Dear Colleagues and Friends:
It is with great sadness that I write to inform you that Nigel Frayne passed away on Friday, January 6, 2018. His death comes after many years of battling cancer. Until his final days, Nigel was actively helping the leadership of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE), as Treasurer, and its Australian affiliate, the Australian Forum of Acoustic Ecology (AFAE).
Nigel joined the WFAE in 1996, a few years after its founding, when he met Hildegard Westerkamp. She wrote an eloquent piece about this experience, titled "Thanking Nigel" on pages 5-6 of the 2010 edition of Soundscape: The Journal of Acoustic Ecology, Volume 10. Hildegard describes the essential role Nigel subsequently played in the WFAE's future. Not only defining the organizational structure of the WFAE, but for over 20 years, Nigel served as a steadfast friend and supporter of the new leadership of which I am honored to be a part. This, with my mentors and a new younger generation of forward-thinking scholars, artists, researchers, and designers, is Nigel's gift.
Of Nigel's role, AFAE President and WFAE Vice President, Dr. Leah Barclay wrote:
Nigel Frayne had an incredible impact on the field of acoustic ecology. As a founding member of the AFAE, he spearheaded many activities over the years, including the 2003 WFAE conference in Melbourne; a pivotal event for many people on a national and international scale.
As the first and longest-standing chair of the WFAE, his commitment, passion, persistence and dedication transformed the organisation into a truly global network. Nigel’s vision to make the WFAE a more manageable organisation resulted in a restructure into clusters of groups with geographical administration and governance. This was the beginning of WFAE affiliates, which is how we continue to operate internationally today.
Endorsed by the WFAE, the 2018 Ecoacoustics Congress is a four day conference organised by the International Society of Ecoacoustics (ISE). The aim of the 2018 congress is to bring together scientists, natural resource managers, industry and artists to explore the ways that sound can deepen our understanding of the environment. Ecoacoustics operates in all types of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems extending the scope of acoustics and bioacoustics.
The event will take place June 24-28 in Brisbane, Australia and will host various activities and creative programs associated with the 20th Anniversary of the Australian Forum for Acoustic Ecology. The call for papers, posters and creative works is now open.
PERSPECTIVES ON LISTENING, BIOSPHERE SOUNDSCAPES INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP AND SYMPOSIUM, BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA
In December 2017, Biosphere Soundscapes and the Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre are hosting “Perspectives on Listening” an international symposium and workshop bringing together an interdisciplinary group of researchers to explore the role of sound in our environment.
Biosphere Soundscapes is an interdisciplinary research project investigating the creative and scientific possibilities of acoustic ecology through environmental field recording, biodiversity monitoring and a diversity of creative projects spanning four continents. The project works in partnership with multiple organisations to develop and deliver socially embedded acoustic ecology research in collaboration with the communities of UNESCO biosphere reserves across the world. Biosphere Soundscapes is part of an exciting portfolio of interdisciplinary collaborations across creative arts and environmental sciences emerging at Griffith University.
Perspectives on Listening will introduce the interdisciplinary possibilities of acoustic ecology and ecoacoustics and highlight the value of listening in changing environments. The three-day program features keynotes from Steven Feld (USA) and Monica Gagliano (AU) in addition to panels, research presentations, live performances, immersive installations, sound walks and field trips across the rainforests of the Sunshine Coast and aquatic ecosystems in Noosa Biosphere Reserve.
Steven Feld is a leading American ethnomusicologist, anthropologist, and linguist who will present the 25th anniversary edition of ‘Voices of the Rainforest’ – his composition of a day in the life of the Bosavi rainforest and Kaluli people in Papua New Guinea. The work has touched audiences concerned with ecological integrity, interspecies art, and cultural survival, and remains in popular circulation through Smithsonian Folkways.
Monica Gagliano will speak about plant bioacoustics – a new field she has pioneered by demonstrating for the first time that plants emit their own ‘voices’ as well as detect and respond to the sounds surrounding them. Dr Gagliano is a Research Associate Professor in Evolutionary Ecology at the University of Western Australia and her research is radically transforming our perception of plants and more generally, nature.
The event is endorsed by the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE) and will feature virtual contributions from across the world supported by Arts Front, including artists developing new technologies for live streaming audio in remote locations, scientists pioneering new research in freshwater ecoacoustics and artists from Vanuatu speaking about indigenous perspectives on listening and climate change.
