WFAE Newsletter
Volume 7, Number 2. March-April, 2010

WFAE Web Site:

                                    False Creek - Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Copyright 2010, Robert D. MacNevin, All Rights Reserved
WFAE Affiliate News

WFAE Chair Report. There have been undesirable delays in completing the Soundscape Journal for 2009. I can happily report that it is now in final layout and will be going into print this week. We thank you for your patience and hope that members will find it worth the wait. Keep a look out in the post for it arriving during next week.
    The WFAE Board has been quiet as usual however I have been in contact with Hill Kobayashi as he moves into a more active role during this year. June is fast approaching and we look forward to meeting together again in Finland for the International Conference in Koli. Until then, take care and keep listening! Nigel Frayne, Chair, WFAE Board.

ASAE REPORT: Submitted by Andrea Polli

American Society for Acoustic Ecology Symposium and Retreat. The ASAE is planning its first retreat to be held the second weekend in July 2010, hosted by the MSAE (Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology) and the World Listening Project in Chicago. This will be the first acoustic ecology conference held in Chicago, home to a thriving sonic arts community and center world for world-class architecture, located on the shore of largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth. Mark your calendars. Ambitious public events are being planned. It will be an ideal opportunity for members the ASAE to meet and plan for the future. Members of the greater WFAE community are invited to participate, contact or for more information.


The New York Society of Acoustic Ecology (NYSAE).

The Giant Ear))) radio shows continued apace with the last 2 shows of last year being hosted by Hunter Integrated Media Arts/MFA candidate Bleakley McDowell. November focused on Hunter graduate student work from NYSAE member Jonny Farrow's Sound Environments class and December's entitled "Heater or Water Hammers" explored domestic heater recordings as well as wax cylinder manipulations and works from Surakarta, Indonesia. January found Edmund Mooney curating "Sonic Serendipity", an exploration of field recordings with unexpected attributes, and a recording of a soundwalk in Redhook Brooklyn with after walk discussion. Upcoming shows will be curated by Andrea Callard and Jonny Farrow.

NYSAE members Jonny Farrow and Edmund Mooney will be leading a series of soundwalks at Muhlenberg College on Tuesday March 23rd, 2010. They are part of a program on The Ethics of Space, sponsored by the Center for Ethics. Below is the description from the college's bulletin. "The purpose of these soundwalks will be to gain an understanding of the psychogeographical and architectural interferences we experience as sound when exploring the topography of the Muhlenberg campus.

NYSAE member Arline Bronzaft has co-authored, with Louis Hagler, a chapter in the text Emerging Environmental Technologies, Volume II from Springer Publications. entitled: Noise: The Invisible Pollutant that Cannot Be Denied. Arline notes: "The Noise chapter was not included in first edition and the editor notes importance of noise in this edition in his introductory remarks - a big plus for noise work!"

New NYSAE member Robin Locke Monda has successfully defended her Integrated Media Arts MFA project at Hunter College. The project, called "Sounds Like Staten Island," is an on- and off-line community listening initiative that targets the borough of Staten Island. Locke Monda sees the site as a "community composition and information trading post" for educators, parents, artists, musicians, students, community activists and everyday citizens.

NYSAE member Scott Sherk's recent release "23 Fountains of Beverly Hills" ( was included in the ex sounds installation at Audio Visual Arts.

The Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology (MSAE).

Learning to Capture the Quiet. Each year since 2003, a group from 10 to 20 people has gathered for the purposes of sharing and recording natural sounds. The group has included sound artists, composers, birders, biologists, naturalists, media educators, filmmakers, news reporters and trackers. All have shared an interest in learning what nature has to give to their ears and the best methods for detecting and capturing these experiences. The primary learning tools have been shared excursions, in-field demonstrations, collective camping and conversation. We have enjoyed the presence of recordists with many years of experience and great intimacy with the natural surroundings as well novices eager to soak-up everything about the techniques and the environment as they can. Everyone has been welcomed and all have left fulfilled.

Crex Meadows Outing. For Spring 2010, a group will be gathering at the largest Wildlife Area in the state of Wisconsin, Crex Meadows. Crex Meadows is 30,000 acres of wetland, pine barrens and woodland. The area is additionally surrounded by many square miles of State and County Forest as well as nearby Fish Lake Wildlife Area and the St Croix River, a Federally protected Wild River. A seven-hour drive from Chicago and a two-hour drive from Minneapolis, the site will be at the height of activity during Spring songbird migration. We are currently determining the exact date from the first 3 weekends in May. We'll have cabins with bunk beds and a mess hall for preparing and sharing meals. The fee for the three-day event will be very reasonable. Contact Rich Peet or Rob Danielson and they will include you in the planning process.

