Save Our Sounds documentaries. (BBC) The BBC encourages listeners to join in a journey to explore urban soundscapes. Two audio documentaries are presented by acoustic engineer Professor Trevor Cox. Each program features a range of experts including architects, urban planners, environmental scientists and social scientists - all concerned with acoustic ecology in the urban soundscape. Click2Listen (Photo: Trevor Cox - BBC)
Whales scream over noise pollution. (Discovery) Noise pollution created by humans is forcing endangered North Atlantic right whales and other whale species to increase the amplitude of their calls in an attempt to be heard by each other over the din, according to a new study. The paper, published in the latest Royal Society Biology Letters, provides the first evidence that baleen whales can modify the loudness of their calls in response to outside noise. Click2Read
Piranhas communicate with sound when threatened. (BBC) Scientists have discovered the sound piranhas make when they communicate with one another while stressed.
Using underwater microphones, researchers at the University of Liege, in Belgium, recorded the sounds the fish made when they confronted each other. Click2Listen
Noise complaint map: New York city. (Stillspotting NYC) A complaint map of New York presents a spatial database of noise in the city, generated by New York residents when calling 311, the city's phone numb for government information and non-emergency services. Click2Read and experience the interactive map.
Music producer's take on Olympics: Grunts, thumps. (AP) Music producer Mark Ronson has been working with Olympic hopefuls to create a soundtrack for the London 2012 Games - an anthem that fuses sounds from training with the beat of music. He has recorded athletes as they trained, sometimes attaching microphones to legs, chests and arms. He also placed them on running tracks and archery targets — often getting sound not possible during the games because they would interfere with competition. Read More. (Photo: Mark Ronson - AP)
"Noise Talk" Noise Free America announces its new online forum. The Forum replaces a listserv and members will be able to hold conversations in the form of posted messages. Members may participate only in the forums and topics in which they are interested. Click2Access.
Innovative Sonic Experiments at Brighton. (Noise Abatement Society) In late October the White Night Festival's theme of Utopia, Sounding Brighton presented innovative, participatory installations aimed at encouraging members of the community to expand their creative engagement with sound. Its purpose was to raise awareness of new possibilities for quality soundscapes through immersive sonic experiences, using artistic and musical interpretations. There will also be a programme of interactive lectures. Click2Read
Recreating the sound of Tutankhamun's trumpets. (BBC) Tutankhamun's trumpet was one of the rare artifacts stolen from the Cairo Museum during the recent uprising. The 3,000-year-old instrument is rarely played, but a 1939 BBC radio recording captured its haunting sound. Click2Read-Listen.
Scientists Tune In To The 'Voices Of The Landscape'. (NPR) There's nothing new about studying animal sounds; biologists have been doing that for centuries. After all, if you want to understand birds, you need to understand how they communicate. But Bryan Pijanowski is now asking his colleagues to take a huge step back and, metaphorically speaking, listen not just to the trees, but to the forest. Click2Read
New scientific field to study ecological importance of sounds. (Michigan State University) A new scientific field will use sound as a way to understand the ecological characteristics of a landscape and to reconnect people with the importance of natural sounds. Soundscape ecology, a field being spearheaded by a team of researchers at Michigan State University and Purdue University, will focus on what sounds can tell people about an area. The team’s results can be found in BioScience. In short, natural sound could be used as a critical first indicator of environmental changes, such as shifts in climate, weather patterns, the presence of pollution or other alterations to a landscape. Click2Read.
Ear Room Interview: Hildegard Westerkamp. (Ear Room) Hildegard Westerkamp is a composer, radio artist and sound ecologist. She is a pioneering figure within the field of soundscape studies and sound ecology and an integral member of the World Soundscape Project. She presents soundscape workshops, performs, writes and lectures internationally. Ear Room presents regular one-to-one interviews with artists, curators, writers, publishers and academics who engage broadly with sound and its use in contemporary and historical arts practice. Ear Room is curated and edited by Mark Peter Wright. Click2Read (Photo: Hildi Westerkamp - G. Ferrington)
Wind farm noise not a problem. (AP) An Oregon (USA) county administration has ruled that a wind farm won't have to curb its noise after it was decided not to enforce state noise requirements. Click2Read.
Ear to the Earth 2011: New York Soundscape. A panoramic sonic portrayal of New York City's personality and sonic ecology in its five boroughs took place October 16—23. Artists and students reached out into neighborhoods to work with New Yorkers from all walks of life. Click2Read
Recording the soundscapes of spring. (US News & World Report). "Natural sounds can be used like a canary in a coal mine, as a critical first indicator of environmental changes," said Bryan Pianowski, and ecologist at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana (USA) Click2Read.
UAF grad student collecting soundscape of Kenai refuge. (Anchorage Daily News) Tim Mullet, a 34-year-old Ohio native and University of Alaska Fairbanks doctoral student, has been putting his ear to the sounds echoing through the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and by listening he is learning more than expected. Click2Read
"Listening is worship" (Ode) Gordon Hempton is fighting to save the sounds of silence in Washington state’s Olympic National Park — one square inch at a time. Hempton is referring to a tiny spot in northwestern Washington state that he has deemed One Square Inch of Silence. It’s marked with a reddish rock (at left) and a “Jar of Quiet Thoughts" — visitors’ musings on what Hempton has declared to be "the quietest place in the United States." Click2Read.