The conference is hosting a 24 channel spatial audio array, which is being used for a soundscaping installation throughout the week before the event, and is also being used for a live performance of music live mixed in 3D.
Soundscape Installation – running from Monday 13th March to Monday 20th March.
A Path into Rainforest (2011)
From the long-term project
Fragments of Extinction – The intelligent sound of Ecosystems
by David Monacchi
The original ambisonic data were carried out during a field recording campaign in 2008 into the Dzanga-Sangha dense forest reserve (Central African Republic), one of the most rich biobiversity areas in the African equatorial forest. The habitats chosen for the piece are seasonal swamps, high canopy forests and salines (Bai) where forest elephants use to come daily to gather minerals at the sandy bottom of the stream. The composition is built mostly with unaltered field recordings, observing the eco-acoustic composition principles, . All sounds heard originate from the habitats’ configurations. The first and last sections are single recordings, showing the fragile equilibrium of this ecosystem and the vitality of a group of Lophocebus albigena monkeys, eating and throwing fruits from above. In the central part of the piece several recordings of a swamp habitat are superimposed and explored in the temporal and frequency domains, resulting in a dramatic climax. The composition represents the most surreal and frightening aspects of the African dense forest and its impressive sonic diversity, where sound masses of insects and amphibians alternate with birds, monkeys, large mammals vocalizations and geophonies (thunders in this case), where the original three-dimensional reverberation is impressively reconstructed in ambisonics.
About the artist:
David Monacchi is a sound artist, researcher and eco-acoustic composer. He has been developing his multidisciplinary project Fragments of Extinction for nearly 15 years, conducting field research in the world’s remaining areas of undisturbed primary equatorial rainforest. The recipient of multiple awards throughout Europe and North America, Monacchi is pioneering a new compositional approach based on 3D soundscape recordings of ecosystems to foster discourse on the biodiversity crisis through music and sound-art installations. A Fulbright fellow at UC Berkeley (CA) in 2007, he has taught at the University of Macerata (IT) since 2000 and is now professor of Electroacoustic Music Composition and Eco-acoustics at the Conservatorio “G. Rossini” of Pesaro (IT).
Wessex (Parts 1 & 2)
by Chris Barlow
We live in a noisy world, with human-made sounds particularly triggering our stress reflexes. The function of the soundscape in an urban environment is to immerse the listener in the natural world, reducing stresses and anxieties by reconecting with nature. ‘Wessex’ is a collection of soundscapes which highlight the sounds of the natural environments of the historical region of Wessex in the South of England. The first pieces focus on the soundscape of the New Forest, which offers a continuously varying palette of sounds, from rutting stags to waves on the seashore.
1. Flow (2017)
The sound of water flowing is one of the most calming, and this piece focuses on immersing the listener in the path of the raindrop, from the initial rainfall onto the leaves of the New Forest, dripping into the puddles and pools, and then flowing through the streams of the forest through to the sea. The sounds are a mixture of ambisonic and mono recordings made in the winter of 2016-17. Recording late at night and early morning means that there is very little other noise, and gives the listener the ability to focus just on the sound of the water, without the intrusion of other sounds.
2. Wake (2017)
The forest is never silent, but the sound progresses and changes continuously throughout the day, as well as changing with the seasons. One of the core sounds of the forest is that of the bird life. Over 100 species of birds nest and breed in the New Forest, with another 20 regular winter visitors or passing migrants. The bird life in the forest is quiet at night, with only occasional calls from nightbirds, and then as the dawn approaches, more of the songbirds wake and burst into song. There is a sequence, with some species starting earlier than others. The dawn chorus changes throughout the year, with winter being more subdued, and then becoming more varied and louder as the birds enter their breeding season from spring into summer. This piece is taken from the winter months, where the chorus starts later, and gives the perspective from one of the quietest places in the New Forest. Listeners can experience the feeling of being in the forest through the transition from nighttime to dawn as the birds wake. Ambisonic recordings were made from January to February 2017.
Chris Barlow is Professor of Acoustics at Southampton Solent University. Having originally trained as a musician and recording engineer, working in the classical music industry, he then moved into the acoustics field for his PhD. He has remained on the border of the creative and technical worlds ever since, focusing on acoustics, but particularly on its application in arts, design and health. He has a wide range of interests, including audio production, sound design, spatial audio and sound for video games, with recent projects focusing on spatial audio and sound for virtual reality. He also has research interests in acoustics and health, and the impact of negative ‘noise’ and positive ‘sound’ on health. Chris is particularly interested in soundscaping as an aspect of urban design, both as a means of reducing the impact of the man-made world on our lives by re-linking us with the sound of the natural world, from which many people have become disconnected.
remembering rain: variation for bucket, cymbal and spatial array.
In his book, Touching the Rock, blind theologian John M. Hull, describes how listening to the sound of rain falling in his Birmingham garden, ‘throws a coloured blanket over previously invisible things.’ For Hull, the sound of rain provides a ‘continuity of acoustic experience’ establishing a sense of perspective and placing him here, in an emerging and precipitating now.
In remembering rain, a damp blanket of rainfall recordings is thrown over another invisible landscape, uncovering a rhythmic, dripping orchestra of spatial volumes. Using contact microphones and hydrophones to record the sound of rain falling upon and through a number of objects, a bucket, cymbal and Cathedral gutter, every raindrop arrives wrapped in an acoustic memory of space and substance. In this variation for spatial array the percussive disarray of recorded rain is re-arranged to immerse the listener in an arid downpour of remembering rainfall.
About the Artist:
Sebastiane Hegarty is an artist, writer and lecturer. His practice is interdisciplinary and time-based in nature and his research interests concerned with the relationship between time, place, and sensation. Most recently this has focused on the materiality of sound and the perceptual geographies of listening, through soundscape composition, field-recording and the creation of phonographic objects and actions.
Recent work includes, rain choir, a site-specific sound installation for the crypt of Winchester Cathedral, variations of which have been installed, performed and broadcast in galleries, museums and on radio stations across the UK and Europe (IMT Gallery, London, 2015, Helicotrema at Museum Punta della Dogana, Venice, 2016, Radiophrenia, Glasgow, 2016). Works for radio include, It’s Just Where I Put My Words (2013), commissioned for the BBC Radio 3’s Between The Ears. A lecturer in The School of Art, Design & Fashion at Southampton Solent University, his sound-work is published through Impulsive Habitat, Gruenrekorder and Very Quiet Records. Sebastiane received his PhD from the Sculpture Department of Winchester School of Art at the University of Southampton.
Live Music Event – Saturday Night Gym Club, performing live in 3D.
This installation is kindly sponsored by KP Acoustics