"Acoustic Mirror of the World" at Chicago Underground Library. The World Listening Project's "Acoustic Mirror of the World" is a sculpture/installation conceived and constructed by Eric Leonardson and Gregory O'Drobinak to provide a predominantly tactile, bodily sensation of soundscapes from around the world. These soundscape are in recorded form and are submitted by anyone who responds to the WLP's open invitation. It was last shown at the Little Black Pearl art and design center last December. The AMW returns with new sounds for public display at the Chicago Underground Library's new location. An opening celebration for the CUL, entitled the "Loud Library" happens on February 25. The event will feature public participation and performances by Chicago Phonography. The CUL and MSAE are planning public soundwalks, audio archiving, and other partnered activities in the future.

Elliott Berger's work on OSIS-One Square Inch of Silence. Many people are learning of and talking about Gordon Hempton's book, One Square Inch of Silence and his project at Olympic National Park. The MSAE is proud to have Elliott Berger, as one of its members who also serves on the board of the One Square Inch Foundation.

CASE REPORT Submitted by Andrea Dancer

The Canadian Association For Sound Ecology (CASE) will be publishing the transcripts from the June 2009 retreat in Vancouver on its web-site shortly as well as MP3s of the lectures. Check for updates.
   Visitors at the Vancouver Winter Olympics had the opportunity to participate in 'The Sport of Listening': a soundwalk "relay" that took place between February 12th and 28th at various times and locations around the city of Vancouver. Soundwalk leaders included Coln Browne, Jean Routhier, Stefan Smulovitz, Soressa Gardner, Tina Pearson, Adrienne Wong, DB Boyko, Andreas Kahre, Donna Lytle, Derek Simons, and Leah Hokinson. 'The Sport of Listening': a soundwalk "relay" was organized by the Western Front, Lulu, Vancouver New Music and the Xenographic Society.

FKL REPORT: The Sicilian Soundscape Research Group (SSRG) Submitted by Lorenz Schwarz

The "Science and Soundscape" conference was held on December 5th, 2009 in Catania, Sicily, Italy. The purpose of the conference, organized by the SSRG section of the Forum Klanglandschaft, was to compare different methods of research, in which the sound is a tool for investigation of reality, or the object of the survey itself, with the aim of suggesting new perspectives for the research. Speakers included FKL members Zorzanello Stefano, Fabio Securella, and Albert Mayr, who presented some aspects of their work. More about the conference can be found online (in Italian).


A Typology of Sound Maps. (Weird Vibrations) Sound maps are graphic catalogs of music, noise, local ambient color, or anything else audible. Most often based on city boundaries, they typically plot sound on a Google Map (or something similar) – as art projects, policy evidence, historical archives, or consumer tools. Read More. Part II is also available online.

Immerse yourself in the Ambisonic sound of the Arctic. (WIRED) Field recording artist Ross Adams travelled with a group of Sami reindeer herders during their 2009 migration, documenting the entire 350km journey on Ambisonic surround-sound equipment. Ambisonics are rarely-used surround-sound techniques that aims to recreate an accurate, omnidirectional soundfield in two or three dimensions -- one where all directions are given equal weight. Read More.

Electric car gets ready to rumble. (The Age) The introduction of hybrid and electric cars, which make little noise, has raised concerns of an increase in accidents involving pedestrians, particularly the young and elderly. Read More.

Earth Hums, and It's "Loudest" in Europe, Americas. (National GeographicEarth hums, and it's the west coasts of Europe and parts of the Americas that are the main sources of the sound, a new study says. Read More.

India defines night to curb noise. (CNN). Indian policy-makers have prepared what they call a road map aimed at controlling pervasive noise. They have defined night in legal terms. Read More.

Gordon Hempton Conversation (BASE) Nature sound recordist Gordon Hempton shares some of his recordings, and discusses his One Square Inch of Silence project. Read+Listen.

An Unquiet Nation. (Newsweek) Audio ecologist Gordon Hempton talks about America's vanishing quiet spaces, and how our lives can be helped by listening to the silence. Read More.

