Leonardo Music Journal, Volume 16

December 2006




  • Interactive Sonification: Aesthetics, Functionality and Performance
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    The authors present a sonification installation that allows a group of players to interact with an auditory display of neural activity. The system is designed to represent electrical spike propagation in a neuron culture through sound propagation in space. Participants can simulate neural spikes by using a set of specially designed controllers, experimenting and sonically investigating the electrical activity of the brain. The article discusses some aesthetic and functional aspects of sonification and describes the authors' approach for group interaction with auditory displays. It concludes with the description of a performance piece for the system and ideas for improvements and future work.

  • Listening to the Mind Listening: An Analysis of Sonification Reviews, Designs and Correspondences
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    Listening to the Mind Listening (LML) explored whether sonifications can be more than just “noise” in terms of perceived information and musical experience. The project generated an unprecedented body of 27 multichannel sonifications of the same dataset by 38 composers. The design of each sonification was explicitly documented, and there are 88 analytical reviews of the works. The public concert presenting 10 of these sonifications at the Sydney Opera House Studio drew a capacity audience. This paper presents an analysis of the reviews, the designs and the correspondences between timelines of these works.

  • space-dis-place: How Sound and Interactivity Can Reconfigure Our Apprehension of Space
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    The author examines the plasticity of the perceptual spaces generated by sound and interactivity and how their dynamic relationships to other perceptual spaces, both mediated and physical, affect our overall perception of the space we are in. He does this by analyzing some of his own work, in the wider context of architecture and time-based art and design, referencing work by other makers.

  • Notes on A Record of Fear: On the Threshold of the Audible
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    The author considers the ideas behind her series of temporary audio (and video) installations collectively entitled A Record of Fear, made for the site of Orford Ness on the Suffolk coast. This remote shingle spit was a covert military testing site for much of the 20th century and is now owned and run by the National Trust. The author worked with three sound recordists to capture ambient and “performed” sounds subsequently used in three separate on-site installations. These pieces were a response to both the site's painful history and its current rich soundscape.

  • Acoustic, Electric and Virtual Noise: The Cultural Identity of the Guitar
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    Guitar technology underwent significant changes in the 20th century in the move from acoustic to electric instruments. In the first part of the 21st century, the guitar continues to develop through its interaction with digital technologies. Such changes in guitar technology are usually grounded in what we might call the “cultural identity” of the instrument: that is, the various ways that the guitar is used to enact, influence and challenge sociocultural and musical discourses. Often, these different uses of the guitar can be seen to reflect a conflict between the changing concepts of “noise” and “musical sound.”

Artists' Statements

Special Section: Sound and the Social Organization of Space

Special Section: UNYAZI

LMJ16 CD Companion: Interpreting the Soundscape

CD Contributors' Notes

  • Scotian Shelf 1 and Scotian Shelf 2
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    Sounds of seismic survey and delphinid (dolphins or pilot whales) whistles and clicks recorded in the Atlantic Ocean off Nova Scotia, May 2001.

  • N. April 16, 2006
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    Sonification of measured (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Arctic program) and model weather data, April 2006. Data modeling by Patrick Market, University of Missouri.

  • Concert Room
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    Recording of a concert room inside the abandoned city of Pripyat, in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, October 2005.

  • Blue Grass Music and Ant-Steps
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    Insect chorus track from down amongst the Blue Grass of Kentucky.

  • Bridge Vibrations
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    Contact microphone recording of St. Saviour's Dock Bridge beside the River Thames, London, January 2006.

  • Our Streets! Symphonies of Protest
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    Extract from Live in New York at the Republican National Convention Protest September 2–August 28, 2004.

  • Magnetic Nets
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    Composed from electromagnetic recordings of security (antitheft) gates of major shops in Europe, Japan, China and the United States.

  • Möbius Fields (soundwalk)
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    Conventional and electromagnetic recordings made in Montréal, Canada, March 2006.

  • Taiwanese Animal Phonography
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    Frogs and insects recorded in Taiwan, summer 2005.

  • Sonic Postcards
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    Sonic Postcard 1: From Chelsea Children's Hospital School, London, created by the pupils from the Collingham Gardens site, facilitated by Jo Lucas. Sonic Postcard 2: From Ashcott Primary School, Somerset, created by Sophie Hunt-Davison and Victoria Langford, facilitated by Tony Whitehead. Sonic Postcard 3: From Market Place Primary School, Aberdeenshire, created by class P6, facilitated by Pippa Murphy.

  • Sound Massages
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    Binaural recording at the Musique et Quotidien Sonore Festival, Albi, France, May 2005.

2006 Leonardo and Leonardo Music Journal Author Index

2006 Leonardo Electronic Almanac Author Index

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