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Acoustic Ecology, Soundscape Readings

July 26, 2010

Listen. Image by Ky olsen (CCBY)

The literature from the emerging field of acoustic ecology highlights the relationship between people and the surrounding natural and human-made sounds. The creative work of soundscape composers increases our appreciation of our audio landscape and provides examples of how we can design effectively with sound.

Back issues of “Soundscape: The Journal of Acoustic Ecology” can be accessed here. Kendall Wrightson’s “An introduction to acoustic ecology” was published in Volume 1, Number 1, Spring 2000, and can also be downloaded by clicking here.

Hildegard Westerkamp, a seminal figure in acoustic ecology, is also one of the foremost soundscape composers. Her article, “Linking Soundscape Composition and Acoustic Ecology” (2002), is available from her website, where you can also find related research and useful links.

Jim Cummings’s “Research Reports for the Ears: Soundscape Art in Scientific Presentations” can be found in Volume 7, Number 1 of the Soundscape journal (Science, Environment, Activism). The sound files that are discussed in the article can be downloaded from here.

In “Aural Imagery: Sonic Ambiguity in Time Based Media”, Rob Bridgett argues that ambiguous sound involves the listener more effectively than sounds that are easy to identify or are matched with images that explain their source.

Related information and links can be found at the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE) website.

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