Scorescapes Ph.D dissertation download

December 11th, 2011

The Scorescapes doctoral dissertation is available to download on the Leiden University Repository:

Scorescapes Ph.D. Defense at Leiden University

December 11th, 2011

The public defense for Yolande’s Ph.D. research project “Scorescapes: on Sound, Environment and Sonic Consciousness” will take place at the Academiegebouw, Rapenburg 73, Leiden University,  NL. 
10:00, Tuesday 6 December, 2011.

Scorescapes: Abstract
This dissertation explores sound, its image and its role in relating humans and our technologies to the environment. It investigates two related questions: How does sound mediate our relationship to environment? And how can contemporary multidisciplinary art practices articulate and explore this relation between sound and environment. Read the rest of this entry »

Dolphin echo-locating

July 20th, 2009


July 20th, 2009

Underwater sounds, and sounds beyond human hearing range present a fascinating area of research and raise particular musical questions about the nature of our material. I have been working with these ideas over the past months, and at the studio at Steim I’m pulling together sounds and images collected on a recent residency in Florida with Alvin Lucier and David Dunn, recordings of space and underwater sounds including dolphin. A recent visit to the Bio-Acoustics Lab at UPC in Barcelona brought my attention to the applied nature of sound research in science, and the complementary reliance on vision to see sounds and patterns that might otherwise be missed in enormously complex data. So I’m looking further at the relation between sound and image in environmental conditions and trying to gather material for live performances that include acoustic instruments as part of the sound environments.

Atlantic Center for the Arts with Alvin Lucier

May 20th, 2009

The first days of a residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida, with composer Alvin Lucier. It’s raining hard still, and all night, wonderful sounds as it falls through the jungly leaves and gurgles in the drain pipes. I have a view out of my window onto the vegetation, it’s thick palms oaks small shrubs very green and wet and alive.

Satellite Sounders on fire in Frankfurt

May 20th, 2009

After the first day of exhibiting the Satellite Sounders during sound walks at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt during the Playing the City exhibition, I took the batteries back to the hotel to charge them, and at 2.30 in the morning one exploded, causing a small fire in the room. I put the fire out using the hotel pillows and called the front desk. The firemen and police came, I shook fiercely, and the hotel offered no first aid and are now in an aggressive process of intimidating me for insurance money for damage to their furniture. What a strange ending to the Satellite Sounders.

experiments in underwater sound 2

May 20th, 2009

Musical experiments into underwater creatures and the aqueous properties of the contra-bass flute. Part of Scorescapes. New sound works with electronics and contrabass flute played by Ned McGowan Karnatic Lab evening, Muziekcentrum De Badkuyp, Amsterdam.
The second in the series of experiments into underwater sounds, this introduces a live musician to the electronic and environmental soundworld of the first performance. The musical negotiations between two musicians using such different processes of sound production and variety of timbral possibilities became a focus. I introduced Ned to the material we would be using and the ideas behind the work including sounds outside of the human hearing range, and we worked with these ideas in an unstructured way, to create a really unusual performance.

Sound and Science symposium UCLA

March 6th, 2009

A fascinating collection of presentations by scientists and artists working with sound and sonification. Video streams of the lectures at Sound and Science

Prof Peter Narins presented research discoveries on the ultrasonic calls and hearing of certain frogs to adapt to environmental noise. The spectograms of the sound recordings clearly show how limited our own hearing range is in the total sound scape we inhabit. He implied that ultrasound is a relatively new and unexplored area of science, and put the recent interest down to now available field technology, such as the Sound Devices 722 that he used on a field trip in China.

Laura Peticola presented work using sound to communicate data about solar winds. As a space scientist she described the need and difficulties of making the concepts of solar storms, magnetic fields and even plasma to a general public. The team decided to use sound, rather than visualisation, to create sonifications of live solar wind data received by two satellites orbiting the sun. Read the rest of this entry »

experiments in underwater sound

March 6th, 2009

The first presentation of new material related to underwater sounds, at the Karnatic Lab evening, De Badkuyp, Amsterdam. I was interested to use the opportunity of an informal but public lab setting to put together a live performance that relates environmental recordings of underwater mammal sounds, electronic processes that reflect these natural sound processes, and hydrophone recordings I made in the Amsterdam canals. I was looking at musical properties of sounds that may be outside our natural hearing range, or too fast for us to perceive. By slowing down and lowering pitches I built up a soundscape based on temporal, harmonic and dynamic qualities present in the underwater soundworld.

Sons de Mar – research in underwater bioacoustics

January 24th, 2009

Cetaceans (whales, dolphins) are considered bio-indicators of changing environmental balances at sea because of their highly evolved acoustic perception and communication in their environment. The sounds in the ocean have dramatically transformed over the last 100 years due to anthropogenic noise made by our technologies – listen to this transformation at Sons de Mar. The noise pollution is so great that it interferes with Cetacean sonar and causes deafness which in turn increases the possibilities of collision with vessels at sea. The research group LAB Laboratori d’Aplicacions Bioacustiques, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, led by Michel Andre, has done several projects of passive acoustics – developing a way to detect whales by listening to the sound fields already present rather than adding more sound to the noise. There is also a clear acoustic map visualization with sound of the sea on the coasts of Catalunya and Spain.