Article by USC Sound Lab
Following the successful 'Perspectives of Listening' Biosphere Soundscapes Symposium in 2018, we are excited to welcome Steven Feld back to Brisbane for the Australian premiere of 'Voices of the Rainforest', to be followed by a Q&A with Director and Producer Steven Feld and Biosphere Soundscapes director Leah Barclay.
Experience a journey into Papua New Guinea's Bosavi rainforest and an intimate portrayal of its people through this environmental rockumentary concert of a day in the life of the forest and music it inspires.
Directed and produced by Steven Feld, and recorded with Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart, the project benefits the Bosavi Peoples Fund, advocating for environmental and cultural survival in the most remote part of Papua New Guinea.
WHEN: Friday 13 December
TIME: 6pm for a 6.30pm start
WHERE: Griffith Film School Cinema
COST: Free. Bookings essential.
'Voices of the Rainforest' is a seventy-minute, 4K image and 7.1 surround sound documentary about the ecological and aesthetic co-evolution of Papua New Guinea’s Bosavi rainforest region and its inhabitants. It is produced and directed by Steven Feld, who first began regular research visits to Bosavi in 1976 and is the author of 'Sound and Sentiment'.
'Voices' was originally a 1991 CD release produced by Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart for his Rykodisc series 'The World'. The recording condenses twenty-four hours of sounds of the rainforest and the Bosavi people into an hour. It makes audible myriad connections between the everyday sounds of the rainforest biosphere and the creative practices of singing to, with, and about it by the Bosavi people. As a work of advocacy for environmental and cultural sustainability, the CD royalties have benefited the Bosavi Peoples Fund, which aides the educational, legal, medical, and social needs of the Bosavi community.
In 2016 Feld digitized the original analog audio tapes held in Mickey Hart’s archive, and recomposed an expanded 'Voices' as a 7.1 cinema surround sound concert for the recording’s 25th anniversary. The work was done at George Lucas’s Skywalker Sound, in collaboration with Academy Award nominated sound editor Dennis Leonard. Performances were held in major music halls and auditoriums in the USA, Australia, and Europe in 2017.
The success of the immersive soundtrack led to funding efforts to digitize Feld’s archive of Bosavi images, and to send Feld and filmmaker Jeremiah Richards to Bosavi for two months in summer 2018 with high-resolution cameras and drones to renew the project locally. During the trip Bosavi people suggested the film be in two parts, the first a visualization of the 7.1 surround Voices of the Rainforest concert, the second an update about the state of the forest and the problems of development in what remains a remote and under-served region of Papua New Guinea. Feld and Richards will return to Bosavi at the close of 2019 to show the concert film, and to complete the companion documentary, 'New Voices of the Rainforest', for 2020.
Voices of the Rainforest
Concert Film on BluRay Disc
Created in collaboration with the Bona community of Bosavi, Papua New Guinea. Produced by Steven Feld and Dennis Leonard. Directed by Steven Feld and Jeremiah Ra Richards. Executive Producers: Caryl and Mickey Hart. Research, Sound Recording, Composition, Still Photography: Steven Feld. Videography, Drone Imaging, Film Editing: Jeremiah Ra Richards. 7.1 Cinema Surround Editing and Mixing: Dennis Leonard
Supported by Country Arts SA, the Riverland Biosphere Soundscape Lab will take place between May 24-26 2019 at Calperum Station in South Australia's Riverland Biosphere Reserve. Informed by the creative possibilities of acoustic ecology, and rapidly emerging fields of biology exploring environmental patterns and changes through sound, the Lab will bring together artists, scientists and community members to explore the acoustic environments of the Riverland Biosphere Reserve.
Led by South Australian interdisciplinary composer and sound artist Jesse Budel, participants will take part in a variety of activities across the weekend, including field trips, field recordings, creative work listening sessions, expert presentations, and group discussions. Supported by the Australian Forum for Acoustic Ecology and the Terrestrial Ecosystems Research Network, participants will immerse themselves in artistic, scientific and cultural perspectives on listening and acoustic ecology in South Australia's diverse terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
Participants will need to cover their own travel to the lab location, but all costs including workshops, accommodation and meals will be provided. There are limited places available, so please contact us if you have any questions about this experience.
To register your interest in the project, fill out the form available here.
Please note future activities are being planned for the Riverland Biosphere Reserve through 2019-2020, including a strong focus on freshwater ecoacoustics in the Murray River.
Freshwater Listening is a national two day (free) event on November 17-18 in regional Victoria celebrating freshwater care and 20 years of acoustic ecology in Australia. The event is hosted by AFAE founding member Dr Ros Bandt and the Australian Forum for Acoustic Ecology in collaboration with Biosphere Soundscapes director Dr Leah Barclay. The program includes sound walks, hydrophone workshops, freshwater listening expeditions, presentations, performances and the Freshwater Listening exhibition featuring some of Australia's leading artists.
June 24-28, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Organised by the International Society of Ecoacoustics (ISE) and endorsed by the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE) – the aim of the 2018 International Ecoacoustics Congress is to bring together artists, scientists, natural resource managers and industry to explore the ways that sound can deepen our understanding of the environment.
The program includes six keynotes, scientific presentations and workshops, creative talks, concerts, installations, listening rooms and field trips which include Noosa Biosphere Reserve, the location where Biosphere Soundscapes was founded. View the program online: https://ecoacousticscongress.org
The keynotes include acclaimed ecoacoustics researcher, composer and interdisciplinary artist David Monacchi. Monacchi has been developing the project Fragments of Extinction for 15 years, conducting field research in the world’s remaining areas of undisturbed primary equatorial forest. The recipient of multiple awards throughout Europe and North America, Monacchi is pioneering a new compositional and science dissemination approach based on 3D soundscape recordings of ecosystems to foster discourse on the biodiversity crisis through science-based sound art. He has worked for 25 years in cross-disciplinary contexts and produced works for contemporary music, art installation, cinema, video-art, site-specific public art, natural history, science and contemporary art museums, and is founding member of several artistic and scientific networks.