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

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Monday, July 11 • 11:00 - 12:30
Sonic Environments Papers 4 (stream C)

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Sally Ann McIntyre: Independent Artist

Huia Transcriptions: re-collecting Colonial era witness accounts of extinct birdsong

In classical acoustic-ecological conceptions of the soundscape, the technological preservation of a sound mark might be understood to positively relate to the preserving of memory of place. But what of the sounds beyond (recorded) memory, that are already missing? Might there be value in suspending the fantasy of a natural plenitude of sonic fecundity, and its status as a potential recorded totality, to adequately acknowledge this haunting, or gap; to hear the past and present withdrawal of sound from an ecosystem and its soundscape, through ecological destruction? And once we have listened to this silence, how best to memorialise this loss? In a series of works focusing on what Dugal McKinnon has termed “ecological silencing” I explore the possibility for practice based research to investigate the lost birdsongs found within New Zealand colonial narratives, asking what it might mean to re- collect, through interventions into archival records, notation, and other material traces, the songs of bird species lost before the invention of recording technologies, and then to situate these lost songs back into hearing, including placing them back within what might be now listened to, and represented in phonographic or field recording practice, as the 'natural' soundscape.

Mara Helmuth


Sonic Refuges are aural environments with internal interactions and logic that create individual gestures and organic textures with contextual and spatial dimensions. These refuges have a relationship to natural environments and may be based on source sounds from nature or synthesized algorithmic sounds. A “refuge” might be a peaceful soundscape for relaxation and deep listening, and a place for achieving balance and perspective on the complexities of life, from afar. It might also be a place where stimulating and unusual sounds can interact according to their own processes. 

Programming compositional and performing interfaces and granular synthesis instruments, allow me to construct dynamic imaginary sound spaces, some of which reveal or involve aspects of natural sounds. MaxMSP and RTcmix are the primary music programming languages used.

Peter Mcilwain

The Phonozoa Project

Peter will present recent work and discuss the theoretical aspects of his current project Phonozoa which is part of his ongoing exploration of imaginary sonic worlds and draws on ideas derived from affordance theory with particular emphasis on sound as a signifier of gesture. The Phonozoa project is a kind of pseudo-science enterpr ise where a zoology of imaginary creatures, called collectively phonozoa, is created in software. The juxtaposition of an imaginary world and scientific enterprise situates the work within a surrealist aesthetic. The creatures are designed with specific behaviours that generate motion, visual gesture and sound simultaneously and specific processes are used that make a tight coupling of these elements.  The talk will present examples from the project and related work, show some of the relevant technical aspects with particular reference to generative art practice and make comment on the broader aesthetic implications of the work. The presentation will include video examples as well as demonstrations of relevant code and generative techniques. 


avatar for Stephan Moore

Stephan Moore

Lecturer, Northwestern University

avatar for Mara Helmuth

Mara Helmuth

Professor, University of Cincinnati|Cincinnati|OH|USA
I'm a composer, computer musician, and researcher. I'm interested in interactivity, programming, networking, environmental issues, Asian studies and tennis.

Monday July 11, 2016 11:00 - 12:30
Conservatorium Room 2.15 Queensland Conservatorium

Attendees (8)