The creative program includes an immersive listening room and the Queensland premiere of Dr Leah Barclay’s new spatial sound installation “Migration Patterns: Saltwater” which features marine hydrophone recordings from the Great Sandy Biosphere Reserve. Perspectives on Listening concludes with sonic explorations through subtropical rainforests on the Sunshine Coast and a closing ceremony in the Noosa Biosphere Reserve.
This is an intimate event with limited capacity, registration for the three days is $120 ($85 for students). Biosphere Soundscapes and the Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre are also encouraging virtual registration and are working towards measuring and minimising the carbon impact of this event as part of an initiative to encourage environmentally sustainable research practices. The virtual registration ($40) is open for delegates anywhere in the world and will enable participation from community collaborators in remote locations across Mexico, India, Indonesia and Vanuatu.
‘Perspectives on Listening’ is a dynamic participatory event encouraging dialogue and collaborations that continue to promote Queensland as a global focal point for acoustic ecology. The outcomes from this symposium will inform the development of Biosphere Soundscapes programs in 2018 and build momentum towards the International Ecoacoustics Congress, hosted in Brisbane in June 2018.
Explore the program and register here.
Sound + Environment 2017
Art | Science | Listening | Collaboration
29 June – 2 July 2017 | University of Hull
‘Sound + Environment 2017' is an international conference bringing together artists and scientists to explore the ways in which sound can deepen our understanding of environments. Keynotes include BAFTA award-winning sound artist and field recordist Chris Watson and Australian sound artist and president of the AFAE Leah Barclay. Through exploring scientific and artistic approaches together, the conference will engage with sound in order to create complementary ways of investigating, understanding, and taking action. This conference is endorsed by the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE). Call for papers and creative works: www.soundenvironment.net
WFAE co-founder and pioneering soundscape composer Hildegard Westerkamp is featured on the long-running CBC program Ideas. Host Paul Kennedy accompanies Hildegard on a soundwalk through Vancouver BC's downtown. Together, they discuss "how listening in the present is a revolutionary act" and "how opening our ears to our surroundings can open our minds." Go listen here.
Happy New Year. It is my great pleasure to introduce this issue of the newly formatted WFAE Quarterly Newsannouncing the launch of our rebuilt website and the publication of our first digital journal. All of these platforms include a new World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE) logo designed by Chicago-based artist, designer, and composer, Dan Mohr. Not only is our visual design upgraded, our journal and website utilize current digital standards, media, and databases to enhance the accessibility, functionality, affordability, and inclusivity of the WFAE’s global forum as a network of associated groups and individuals.
This effort started in 2012, initially to make the journal’s production more cost-effective. The complexity of the tasks included was challenging but enticing. By 2016 the organization was in a better position to evolve our Internet presence—website, digital journal, newsletter and social media—more effectively and in an integrated way. An “e-journal” has the capacity for including more than audio and makes the flow of information porous and interactive as dynamic replaces content. The ability to include high quality color images and video exemplify the journal’s more inclusive capacity. A more inclusive, nimble and interactive approach should engage and attract new members, providing that forum for discourse and connection that the WFAE has always strived to be for the new, burgeoning field of acoustic ecology in its ever-growing manifestations.
In this edition of the WFAE Quarterly News we continue to feature news from individual WFAE members as well as from the Japan Association for Sound Ecology (JASE). I also take this space, on behalf of the WFAE, to welcome Tyler Kinnear, the newest new member of the WFAE Board representing the Canadian Association for Sound Ecology (CASE)/Association canadienne pour L’écologie sonore (ACÉS).
Soundscape: The Journal of Acoustic Ecology
We present the exciting though belated edition of Soundscape: The Journal of Acoustic Ecology, Volume 15 as a free PDF format download housed on WFAE’s new website. Print copies were not produced and will not be mailed to WFAE members and libraries. As I mentioned in my previous newsletter report and reiterate in Soundscape, Volume 15, dues-paying members of our Affiliate Organizations and library subscribers are the primary funding sources for the journal’s production and for activating new capacities of our website. We have adjusted our budget and shifted priorities to become more effective in optimizing these two publishing platforms. Together, these serve as powerful instruments for realizing the WFAE’s mission, and to grow a diverse, engaged audience.
