Exhibition: 29 May – 3 June 2015
Symposium: Sound and the Urban Environment, Tuesday 2 June 6 – 8pm
Sonic, Digital, Public Spaces: NetPark
Dr Frauke Behrendt discusses how sound and the digital occupy public spaces, drawing form her work developing the digital sculpture park NetPark, she highlights some of the issues of community and collective experience within a digital age.
Speaker: Dr Frauke Behrendt, University of Brighton
The Nexus of Soundscape, Art, and Social Action
‘We must hear the acoustic environment as a musical composition and own responsibility for its composition.’ (R Murray Schafer, The Soundscape and the Tuning of the World)
Speakers: Lisa Lavia , Managing Director, Noise Abatement Society
Dr Harry Witchel Discipline Leader in Physiology, Brighton and Sussex Medical School
Urban Acoustic Cartography: Sound mapping as a tool for participatory urban analysis and pedagogy.
Mapping Sound Maps
Sound mapping practices and projects have proliferated around the world in recent years. They offer a critical alternative to the emphasis on noise and noise pollution in current policy, scholarship and practice. Their multivalent character suggests new insights across disciplines: the study of urban sound; practices of (collaborative) sound art; sound in architectural and urban design practice; urban pedagogy and urban data and policy work.
Speaker: Conor McCafferty is a researcher based in Belfast. He is currently pursuing a PhD titled The Acoustic Mapping of Cities, with the Recomposing the City research group at Queen’s University Belfast led by Dr. Sarah Lappin and Dr. Gascia Ouzounian. Prior to commencing his PhD, Conor worked for six years with PLACE, a not for-profit architecture centre based in Belfast. https://twitter.com/comccaff
The Socialisation of Sound
Looking to place sound within an urban social context, framing and contextualising it as an important part of research on space, place and spatial practices. The study of audio cultures, noise cultures, and the soundscape are explored in very different fields of research with very little overlap: ethnomusicology, communications, history and the physical sciences. These all explore sound within society but in very different ways. The result is that while there is a large field of research into sound, there is often a separation between sound as a physical and scientific object and the social meaning of sound. This talk examines a project, which mapped the soundscape of The Smithfield area of Dublin city (an urban regenerated space) over four years with 84 teenagers, 5 older adults and through a series of auto-ethnographic walks. It presents some key findings from this study.
Speaker: Dr Linda O Keeffe, Lecturer in Sound Studies, Lancaster Institute of Contemporary Art Lancaster University Editor of the Interference Journal, Vice president of the Irish Sound, Science and Technology Association
Zone of Tranquil Access
Discusses city planning and soundscape that orientates patterns of life, rather than the fabric of buildings. The Zones of Tranquility are discussed in relation to the sonic environment around the river Taff on its journey through Cardiff, where the project is currently being developed. Civic engagement is at three levels: participants, local
inhabitants, and the public. The participants become custodians of stretches of river. Their initial activity is to map the “zone of tranquil access” along the river, to which pedestrian access extends, and within which their minds are able to listen attentively without being crowded out by too much sound. They plot the zone’s properties onto a device called a “listening wheel” and onto a river map. The participants then shift their focus of listening to conversations with locals about the zone, its value to them, the sonic habitats that give rise to it, and their ecological health. The wheel and map, scaled up to fill a hall and mounted on tables, allow participants and locals to share their findings with one another. They become iconic features around which participants can engage the public about ideas for change.
Glenn Davidson, Artstation
Mike Fedeski, Welsh School of Architecture
1200 1500 Melissa Deerson (Australia) Dawn Chorus: Notes from a Stationary Expedition 7’08” Stereo
1207 1507 Eduardo Brantes (Portugal) Two in Transit 7’
1214 1514 Danny Bright (UK) Ghosting Ruin 18’ 6 channel
1233 1533 Kevin Logan (UK) De Zwaan 14’31”
1247 1547 Joseph Young (UK) 6 Families of Noise 18’
1304 1604 bunú (Northern Ireland, Aidan Deery and Matilde Meireles) Correspondence (Transition #2) 13’32”
1317 1617 Gleeson/ Taylor (Ireland/ UK) up flow of air 6 channel 8’00”
1325 1625 Jesse Doyle & Leo Marcus (UK) Sound, or the Lack Thereof
1335 1635 Leona Jones (UK) On Edge 5’04” stereo
1340 1640 Johannah Hallsten (Sweden) The Onlookers Doubt 6 channel audio, 9’08”
1349 1649 Sindhu Thirumalaisamy (India) Composition for Temple Speakers
1404 1704 Christopher DeLaurenti (USA) Mardi Gras 3’00” stereo
1407 1707 Paula Garcia Stone (Spain) Nunhead: From Dusk to Dawn 12’
1419 1719 Laura Cooper (UK) A Hunt 5‘
1424 1724 Linda O’Keefe (Ireland) Mays song 7’00” & Sara’s song 6’30” stereo
1438 1738 Ingrid Plum (Denmark / UK) The Lightship 3’33” stereo
1442 1742 Mari Ohno (Japan) Floating Sounds 9’05”
1452 1752 Mari Ohno (Japan) Speaking Clock 8’20”
My current teaching is centered around my role as Senior Lecturer in Digital Music and Sound Art at the University of Brighton. I lead a range of modules and each suggests differing styles of learning for students. While there are many areas of crossover (learning to listen, technology), there are also nuances specific to each, that suggest specific and diverse teaching strategies.
