For those of you not yet familiar with it, I highly recommend checking out the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology website. The forum is one of the more influential in the world of acoustic ecology, having been around since the early nineties and being closely affiliated with the premier annual journal of acoustic ecology. There’s a lot of leads here to satiate your appetites. As I reported back in June, the World Forum holds annual conferences, the and results of the most recent of which you can read about here.
Another site that I’ve aleady linked to in my resources section, but which I think warants further mention, is the grand sounding Western Soundscape Project.
The site is an attempt to collect and showcase the environmental and animal sounds and soundscapes of America’s vast west. The site’s archive is claimed to host “more than 90% of the West’s bird species, all of the region’s frogs and toads, and more than 100 different types of mammals and reptiles”. It’s a comprehensive directory and one well worth checking out for anyone interested in wildlife and soundscape recording in general.
One of the enduring figures in the realm of field recording and blogs about field recording is San Francisco based blogger The Quiet American who runs the eponymous blog. In the introductory section to the site viewers are warned that the comments therein are of a highly opinionated nature. This is part of what makes the Quiet American worth visiting. The other part is the wonderful collection of field recordings and compositions that the writer has put together, many of them derived from exotic, far-flung corners of the earth. As well as being beautifully designed, the site is deep and idiosyncratic, a combination which, should you take a liking to the style, makes for many hours of engaged perusal.
A lot of the content I’ve linked to so far has dealt with the science of sound, soundscapes and the world of acoustic ecology. But there is a thriving international community of individuals who see the field recording as a kind of art. This makes sense. When choosing to record something, one makes a decisions about content, context and framing akin to those made in photography. Those who opt for sound over sight are phonographers.
Phonography.org provides a good introduction to the world of phonography. As well as profiling key phonographers (such as the brilliant, peerless, Chris Watson), the site provides links to key recordings and information about the gear necessary to make field recordings of your own. It’s a great starting point for all you would-be field recordists.
I’d just like to take this opportunity to draw your attention to the newest feature of the blog, the resources page (check it out above). Not to be confused with links, this is the most important stuff. The blood and guts. The meat and veg. You catch my drift.
Posted in Resources
While I try my best to keep a constant stream of interesting and relevant articles gurgling through cyberspace, it’s hard to compete with the Acoustic Ecology Institute, a big player in the world of acoustic ecology online. The site covers every aspect of the field in serious depth. First and foremost, it deals with the science of acoustic ecology, linking to key papers and research as well as key individuals worldwide. It’s newsfeed is a must for anyone keen on staying up to date with developments in the world of acoustic ecology. It’s resources page provides links both for those who are interested in learning about acoustic ecology in more depth and for those wishing to include the subject as part of their classroom curriculum. Finally, the Soundscapes section looks more closely at artistic applications of sound and field recordings as well as linking to academic papers and research into sound and soundscapes.
I’ve just started a new “Resources” section of the blog (that’s it at the top of the page) where I draw your attention to important websites, journals, foundations and projects covering issues related to acoustic ecology.
The first site on the list, save our sounds, is an extremely informative and approachable one set up by the BBC in order to raise awareness of acoustic ecology, soundscapes and the decline thereof. The site features an interactive “sound map” which allows readers all around the world the opportunity to upload their own endangered sounds. After checking that out, I highly recommend you take some time to listen to the save our sounds documentaries – two 25 minute podcasts that serve as a perfect introduction to the world of acoustic ecology. I’ll be taking a few tips from these guys as I put together some podcasts I have planned for the near future.
Over the next few weeks I’ll also be drawing attention to the other sites I’ve deemed worthy of inclusion in my resources section. Stay tuned… or connected… or whatever.