The agency of sonic art in changing climates

Authored by: Leah Barclay

The Routledge Research Companion to Electronic Music

Print publication date:  May  2018
Online publication date:  May  2018

Print ISBN: 9781472472915
eBook ISBN: 9781315612911
Adobe ISBN:


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The global ecological crisis has inspired a movement of artists leading critical discourse on climate change through transdisciplinary collaborations, public art and community engagement. In our visually dominant society, listening to the state of the environment can connect and inspire us at a profound sensory level. Immersive sonic experiences can transport us to a place and time and evoke empathetic and philosophical responses to climate change. Composers and sound artists drawing on environmental field recordings have an unprecedented opportunity to respond to climate change through the artistic and scientific possibilities of sonic art and acoustic ecology. This research explores these opportunities through the development of two large-scale interdisciplinary research projects that position composers and sound artists within multi-platform collaborations working directly with communities. Biosphere Soundscapes and River Listening are introduced through the lens of contemporary acoustic ecology, a socially embedded interdisciplinary field that can inspire communities across the world to listen to the environment. This research aims to demonstrate the value of creativity, the importance of environmental listening and the possibilities of sonic art in addressing the most critical needs of our time.

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