of life it can provide. Krause travels the world trying to record the soundscapes that are disappearing as people encroach upon nature. Source: Inspiration and Spirit on YouTube

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Research: Measuring Your Personal Noise Exposure

Noise Tube (2:46) "Noise pollution is a serious problem in many cities. NoiseTube is a research project about a new participative approach for monitoring noise pollution involving the general public. Our goal is to extend the current usage of mobile phones by turning them into noise sensors enabling each citizen to measure his own exposure in his everyday environment. Furthermore each user could also participate to the creation of a collective map of noise pollution by sharing automatically his geolocalized measures with the community."

"By installing our free application on your GPS equipped phone, you will be able to measure the level of noise in dB(A) (with a precision a bit lower than a sound level meter), and contribute to the collective noise mapping by annotating it (tagging, subjective level of annoyance) and sending this geolocalized information automatically to the NoiseTube server by internet (GPRS).  Click2Learn more about NoiseTube. 

Source: YouTube

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Soundscape Installation: White Sound: An Urban Seascape

White Sound: An Urban Seascape (11:41)  In this installation by Bill Fontana, a live audio feed of the Dorset shoreline played out of speakers mounted onto the facade of Wellcome Collection (London) with film footage of the beach screened throughout the three week exhibit. 

"Sounds of crashing waves envelope the building and the surrounding public to create an entirely new acoustic architecture that challenges our sense of place and dissolves the physical sensation of being in the city within an experience of the tidal rhythms of the sea." Source: Wellcome Collection

Monday, March 26, 2012

Soundscape: New York City Sonic Contrasts

NYC Soundscape (4:12) This is an audio exploration of New York City's different sonic atmospheres that weaves together  loud and quiet environments giving a theoretical experience of the city. This is an exploratory analysis of the different city sounds and images and how these experiences can be juxtaposed. Source: YouTube

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Research: Positive Soundscape - Manchester

Positive Soundscape. (13:03) A commissioned research study for the University of Salford into "Positive Soundscape". The objective is to support the institution's initiative on how to reinterpret the sounscape of the (external) environment, particularly in towns and cities. This involves discovering peoples' attitudes to sound. For example different bird-song, laughter, aircraft engine noise: in various locations such as a city street, public park, or suburban garden. Researcher: Martin Percox, Architect, for University of Salford Department of Acoustics. Source: YouTube

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Interview: Joel Chadabe on Ear To The Earth

Ear to Earth (4:31)  A short interview with Joel Chadabe, composer, founder Ear to the Earth, President of EMF (Electronic Music Foundation). Chadabe discusses the importance of listening the soundscape and how the Ear to The Earth organization encourages exploration of the acoustic-environment. Source: YouTube

Friday, March 23, 2012

Lecture: Andrea Polli - Sonification

"Andrea Polli is a digital media artist living in New Mexico. Her work addresses issues related to science and technology in contemporary society. She is interested in global systems, the real time interconnectivity of these systems, and the effect of these systems on individuals."

"She currently works in collaboration with atmospheric scientists to develop systems for understanding storm and climate through sound (called sonification). Recent projects include: a spatialized sonification of highly detailed models of storms that devastated the New York area; a series of sonifications of climate in Central Park; and a real-time multi-channel sonification and visualization of weather in the Arctic. She has exhibited, performed, and lectured nationally and internationally and recently spent seven weeks in Antarctica on a National Science Foundation funded project"


Scientist and Artists (34:17) Andrea Polli presents examples of artists working closely with scientists to make research on the environment approachable by the public. She addresses her own efforts in this area. Source: Vimeo

Scaling the Sonic Terrain (55:23)  Andrea Polli discusses her interest in raising environmental awareness through signification. This lecture was a part of the Sound+Science Symposium at UCAL in March 2009. Source: Vimeo

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Project: How Loud is a Slithering Snail?

