From 15th to 16th February, I attended In the Field, a symposium hosted by the British Library in collaboration with CRiSAP (Creative Research in Sound Arts Practice). Given the library’s own extensive collections of field recordings — ranging from oral history to ethnomusicological documents, from historical wildlife recordings to industrial sounds — it may just seem consequential for the British Library to adress contemporary practitioners of documentary recording. In fact, with its considerable line-up, In the Field truly aimed to further ›explore the art and craft of field recording‹: among others, speakers included Ximena Alarcón, Peter Cusack, Zoe Irvine, Christina Kubisch, Udo Noll, Salomé Voegelin, and Chris Watson.
As a point of departure, it was Joeri Bruyninckx’ task to relate contemporary field recording practices to its historical origins: back to the days of wildlife recordists Ludwig Koch (UK) or Albert Brand (US), when field recording meant to bring a mobile studio into ›the relative wilderness of the field‹ (Bruyninckx) — occasionally even mounted on a horse carriage.
Peter Kellogg from Albert Brand’s team recording in the swamps of Florida, 1936.
Continue reading “›In the Field‹. Symposium at the British Library”
Urban square Nauener Platz in Berlin was recently remodelled and reconstructed by urban planners and acousticians in order to improve its ambiance – with special regard to its sonic properties. One of the outcomes of this project is a middle-sized noise barrier (gabion wall) reducing the crossroads’ traffic noise on the playground by 3 dB.
Nauener Platz playground with noise barrier (gabion wall)
Following a distinct ›soundscape approach‹, acoustician Prof. Dr. Brigitte Schulte-Fortkamp and her colleagues at Technische Universität Berlin not only took measurements and calculated noise contour maps. They also conducted ›soundwalks‹ and even invited local residents to participate in the planning process. In the end, local residents required more pleasant sounds at Nauener Platz.
In respondance, several ›audio islands‹ were installed: today’s visitors of Nauener Platz are supposed to sit down on ›ear benches‹ with integrated speakers to listen to ocean surf or birdsong (sound devices by Barbara Willecke, sound files by Konstantin Dudel). Continue reading “A soundscape remodelled”
Contribute to a global archive of field recordings and create your own sound map projects at the same time with aporee ::: maps !
Radio aporee ::: maps is an open, collaborative field recording project started by media artist Udo Noll in 2006. So far, there are 14561 recordings online, accessible via a global map. Most of the recordings stem from Europe or the U.S. – but there is an increasing number of recordings from Africa, Asia, and Latin America as well.
Continue reading “Create a soundmap based on your own field recordings!”
›Considering the world’s objects as instruments, its inhabitants as their players and all sounds on the globe taking place simultaneously, leads to the imagination of a global composition. Any audible phenomenon is part of this huge ongoing concert which includes all living beings and unites them in – mostly unintentional and uncoordinated – collaboration.‹ (The Global Composition)
With ›The Soundscape‹, published in 1977, R. Murray Schafer inspired this idea of a global composition. At the correspondent Conference on Sound, Media and the Environment in Darmstadt-Dieburg in July this year, Schafer opened the meeting with an introductory lecture, including a sample of his so-called ear cleaning games.
R. Murray Schafer at The Global Composition 2012
Continue reading “R. Murray Schafer’s ear cleaning game at The Global Composition 2012”
We still don’t know what sound looks like. But here’s how soundwalkers look like (and sound like): Sound researcher Raquel Castro shot this eclectic documentary about her fellow researchers, about their experiences with sound in everyday life and what still incites them to listen. Continue reading “›Soundwalkers‹ by Raquel Castro”
Here is an excerpt from a field recording that I took at Berlin Tegel Airport in June 2011, standing next to the Western airport fence where the airplanes fly over landing (if there is easterly wind).
The sound of the airplane is quite intense. However, the crucial part of this recording starts at 50 seconds: closely following the direct noise of the airplane you can hear the subtle sound of the wake vortex (or: wing tip vortex, which is a trail of turbulent air behind an airplane). Continue reading “Wake vortex after airplane flyover”
From 2006 to 2008 I participated in Sensing the Street, an interdisciplinary research project about three streets in Berlin resulting in three exhibitions. See www.sensingthestreet.de (in German).
Listen to an excerpt from an ethnographic audio documentary about the Ackerstraße in Berlin. Continue reading “Ethnographic audio documentary of Berlin, Ackerstraße”