My over-all methodology is informed by the pedagogic writings of Roy Ascott – cyberneticist, artist and educator. Ascott’s interests reside in the profound relationships between research, art production and teaching. He asks a number of provoking questions which continue to inspire my work.
• How can learning environments in art schools be shaped as art-works themselves? Notions of relational aesthetics, behavioural art and participatory practices suggest themselves in this regard.
• How may art production and effectively disseminated research be shaped as didactic experiences for students and the public at large.
• How may research inform both creative production and pedagogy? Involving my students in my current research seems to be the way forward here – examples of this are discussed below.
Case Study 1: Z’EV Archive
We are lucky enough to have access to the Z’EV archive of Abstract Music – a collection of CD’s, vinyl, cassettes, posters, magazines and associated ephemera. This collection, created by one of the most original and innovative experimental percussionists, documents a lifetime of sonic voyaging that dates from 1968 to the present day. Much of the material is obscure and highly challenging in many regards. Selecting, sharing and discussing what is found has been found to be very productive in creating situations where theory can be tested, listening skills enhanced and contextual areas broadened and deepened. It is an archive like not other, and also serves to frame our contemporary output from a critical and progressive stance framed by notions of the monad, the underground and alterity.
Case Study 2: Sound and The Urban Environment
The ability to hear and listen accurately and analytically is a key skill – one that lends itself to a consideration of a lifetime of sonic experience. How may we capture these transient moments? What is the relationship of sound to memory? Whether the sounds of the street, a loved one’s voice or an unknown piece of music, such sonic encounters provide the attentive listener with an excess of useful information. Searching for silence, or enjoying noise are both exercises we explore throughout the three years of study. During one module, for example we develop a lexicon of terms for describing the urban soundscape – such terms and metaphors are found to be directly applicable in student’s creative and critical work.
I also involve students in my own creative practice. A recent sound installation and symposium instigated by the UoB and hosted by the Onca Gallery dealt with notions of sound, urbanism and conservation. Field-work was undertaken where an acoustic mapping of St Peter’s church was made with students. These recordings formed part of my sound design for a 6-channel piece called “Perpendicular”. I approach such opportunities as authentic collaborations, where students and myself work as equals in the co-production of contemporary sound art.
Case Study 3: Open Source / Maker Culture
As technology has become ubiquitous, so its miniaturisation and monetisation obscures the processes that both enable and limit creative practice. The opportunities and limitations of various auditory technologies can be productively unpacked by practical demonstrations and students’ experimentation in open-source software and hardware. Coding skills, electronic circuit design and the implementation of algorithmic and generative techniques all serve to critically approach the assumptions of particular digital norms of practice.
In short my teaching constantly revolves around:
Listening and Sound-Making
Technology: Limitations and Opportunities
Society and Sound: Cybernetics and Sensory Methodologies.
OA#1: LISTENING AND MAPPING THE SONIC.
PLURALITY AND WAYFARING: WRITING THE OPENSOUND PROJECT
J. Milo Taylor, Carlos Alves, Xabier Erkizia, Julien Ottavi, Wajid Yaseen
This issue of the Journal is focused upon the emerging epistemologies, methodologies and ontologies of sound studies.
Contributors: Holger Schulze, Barry Truax, Katharine Norman, J Milo Taylor, Marinos Koutsomichalis, Axel Volmar, Florian Hollerweger, Michelle Lewis-King, Maarten Walraven, Walter Gershon, and Justin Patch.
A Film by Dan Linn-Pearl, Marianna Roe & Andi Spowart
“Learning to Listen is a documentary film crossing the dividing lines of experimental music and Sound Art. It is a series of accounts from established artists discussing their work in relation to shifting movements in creative thought and process. The sonic sense is explored through performance, improvisation, technology and sound art. Learning to Listen intends to inform a new audience of work beyond the confines of commercial and traditional sound making. Discourse takes place across the cities of London, Berlin and Amsterdam.”
Featured in the film: Ed Baxter, Clive Bell, Kevin Chan, Viv Corringham, Peter Cusack, Paul Freeman, Sylvia Hallett, Ig Henneman, Derek Holzer, Christina Kubisch, Willem de Ridder, Carsten Seiffarth, Jasper Stadhouders, J Milo Taylor, David Toop.
Taylor, J. Milo., Rivas, Francisco & Mesa, Miguel
Affiliation: Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln (KHM) / Fonoteca Nacional Mexico / Independent.
Research Focus: Listening Cultures, Media Archaeology, Sonic Anthropology: Methodologies of Sound in the Humanities
La Cantada: The Songs for the Dead in Naolinco town.
When Spanish conquerors arrived on the Mexican Caribbean coast they encountered a town called Naolinco. To this day, an ancient annual tradition still occurs there: “El Día de todos los Santos” (The Day of Every Saint) – the so-called “day of the dead”. It is a time to remember the deceased and to renovate communication with them. In family homes, altars are made and at dusk, families walk to the cemetery to sing to their deceased. These special songs (cantada) are both ancient and syncretic, mixing indigenous traditions with the Catholic iconography of the invaders. Following their dedication, people move from house to house, visiting altars in the homes of others, singing the cantada. “Fiestas”, as noted by many anthropologists, configure the ritual and social calendar, articulating the sacred and profane, which, in this kind of community, become blurred. In this context sound becomes a “bridge” between two worlds consolidating the identity network of the inhabitants of Naolinco. We witnessed an auditory culture activating the “world of the dead” through ritualised and collectivised soundings. In this study we discuss our participation in the custom and we explore the function of this music in this specific context.
with Dirk Specht and George Brock-Nannestad