Can you hear a snail? (6:12) How loud is a slithering snail and what's the footfall of a centipede? Jem Stansfield, of the BBC's Bang Goes The Theory TV series takes an assortment of creepy crawlies and sound recordist Chris Watson to a very very quiet anechoic chamber to find out. Source: BBC/YouTube

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Project: Silence of the Lands

Silence of the Lands  is "... a long term project that uses sounds to promote active and constructive roles in the interpretation and management of natural and urban environments. The project investigates infrastructural use of social technologies and cross-media interaction in support of informal learning, sustainable development, and 'new heritage' practices. The project has been showcased at the Sonic Arts Festival and in the Leonardo Electronic Almanac Gallery, listed in Stephen Wilson's Info Arts Links, and presented in several venues, including the HP Mobile Labs, Bristol." Click2Read  more.


Silence of the Lands (1:25) "This project  enables participants to map and annotate the soundscape of urban and natural environments. Participants can record and collect ambient sounds, create and share acoustic cartographies, and use them as conversation pieces of a social dialogue on the sonic environment. The result is an ecomuseum in which personal acoustic ecologies are translated into an affective geography that changes over time according to participants' perceptions and interpretations of their environmental setting." Source: YouTube

Protoype SOL Composition (1:13) (SP) Prototype of a tangible social interface for browsing soundscapes. Allows the composition of most environmental sounds selected by users who interact with the interactive surface. This prototype has the important feature of multi-user (up to 4 people simultaneously).

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Phonographer: Marc Namblard

Audionaturaliste  (2:23) (FR) March Namblard is an environmental educators by occupation and as a nature recordist he travels the countryside and forests of Northeast France recording the diverse soundscape. He began as a visual artist who found the call of the forest stronger and he wanted to better know and protect it. As a consequence, he became a naturalist who shares his knowledge of biodiversity with audiences. In this short video he discusses his work as a nature sound collector. Click2Read More (FR) about Marc Namblard

See also:
Mark Namblard web site  

Monday, March 19, 2012

Research: The Sound of Conches and Pre-Incan Rituals

Rituals and Conches (3:50) The sound of ancient soundscapes is an interesting topic to contemplate.  The "acoustic musicians" of the Stanford University Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics help archaeologists unravel the mysteries of the pre-Incan Chavín temple complex -- and the ritual role given to the conch. Click2Read more about this research. 

See also: The Chavín de Huántar Archaeological Acoustics Project that is investigating the architectural and instrumental acoustics of Chavín de Huántar, a 3,000-year old ceremonial center in the north-central sierra of Perú that pre-dates Inca society by over 2,000 years. This research endeavors to measure and explore an ephemeral class of artifact: the acoustic and psychoacoustic dimensions of ancient architecture and instruments of this Formative Andean complex. A Context Video is also online related to this project.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Documentary: John Luther Adams - Listen

Listen (2:05) in this short documentary Alaskan composer John Luther Adams discusses his creation of music based on natural data streams of seismological and meteorological phenomenon. Source USA Artists/ YouTube

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Lecture: The Sound of Fear

There are two related videos in this posting about animal communication:

The Sound of Fear (60:06) Dr. Dan Blumstein, Professor and Chair Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UCLA presents a  Darwin Evolving Lecture in which he discusses and presents examples of the alarm sounds in marmots and other animals. 

Alarm Sound - Prairie Dogs (5:00) It's a beautiful summer day in America's Savanna for the prairie dog when suddenly an alarm sounds as danger nears. (From "America's Savana," Season 5 - Animal Planet

Friday, March 16, 2012

Documentary: Petrel Birds - David Attenborough

Falling Petrel Birds (2:20) David Attenborough demonstrates the strange and amusing behaviour of falling Petrels - just make a strange sound and they fall from the tree tops. BBC. Source: You Tube

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Lecture: The Sounds of Music - Dr. Walter Lewing

The Sounds of Music (103:00 Have you ever wondered about the annoying hum your car makes at a certain speed on a particular stretch of highway? Or why a flute’s notes are higher than a trombone’s? Dr. Walter Lewin, MIT Professor of Physics, uses a number of unique demonstration techniques to help us understand the basic principles of sound and how sounds are shaped and heard.  