Sounds of the Universe. (BBC) In space, no one can hear you scream - or can they? The notion that everything's silent in space is being challenged. Read More.

The Noisy Planet (BBC) How does noise affect us? Has sound become a drug we all have to take? And what can we do to create a better sonic future. From a seris of BBC in depth reports exploring different facets of the complex, evolving phenomenon of globalisation. Read More.

Save Our Sounds documentaries. (BBC) Join the Discovery team on their journey to explore soundscapes. Why are sounds that we take for granted slowly disappearing? Read More.

Berlin's Children No Longer Classified Noisy. (BBC) An amendment to the city's law now makes it "fundamentally and socially tolerable" for members of the younger generation to make a racket. Children in the German capital Berlin are to be exempt from strict laws on noise pollution. Read More.

RESOURCES: Video - CD - Web - Print
Book: One Square Inch of Silence: One Man's Search for Natural Silence in a Noisy World. (FREE PRESS Simon & Schuster, Inc.) By Gordon Hempton and John Grossmann. Having completed a coast-to-coast mission to preserve and protect natural soundscapes, Gordon Hempton proclaims that,"The extinction rate for quiet places vastly exceeds the rate of species extinction." Part road trip, part popular science, and part polemic, One Square Inch of Silence is a celebration of nature and an ear-opening journey into Earth's vanishing sanctuaries. Like a sound safari, One Square Inch of Silence recounts Hempton's trek across the country to capture the sounds of American landscapes and the reflections of American people on the importance of quiet in their lives.

ISBN-10: 1-4165-5908-6
$26.00 hardcover
$29.99 in Canada
Other format:
eBook:978-1-4165-5982-5, ISBN-10: 1-4165-5982-5

Video: Techno Jeep. (YouTube - Julian Smith) The sounds in this video are ACTUAL sounds from a Jeep vehicle. Everyone began rehearsing their parts 2 weeks before we shot the video. It took us 7 hours of filming to get a solid take. View.

Video: Opera en el Mercado. (YouTube) On November 13th, 2009 at the central market in Valencia, Spain, opera singers  disguised as shopkeepers were selling produce at the various stalls there. Suddenly Verdi's Il Travatore starts playing over the loudspeakers and the singers burst  into song. None of the shoppers had a clue as to what was going on. See if you can spot the singers in the crowds. View.

Web: Singing Insects of North America. (Scout Report) How does one distinguish a katydid from a cricket? This website provides an answer to that question, along with samples of calls from other insects, including cicadas. The site was created by Thomas J. Walker and Thomas E. Moore, and it was designed to be of assistance to both professional and amateur biologists interested in studying singing insects. First-time visitors should scroll down to the "How to Use" section in order to get quick and concise answers from the site, such as "How to identify an unknown cricket, katydid, or cicada". On the top of the homepage, visitors can also click on the "Crickets", "Katydids", or "Cicadas" areas. Each of these areas includes a table of species, complete with links to songs, photos, distribution maps, and drawings. Visit site.

Recording: Across The Road. (Greg Hooper) This is a field recording of a house being built across the road. A recording was made every Tuesday morning (at about 10:00 am) for 28 weeks. Each week provides provides about 20 secs of
both background and individual spot sound. Listen.

Conversation with Andrea Polli. Posted in "Ear Room:re-sounding dialogues across the globe" by Mark Peter Wright on January 2, 2010.
    Andrea Polli
is a digital media artist living in New Mexico. Her work addresses issues related to science and technology in contemporary society. She is interested in global systems, the real time inter connectivity of these systems, and the effect of these systems on individuals. Polli’s work with science, technology and media has been presented widely in over 100 presentations, exhibitions and performances internationally, has been recognized by numerous grants, residencies and awards including UNESCO. Ear Room is an online publication developing critical discourse and debate on the creative, and explorative use of sound in artistic practice. (Photo: Ear Room) Read More.

Micro-Narratives in Sound Design: Context, Character, and Caricature in Waveform Manipulation. By Maribeth Back and D.Des. (ICAD) This paper reviews sound design techniques used in professional audio for music and theater and proposes a conceptual approach to the construction of audio based in narrative structure. The sound designer does not attempt to replicate "real" sounds; the task is rather to create the impression of a real sound in a listener's mind. In this attempt to create a sound in the listener's mind, the sound designer is aided by user expectations based upon cultural experience as well as physical experience. Practical sound manipulation techniques are discussed in view of their usefulness in matching a listener's mental model of a sound. Narrative aspects of audio design in computational environments are also delineated. Some keywords involved in this paper are sound design, auditory display, multimodal interaction, interface design, narrative, sonic narrative, micro-narrative, and audio. Read More.