Volume 15 is the first of a two-part set on the theme of guest editor Jay Needham, “Sounds Emergent: Diverse Ecologies.” The centerpiece article, “Earworms” by renowned author Timothy Morton, includes full-color photography by Sarah Lewison and Todd Birdsong. Articles by Lewison, and Paul G. Ratcliff, a book review by Scott Smallwood, and a memorial to Jed Speare by Christopher DeLaurenti makes this edition an important, highly practical, and richly poetic offering.
We expect an equally exciting Volume 16 relatively soon, in March or April. It will include book reviews by Maile Colbert and Hethre Contant, a field piece by WFAE Vice President Leah Barclay, and a central essay co-authored by Edward A. Shanken and Yolande Harris. Seth Cluett and Tomie Hahn will provide a memorial honoring Pauline Oliveros, the influential woman composer and creator of Deep Listening, who passed away at age 84 on 26 November 2016. Please contact Editor-in-Chief, Phylis Johnson immediately if you have an announcement you would like to have included, as we now can make space for a limited number of endorsement announcements in each issue.
Many thanks are owed to the authors, visual artists, and our journal’s editorial and layout team for volumes 15 and 16: Phylis Johnson, Jay Needham, and Andrea Schmidt; and as always, the Membership Committee and members of our WFAE Affiliate Organizations, especially our library subscribers who make publishing possible. We hope the format will be appealing to a much broader digital library audience and we hope readers will suggest their own university, high school, and public libraries subscribe.
WFAE Endorsed Conferences In 2017
We look forward to three conferences endorsed by the WFAE: Invisible Places,Sound + Environment, and Balance-Unbalance. Calls for submissions are approaching soon and some have passed. Please check their websites for exact dates and details. The new journal, the website, this newsletter and our new e-mail system now offer a much more robust range of communications for WFAE endorsed events. The Board is working to clarify and optimize the process for seeking WFAE endorsement. We hope this membership benefit will boost attendance at these events and will offer useful notices for all of our readers.
The World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE) is an international association ofaffiliated organizations and individuals in Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America to date that share a common concern with the state of the world's soundscapes. WFAE was created and is operated by the collaborative efforts of its members with a global vision for acoustic ecology. We are encouraged by news of emerging affiliate groups in Asia, the Americas, and Europe.
A point or two about forming your own affiliate: while to date affiliated organizations have been identified by their national status, nothing in the WFAE bylaws require adherence to a nation-state system for locating, defining, and activating affiliated groups. In fact, affiliates can be organized around interests other than geographic location. Affinities of shared language, professional, philosophical, or practical interest may be hyper-localized or transcend existing borders. Whatever is cohering people in relationships that results in identifiable and motivated groups should serve as the basis of forming a group. Acoustemology, acoustical engineering, architecture, ecoacoustics, ecomusicology, media research, mindfulness practices such as Deep Listening, soundwalking, user interface design, and many other acoustic specialties, branches, and approaches, are some the many examples too numerous to list. I expect some affinities are yet to be identified or imagined even, given the holistic, intersectional scope, and transdisciplinary embrace of this burgeoning field called acoustic ecology.
Guidelines for creating a WFAE affiliate group are available on the membership page. For additional information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
World Listening Day: 18 July 2017
One month before she passed, Pauline Oliveros created the theme “Listening to the Ground” for World Listening Day 2017, with this prompt:
“Sometimes we walk on the ground, sometimes on sidewalks or asphalt, or other surfaces. Can we find ground to walk on and can we listen for the sound or sounds of ground? Are we losing ground? Can we find new ground by listening for it?”
On 18 July, World Listening Day 2017 will be an opportunity to offer tributes and celebrate the values and legacy of Pauline Oliveros. It promises to be a catalyst for attracting new actors and new generations who are seeking non-binary ways of connecting social and technological change with the embodied practices of listening and sound making. Now is a time when her humor and playful spirit are needed more than ever, along with a holistic understanding for acting, from the ground up.
I hope you find our new digital forums exciting and useful. We welcome your comments and your help in our transition to a more inclusive and interactive organizational culture.