Source: MIT World: Distributed Intelligence

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Soundscape Composition: Two Films By Ace Norton

Soundscapes 1 (2:43) This is a short experimental film directed by Ace Norton and produced by Charles Spano for Electronic Beats. It combines a rhythmic montage of field recored sounds and musical score. 

Soundscapes 2 (3:30) This video for Dolby is composed of sound made entirely by the human body with a few props. It's mixed in Dolby Mobile for a complete 5.1 surround experience using any pair of headphones.

Ace Norton   is a director of  over 50 music videos, commercials and shorts. He discusses his soundscape videos in a 2010 interview with Alessandra Rizzotti in The Neave (Click2Read Interview)

Sources: YouTube and Vimeo

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Soundscape Installation: Ear Canal

Ear Canal (4:47) This is a short documentary about the field recording of sound during a barge trip on the Royal Canal by NCBI participants for use in the 'Ear Canal' audio installation featured at 'Escape into Sound' exhibition in 2009 and at Phizzfest 2010. The project was undertaken in collaboration with artists Sven Anderson, Siobhán Clancy, and the National Council for the Blind of Ireland, Dublin. Cick2Read press release.

Call For Video Links

The Soundscape Explorations Project is interested in learning about links to online videos that have an emphasis on acoustic-ecology topics. If you have a personal link, or know of others on the Internet, please send information about them to:

Monday, March 12, 2012

Research: The Sounds Around You - Part 1

The Sounds Around You Map Project is Researcher Charlie Mydlarz's PhD undertaking at the University of Salford's Audio and Acoustic Engineering Research Centre, Manchester, UK. He has been building a sound map of the world to investigate how sounds in the everyday environment affect people. 

The traditional method of sound surveying is to use trained professionals to go to a specific location to measure and assess a site using dedicated and expensive equipment. This project aims to enfranchise the public by providing them with the opportunity to play an active role in evaluating a soundscape by encouraging people to use their smart phones to record sound clips documenting their community soundscapes.  These are then uploaded to a virtual map along with a set of answers to questions about their selection


Introduction to Sound Around You Project (3:58) Charlie Mydlarz discusses how individuals can contribute to a 'Sound Map' of the world using their mobile phones. This process will soon change allowing participants to record and post comment simultaneously using a new phone application under development. Source: Vimeo

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Phonographer: Tamás Zányi

The feature film "Hukkle" is included in this directory because of its extensive soundscape composed of field recorded and composed sounds by Tamás Zányi. Hukkle is the first feature film by Hungarian filmmaker György Pálfi. Video Source: YouTube

"Tamás Zányi, born in 1967, is a sound recordist/ editor/ mixer/ designer based in Budapest, Hungary. He started his professional life as a music teacher and later graduated in 1999 from the Hungarian Academy of Drama and Film in sound engineering. First a sound mixer on Hungarian shorts and features, such as György Pálfi’s Hukkle (2001) and Benedek Fliegauf’s Forest (2002), he quickly moved on to become one of the most renowned sound designers in the region."

The film is (almost) without narrative and every sound is an element in the unfolding story that takes place in an ordinary Hungarian village. According to Wikipedia, the film "…begins with an old man who has hiccups, and takes place in front of his house near a can of milk. He observes the daily habits of the villagers, and the viewer is shown many sequences about different events: A young man drives his horse and cart filled with milk cans. Normally he would clean the cans, but he's distracted by a girl sitting in the sun. A threshing-machine is harvesting. A cat becomes poisoned and eventually dies. A mole gets killed by an old lady ploughing the ground and she gives the mole to her dog. A farmer takes his pig to a sow for fertilization and the two owners watch with satisfaction when the pigs copulate. The men of the village bowl to kill time. The old man is still having hiccups."

"The village seems idyllic, but there are mysterious things happening. During these events, there are sequences about women trading bottles with unknown liquids. From time to time a man dies and the collective village walks up with a chest and comforts the widow. The mailman also shows up after every death and gives the widow a small package in return for her signature. It all seems harmless and normal life continues after the burials. When a fisherman disappears, a local policeman is determined to find out what happened to the fisherman and eventually finds out at the end when he sees the mailman appear with a package for the widow." Text Source: Wikipedia and other online resource.