Sound Research. (Wall Street Journal) Researchers have found that music can affect people, animals and even plants in many ways. Now, several small-scale studies suggest some surprising benefits of listening to music, from the brain down to the blood vessels. Read More.

Call Deadline: April 1, 2010
Sound as Art - Sound in History/Sound as Culture - Sound in Theory
Conference on sound studies
University of Aarhus, Denmark - September 23–25, 2010

~~~The aim of the conference is to profile contemporary sound studies as an interdisciplinary field of studies and to contribute to the discussion and development of the auditive paradigm in general. Key concepts like ‘acoustemology’, ‘acoustic space’ or ‘sonic environment’ might be reflected upon and developed as well, both at a theoretical level and with regard to specific cultural, medial and aesthetic contexts.
   Proposals for presentations (20/10 mins) or workshops (90 mins) must be submitted to the conference organisers/programme committee by April 1, 2010 as an email attachment (rtf/pdf/doc) to Please include the following information: Paper abstract and title (max. 200 words), name(s), affiliation, e-mail, and technical equipment required (PC/DVD/CD/data projector/over-head projector/etc.). The conference is organized by the " National Research Network on Auditive Culture", the research project "Audiovisual Culture", and the Nordic Branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music.

Event: June 16-19, 2010 International Conference of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology, Koli, Finland
"Ideologies and Ethics in the Uses and Abuses of Sound"
~~~ The 2010 WFAE conference will be held at Koli in Eastern Finland. Koli is a plausible site for reflecting upon ideologies, ethics and soundscapes, since it was amongst the key places of the national romantic artist pilgrims in the late 19th century Finland. The Finnish Society for Acoustic Ecology (FSAE) invites researchers and artists from all disciplines to join this forum of discussion. Learn More.

Workshop: June 25-27. The 26th Annual Field Recording Workshop. The Nature Sounds Society (NSS) will present its Twenty-sixth Annual Field Recording Workshop June 25-27 at San Francisco State University’s Yuba Pass Field Station, in the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains. This year’s theme is Visions of Sound and Sight.
    The field workshop is an opportunity for participants to learn about nature sound recording and technical equipment during daily sessions in the field with experienced recordists. Evening presentations will be made by world-renowned nature recordists and artists. The workshop is open to both amateurs and professionals, and families are welcome. Accommodations are in tent cabins in a beautiful setting beside the Yuba River.
    Featured guests at this year’s workshop are "The Sound Tracker," Gordon Hempton, Emmy award-winning nature recordist and author of One Square Inch of Silence; John Muir Laws, illustrator, naturalist and teacher, author of The Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada; Gina Farr of FarrVisions and the creator of Wild Sound Stories; and Dan Dugan, renowned sound engineer. Each guest has a unique point of view of the natural world and vividly expresses him or herself through art, environmental activism and education.
    The Nature Sounds Society is an organization dedicated to the recording and creative use of natural sounds.
Sign-up at our early bird rate of $175 for NSS members, $200 for non-members (includes one-year NSS membership) available until April 15, 2010 (after that date $200 for NSS members, $225 for non-members). For more information, contact the Nature Sounds Society at or call (415) 821-9776.

Event: October 1-3, 2010 19th Annual International Conference on Traffic Noise
Dresden, Germany
~~~ The 19th Annual International Conference on Traffic Noise will be held on October 1-3 2010, in Dresden,Germany.
The HAMANN CONSULT AG warmly invites you to take part in the 2010 symposium to discuss the issues raised together with national and international experts and top decision makers. Papers that focus on the described topics are very welcome. Our aim is to further increase the quality of the event regarding its expert content as well as to enhance the comfort of our conference guests. Therefore, we are grateful for any suggestion addressed to us regarding possible workshop topics and plenary papers to create an interesting conference program. For information concerning the conference, the submission of papers and for purchasing the conference proceedings please contact:

Ms. Gesa Ristock
International Conference Marketing
Phone: +49 351-473 78 15



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Issues of this publication dating back to 2004 are archived online. Back copies of Soundscape, The Journal of Acoustic Ecology are also available.

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