This event has ended. View the official site or create your own event → Check it out
This event has ended. Create your own
Please note:

Sonic Environments will run from Sunday 10th July until Monday 11th July
NIME will run from Monday 11th July until Friday 15th July.

View analytic
Monday, July 11 • 09:00 - 10:30
Sonic Environments Papers 3 (stream A)

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule and see who's attending!

Jill Scott: Professor for Art and Science, Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland (ZHdK)

AURALROOTS: Cross-modal Interaction and Learning

AURALROOTS is a media sculpture that combines viewer interaction with inspirations from tactile and aural sensory perception. The sculptural form is based on the functions and forms of the stereocilia, tiny hair cells on our auditory nerves of the inner ear in the cochlea. The content of AURALROOTS is about how we learn through sounds from being embodied in different environments: a) as a growing embryo in the womb, b) as a daughter listening to her mother and finally c) as a female artist communicating with auditory scientists.

Andrew Skeoch
: Listening Earth


Natural soundscapes provide a wealth of information, both to the casual listener and the research scientist. This ranges from aesthetic pleasure, to identification of species repertoire and behaviour, and measures of ecosystem health.

When we consider repertoires in an evolutionary context, we can understand sonic strategies as not only shaping behaviours and survival adaption, but being fundamental to speciation itself. This has been documented in certain insects, and can be speculated upon in higher animals.

This leads to an enquiry into the possible role of sonic communication in hominin development, and the suggestion that rhythmically synchronised communication (music) may be viewed as a biological rather than cultural phenomenon, unique to humans, of great antiquity, the result of which has been a gradual development of the higher brain functioning and eusociality distinctive to the hominin lineage.

While sound and acoustic communication may have shaped us, we are changing the natural soundworld at the very moment we are beginning to study and appreciate its richness. Natural sonic environments are coming to be seen as in need of preservation, and healthy soundscapes important for our wellbeing too.

Listening has been described as the universal sense. If music is culturally important as more than simply entertainment, personal taste or product, then it needs to address the challenges of our time; to help us find our human place in the natural world.

Abby Aresty
: Grinnell College Department of Music

Of Earth and Sun: Generative Soundscape Composition and Biophilic Design

This project is part of its Biophilia Enhanced Through Art (BETA) initiative, which uses art to remind people about nature’s beauty and the connections between humans and the natural world. Of Earth and Sun is a dynamic sound installation that evolves throughout the day and with the seasons. The systems at the CSL respond to environmental input in order to reduce its ecological footprint. Similarly, Of Earth and Sun uses data from the CSL’s on-site weather station to dynamically control the sounds and processes that will create the installation. Sounds and soundscapes gathered from throughout the Pittsburgh region are stored in a local database, processed, and played back through transducers placed on windows throughout the CSL’s atrium.

I am installing the fourth and final iteration of this project in the late summer and early fall of 2016. In this paper, I describe the project goals, processes, and outcomes of the various project iterations. I also examine listener experience and propose models for enhancing listener engagement in soundscape composition using diverse models of community engagement and user interface design.

Despite well-documented benefits
communities and individuals with easy access and direct exposure to nature, many individuals spend a majority of their working hours indoors. The field of sustainable design has tackled this issue through biophilic design, which strives to elicit a positive, valued experience of nature in the human built environment. But while biophilic design principles are increasingly employed within the visual domain, auditory applications of these principles are underutilized and underexplored. I examine sonic approaches to biophilic design in my generative soundscape installation, Of Earth and Sun. In 2013, the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, PA, commissioned Of Earth and Sun, a permanent sound installation for the public atrium of the Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL).


avatar for Sabine Feisst

Sabine Feisst

Professor of Music, Arizona State University
Dr Sabine Feisst is Professor of Musicology and Senior Sustainability Scholar at Arizona State University’s School of Music and Global Institute of Sustainability. Focusing on twentieth and twenty-first century music studies, she published the monographs Der Begriff ‘Improvisation’ in der neuen Musik (Studio Verlag, 1997) and Schoenberg’s New World: The American Years (Oxford University Press, 2011) which won the Society for American... Read More →


Abby Aresty

Postdoctoral Fellow in electronic music and sound studies, Grinnell College

Monday July 11, 2016 09:00 - 10:30
Ian Hanger Recital Hall 2.10 Queensland Conservatorium

Attendees (8)