In the introduction to her book The Soundscape of Modernity, Emily Thompson describes the soundscape as ‘simultaneously a physical environment and a way of perceiving that environment: it is both a world and a culture constructed to make sense of that world.
The physical aspects of a soundscape consist not only of the sounds themselves [...] but also the material objects that create, and sometimes destroy, those sounds.
A soundscape’s cultural aspects incorporate scientific and aesthetic ways of listening, a listener’s relationship to their environment, and the social circumstances that dictate who gets to hear what‘.
This symposium explored our auditory encounter with the urban environment and asks how we might plan for the soundscape of our futures cities, homes and dwellings.
It asks in what ways can the soundscape and the practice of listening inform and make meaningful the experience of living within urban environments. Do we need to revisit our relationship to the sound of cities, if so what changes should be made? What are the prevailing attitudes to sound?
What is the role of the artist and other professionals in considering alternative approaches to listening as well as helping to celebrate, re- imagine and regenerate the spaces, buildings and institutions of the urban soundscape.
Topics and compositions included but were not limited to:
• Soundscape, Acoustic Ecology and the Makings of Space & Place
• Urban/ Rural Divisions: Centres, Margins and Peripheries
• Sound and Temporality: Acoustic Histories, Musical Time, Permanence & Change.
• Acoustic Health: Personal, Institutional and Social Well-being
• Making sound visible, making sound invisible: Cross-Modalities and Technical Mediation
• Sound and the Machine: Materialities and the Acoustic Habitus.
• New and Revisited practices for Listening and Sounding
• Architectures / Landscape and the negotiation of space.
• Sonic Cultures: Whose Side are you On?
• Public and Private Sound: Speaking Loudly, Noisey Playgrounds, Quiet Gardens, Skate Parks and Ear-bud Culture.