Monday, March 24, 2014

Urban Soundscapes and Critical Citizenship

This week the Urban Soundscapes and Critical Citizenship conference rolls into the University of Limerick. Guests from around the world will be visiting our fair City of Culture this Thursday and Friday, 27-28 March.

In this interdisciplinary conference, we explore the intersection of soundscapes and acoustic ecology studies with urban, applied ethnomusicology’s focus on human subjects and with sociological understandings of the cultural restructuring of urban space, through an evocation of "critical citizenship".

Given my ongoing attempt to interrogate this field, it should surprise no-one that I will contribute in no fewer than three ways. An excerpt from one of my pieces is being included in the soundscape collage Echo-Locations, which will be played at various locations in the city.

For the Thursday afternoon session, I am pleased to be at the same table as Eric Leonardsen (president of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology) in Theatre Two of The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance. At 14.15 I will be delivering a paper tentatively titled "Window, landscape, soundscape: questions raised by the Sono prototype". All of my conference papers are tentative, since I use such gatherings as an excellent way to test out ideas and gather feedback. In this case my paper also constitutes work towards my doctorate in field recording ideology and practice. Not formally, perhaps, but in the sense that everything I now do seems to be part of my doctorate! (Many of you will understand the feeling.)

Friday evening at 7:30pm, I will be participating in the Soundscapes Performance at The Loft, 3 Georges Quay. This will be a nice way to unwind in a distinctly non-linguistic context alongside such noted practitioners as Sunfish, Softday, and Karen Power (fresh from the "hearSpace" première on Nova). This concert is free and open to the public, so even if you do not attend the conference, it is worth dropping in.

All this activity, unless the flu kills me first.

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