INVISIBLE PLACES 2017
SOUND, URBANISM AND SENSE OF PLACE
7-9 APRIL 2017
SÃO MIGUEL ISLAND, AZORES, PORTUGAL
Many studies engaged with acoustic ecology have focused on urban environments, motivated by increasing concerns about the sensory impoverishment related to the dominance of anthropogenic sound associated with traffic and other types of transport, machinery from industry or construction, alarm signals and other sounding activities, which often mask and interfere with our living environment. These anthropogenic sounds have tended to be linked to a lack of environmental quality, as they inhibit the perception of other natural sounds. The sounds of the wind, the water, the voicing of certain animals originating from natural landscapes often contrast with human sounds in urban landscapes. They often share the same physical characteristics as measured by volume, duration, frequency or tone, but are experienced by humans differently. Beauty is in the ear of the beholder, we could say.
Soundscapes are part of any ecosystem and a fundamental manifestation of life. Every individual and species contributes and responds differently to a given sonic context with its own perceptual mechanism and will use diverse communication strategies. Development processes and urbanization have directly influenced the environment, often in negative ways that eliminate or diminish unique sounds, causing loss of social identity and cultural diversity.
The aim of this conference is to bring together scholars, artists and theoreticians on soundscape art and ecology and encourage them to present new perspectives that will further interdisciplinary research and practice. We still know little about the complex relationships between landscapes and soundscapes or the significance of acoustic ecology for all living organisms including ourselves. Focused study and intentional stewardship of our sound heritage for the holistic evaluation of landscapes is fundamental to the evolution of all species, and will have a great impact on the survival of many.
More information at www.invisibleplaces.org
The Soundscape Association of Japan (parent organization of JASE) met throughout 2016.
May 28-29: The 2016 General Meeting and Symposium was held at Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo. The symposium, entitled “The Soundscape of Tokyo Water System” began with introduction by Hiroshi Washino (art director) and keynote speech by Keiko Torigoe (professor at Aoyama Gakuin University), followed by comments of two panels, Hiroshi Kamiya (water line designer) and Kimio Takami (professor at Hosei University).
May 29: The 2016 Spring Research Seminar was held in ASTUDIO at Aoyama Gakuin University included two oral presentations and two demonstrations.
July 31: “Finding Sounds in Pictures” in Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum consisted of 1) Workshop facilitated by Hideki Suzuki (teacher, Elementary School Attached to the Tokyo Gaugei University) and Teppei Kambayashi (teacher, Waseda Jitsugyo Primary School) and 2) keynote lecture by Kento Takahashi (doctoral student at Hirosaki University), followed by talk session together with Yoshihiro Kawasaki (sound artist, sound designer) and Tadahiko Imada (professor at Hirosaki University).
September 17: “Listening to Insects in the Mount Takao” was led by instructors Eiji Otani (Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute) and Teruyo Oba (Natural History Museum and Institute, Chiba).
November 13: “The Soundscape Formed by Festival Music” at the Sugunami Historical Museum in Tokyo featured Kohei Nishikawa, one of the most accomplished traditional Japanese transverse flutes' players.
December 18: The 2016 Autumn Research Seminar at Kumamoto University offered three oral presentations and two demonstrations. Questions or follow up may be directed to Tadahiko Imamada.
[Arts + Sciences x Technology = Environment / Responsibility]
A Sense of Place
August 21 to 23, 2017
i-DAT, Plymouth University, UK.
The 6th edition of the Balance-Unbalance International Conference will be held from August 21 to 23 of 2017 in Plymouth, UK. Produced by i-DAT in collaboration with the Sustainable Earth Institute, Art and Sound at Plymouth University, North Devon’s UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Beaford Arts, Fulldome UK and the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology.
The theme for BunB 2017 is “A Sense of Place”. Our increasingly mediated relationship with the environment brings new insights to the invisible forces that affect complex ecologies. From meteorological data flows to temporal climate change models, our relationship with our environment is becoming more abstract, simulated and remote – tempering our desire to act. Could it be that we know more and experience less? BunB17 maps the coordinates of our Sense of Place – the horizontal landscape to the vertical transcalar spaces of the macro/micro.
Balance-Unbalance encourages submissions related to acoustic ecology. Deadline for submissions is January 16, 2017 (midnight, UK time) and notification of acceptance is February 28, 2017.
More information at www.balance-unbalance2017.org