Hukkle (74:38) 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Project: Workshop Tuning Cusco 2011

Workshop (2:15) This audio/visual presentation documents the soundscape recordings made by participants in a workshop conducted by Alejandro Comejo Montibeller during the "Tuning Cusco 2011" event in Cusco Peru.

The location is Saqsayhuamán (house of the sun) which is a walled complex on the northern outskirts of the city of Cusco, Peru, the former capital of the Inca Empire. The complex is, as many other Inca constructions, made of large polished dry-stone walls, each boulder carefully cut to fit together tightly without mortar. Located at 11,633ft (3.555m) on a steep hill that overlooks the city, it comands an impressive view of the valley to the southeast. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Research: Dinosaur Duck Bill Sound Machine

Duckbill Sound Machine  (2:27) The soundscape of pre-historic environments can be suggested through research based on the study of acoustics and, in terms of animal communication, bioacoustics.  An example is the Parasaurolophus. "Endowed with an advanced auditory systems, Parasaurolophus used its ability to communicate with complex low-frequency calls as a primary means of defense." Today, elephants, whales and other mammals also use low-frequency communication. Source: Discovery.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Phonographer: Jim Metzner - "Pulse of the Planet"

Jim Metzner Discussion (14:49) Science and audio enthusiasts gathered at the studios of KQED in San Francisco on May 10, 2011 for a Science Cafe evening with Jim Metzner, the host of "Pulse of the Planet."  Metzner discusses his radio productions based on his soundscape recordings.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Soundscape: Street Musicians of New Orleans' French Quarter

These three videos provide a glimpse into the musical soundscape for which the French quarter in the city  of New Orleans, Louisiana is known.

Sounds of the French Quarter (12:51) The streets of the French Quarter ring with "a symphony of street artistry" in this  video by David Minsky. Source: YouTube

The French Quarter in three musical acts (2:02) Three street performers provide a glimpse into artistry of this lively city scene. Video by the Twain Trip Project. Source: YouTube

Grandpa Elliott (1:43) A well known and iconic street musician performs, "Stand by Me". Read more about  Grandpa Elliott.  Video by Phil Bildner. Source: YouTube

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Phonographer: Dave Ruddick

Sound in the field (5:21) In this PBS Nature segment sound recordist Dave Ruddick explains how he records sound in the field as he goes through his set-up to record surround sound on location in the Tongass National Forest.

Source: PBS Video

Monday, March 5, 2012

Lecture: James Crutchfield and Bioacoustic Interactions

Insects, Trees, and Climate: The Bioacoustic Ecology of Deforestation and Entomogenic Climate Change (60:31) Professor James Crutchfield explores a novel bioacoustic interaction between insects and trees as key drivers of infestation population dynamics and the resulting wide-scale deforestation. The proposed mechanisms he suggests may provide nontoxic control interventions and detection strategies. His lecture, based on work with acoustic ecologist and sound artist David Dunn, and others, explores three themes: (1) Pattern and Chaos; (2) Bioacoustics and climate change; (3) Art and Science.  Source: Vimeo and UCLA Art|Science.

See related posting: David Dunn and Sonic Beetle wars

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Soundscape: Flash Mob Performances (Part 1)

Human sound making is one activity that can temporarily change the character of an acoustic space.  A flash mob is a group of people who are quickly assembled in a public place to perform for a brief time and then disperse. Such gatherings are most often organized through social media such as Twitter, Facebook, e-mail, or other networking technologies. The purpose of such mobs varies and can range from publicity to social protest. Many are organized for entertainment. Most flash mobs meet well before their events to rehearse often complex dance and musical routines. These are then quickly performed and then the participants just as quickly disperse. 

The following are examples of flash mobs from around the world and how they function within the soundscape be that a shopping mall, train station, public plaza, or other space that facilitates an acoustical event.

