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Soundscape Composition: Enhancing our understanding of changing soundscapes

  • Brona Martin (a1)

Abstract

This article discusses the affordances of soundscape composition and how the techniques and approaches of this genre have been embraced as an inter-disciplinary research methodology. Since its emergence from the World Soundscape Project, the concept of soundscape composition has set out to enhance our listening awareness of our soundscapes, inspiring and establishing a discourse that explores a sense of place through sound. Soundscape composition over the past decades has established itself as a popular compositional practice among acousmatic composers utilising compositional techniques that go beyond phonographic representation of acoustic environments. Electroacoustic techniques explore not only the transformation and processing of field recordings but also the spatialisation and performance techniques used to create immersive and realistic soundscapes. These compositional developments since the establishment of the World Soundscape Project have brought this genre of music to a wider audience as it has developed into a cross-disciplinary practice. Soundscape studies methodologies such as soundwalking, listening and recording are being utilised by a broader research cohort outside of soundscape composition. This article provides a survey of recent projects and compositions that incorporate a soundscape and cross-disciplinary approach that reflects a variety of cultural themes and issues within the disciplines of social, political and cultural science.

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