This is a blog about ambient sound. Some might call it environmental sound, but that definition won’t quite suffice because more specifically, this is a blog about engineered ambient sound. The idea  of man-made sound sound environments fascinates me. From the most saccharine Muzak filling the airwaves of a sterile mall, to the most fastidiously crafted sound installation at MoMA, artificial ambience abounds wherever humans can be found. It manifests itself in art and commerce, the divine and the mundane. Sometimes its attributes are precisely configured, sometimes, as in the experimental music tradition, only a few parameters are defined and much is left to chance.

Copyright Barrie Sutcliffe

In order to understand the purpose and meaning behind different artificial sound environments, over the coming months I’ll be taking a closer look at the multitude forms of engineered soundscapes we often find ourselves a part of. Along the way I’ll share with you the resources that I unearth, as well as my personal thoughts and reflections on them. As time goes on the focus of the blog might evolve, but the theme of ambient sound will remain.

I am based in Dunedin, a thriving student city tucked away at the bottom of New Zealand’s South Island. Where appropriate, I’ll look at local examples of engineered audio environments both in Dunedin, as well as those elsewhere in the country.

If you have any resources of your own that you would like to share, feel free to use the comments section to post them, or contact me directly and I’ll endeavour to write about them myself.


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