Beirut Airport (3:04) A flash mob performs in the Duty Free Departures Lounge.
Berlin Train Station (4:21) The Staatsballett of Berlin perform before amused travelers promoting an up-coming ballet. 
Bondi Beach (5:05) This mob seems to spring from the ocean sands in dance and song. 
Jeddah Mall (2:48) A Red Sea Mall flash mob celebrates Saudi National Day with poetry and the singing of the national anthem.
Melbourne Campus (3:32) An Indian themes flash mob at La Trobe University surprises folks in this outdoor event.
Moscow Mall  (3:55) Shoppers at a popular Moscow mall are treated to an unexpected Orthodox choral song sung by a flash mob. 
Nairobi Street (2:49) A joint flash mob event between Nairobi Kenya and Eindhoven Netherlands promotes an AIDS awareness campaign. 
Philadelphia Train Station (3:52) The Opera Company of Philadelphia performs a "flash opera" with 30 participants. 
Port Elizabeth Mall (5:33) The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University choir delights unsuspecting shoppers. 
Santiago Plaza (5:47) The plaza is a setting for this performance that begins with a costumed couple that is then joined by others in this traditional dance. 

Tbilisi Bus (3:45) A Georgian flash mob prepares their performance and then boards a bus to surprise fellow passengers. 
Valencia Mall (6:31) Opera is performed to the surprise of shoppers in the large Mercado Central de Valencia.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Noise Issues: Induced Hearing Loss (PSA)

Noise Induced Hearing Loss (2:26) This is an effective 2005 short Public Service Announcement  from the House Ear Institute about hearing loss that is painless, permanent, and preventable. "When an individual is over-exposed to excessive sound levels, sensitive structures of the inner ear can be damaged. This can result in permanent noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). These structures can be injured by exposure to a brief but intense sound, such as an explosion, or from regular exposure to excessive sound levels over time. NIHL can be prevented through the control of sound levels or proper use of hearing protection devices (HPDs), such as earplugs or earmuffs."  For more info visit the House Research Institute. Source: YouTube

Friday, March 2, 2012

Lecture: Daniel Kish and Human Echolocation

Echolocation is the location of objects by reflected sound, in particular that used by animals such as dolphins and bats. Daniel Kish has developed a form of  human echolocation. called flash sonar,  that he uses to navigate through the soundscape and has taught others how to use it as well.

There are three videos in this set including a short lecture at TEDx and two news reports that provide on site demonstrations of Mr. Kish's navigational techniques.

Seeing With Sound (5:45) Daniel Kish is President of World Access for the Blind - a nonprofit organization which facilitates self directed achievement for blind people.  "Though Daniel's main expertise lies in developing all aspects of human perception in sighted as well as blind people, he is perhaps best known for his expertise in echolocation. In this area he has conducted pilot research, and has completed one of the most comprehensive literature reviews detailing the nature and utility of echolocation in blind humans. From this research, in-depth collaborations with noted scientists and perception experts, and over ten thousand hours experience with students of all types and cultures, Daniel created the first systematic, comprehensive echolocation curriculum for advanced training. Daniel and some of his students have applied FlashSonar combined with other techniques to riding bicycles independently at moderate speeds through unfamiliar environments, and to participate effectively and independently in other complex activities such as skating, ball play, and solo wilderness travel." Sourse: TEDx Talks and YouTube.

Flash Sonar (2:55) This Discovery Networks video provides additional insight into how Daniel Kish uses flash sonar, or echolocation, to navigate through an environment using a clicking technique that he teaches to others. Source: Discovery.

Human Echolocation (3:04) A CNN Ideas report about Daniel Kish and his use of echolocation. This video provides more details on the use of the flash sonar technique.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Soundscape: New York City

NYC Soundscape (2:47) This intriguing video montage of New York City combinesimages of Penn Station, Rockefeller Plaza, 5th Ave, Grand Central, and other locations with  a mix of field recorded sound. No credits available except a note that it was uploaded by SpatialRep. Source: YouTube