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.