We are thrilled to announce the successful applicants for the 2016 Biosphere Soundscapes International Internship program. Teresa Barrozo (Philippines) and Diana Peña (New Zealand / Mexico) will be joining us in 2016 to work on new projects exploring acoustic ecology and field recording practices. Both artists have been mentored through developing a 2016 project after submitting their successful applications earlier this year. The Biosphere Soundscapes International Internship program is a dynamic opportunity that involves a mixture of self-directed practice, mentored development and international collaborations. Our interns can design their own Biosphere Soundscapes lab or focus on a specific creative or scientific project. We accept applications from emerging artists, scientists and community leaders across the world and work collaboratively to develop projects that support innovative research and new ideas in UNESCO Biosphere Reserves.
Teresa Barrozo (b.1982) is a sound artist, composer and curious listener based in Manila with a wide range of work for film, theatre and dance. Her compositions have been featured in the Asian Composers League Festivals in Japan and Thailand, and in the Asia-Pacific Weeks in Germany. Her film music works has been part of major international film festivals in Cannes, Venice, Toronto, Locarno and Berlin, to name a few. She was a recipient of the Ani ng Dangal Award from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (Philippines) and a fellow of the Asian Cultural Council (2014) in New York. Her fellowship focused on new music, sound art and design, performance, and contemporary sonic practices in listening, field recording, acoustic ecology, neuromusic, and electronic and computer music composition.
Influenced by new practices in contemporary art, tradition in aural orchestration and storytelling in cinema and theatre, Barrozo’s sound work expands to various disciplines, often exploring and exposing new perspectives in listening culture. She is interested in the dialogue between sound and man while investigating man’s relationship to itself and the environment.
Visit Teresa Barrozo's website here.
Diana Peña (b. 1983) is a Mexican field recordist and emergent sound artist born in Guadalajara and based in Auckland, New Zealand. She holds a International Business Bachelor and diploma in music from the University of Guadalajara in México. Self taught in sound studies and passionate of field recording, with a professional interest in acoustic ecology seeking to reflect and communicate the many aspects in life situations through sound. Her work consists in registration of everyday – seemingly inconsequential moments – that create in sum the relationship between herself, people, place and memory. She has undertaken field recording and sound art workshops with various local and international sound artists and has collaborated with other international field recording projects like Cities and Memories. Her current project is Travesía Sonora, a map of personal memories that create a unique tour of diverse soundscapes fed by the context of each recorded sound. She is an active listener and experiences soundwalks as a creative process for awareness and inspiration.
Visit Diana Peña's website here.
River Listening is an interdisciplinary collaboration designed to explore the creative possibilities of aquatic bioacoustics and the potential for new approaches in the conservation of global river systems. The project is led by the Biosphere Soundscapes founding director Australian interdisciplinary artist Dr. Leah Barclay. It was developed in collaboration with The Australian Rivers Institute across four Queensland river systems, two of which flow through the Noosa Biosphere Reserve and the Great Sandy Biosphere Reserve. Dr. Leah Barclay was awarded a prestigious Synapse grant in 2014 to support the development of River Listening across the the Brisbane River, the Mary River, the Noosa River and the Logan River.
Synapse is an initiative of the Australia Council for the Arts and the Australia Network for Art and Technology (ANAT) that supports collaborations between artists and scientists in Australia. River Listening involves immersive community engagement through interactive listening labs, field recording, sound maps, performances and installations to experiment with digital technologies and creativity in understanding river health and aquatic biodiversity. The project recognises the critical value of river systems and offers a fresh alternative in inspiring local and global communities to engage in river conservation through accessible digital technologies, creativity, music and sound.
In our current state of environmental crisis, biodiversity assessment is critical to understanding the rapid ecological changes taking place across the globe. In the last ten years, there has been a strong emergence of non-invasive monitoring involving auditory recordings of the environment. This emerging field is commonly referred to as soundscape ecology and shares many parallels with other fields, including bioacoustics and acoustic ecology. These fields have an array of creative possibilities that have been deeply explored by practitioners including Bernie Krause, Ros Bandt and Garth Paine. There are now a growing number of international projects embracing auditory monitoring in aquatic environments.
River Listening launched on the iconic River Thames in London during the 25th Anniversary of the EVA London International Conference in June 2014. It was developed as a pilot across four Queensland river systems: the Brisbane River, the Mary River, the Noosa River and the Logan River through intensive community engagement resulting in a wide spectrum of partnerships with community organisations. The initial phase of the project has involved listening labs, field recording, sound maps, performances and installations to experiment with hydrophonic recording, virtual technologies and community engagement in understanding river health. In the first six months the River Listening team have expanded the project internationally with partnerships formed across Australia, New Zealand, India, Cambodia, USA and Mexico. Particular highlights include launching a new masterclass series with UNESCO, premiering the River Listening sound installation at the ASU Art Museum in the USA and launching the first version of a new interactive sound installation at the Mary River Festival in Queensland.
2015 will see the launch of a customised River Listening digital platform and mobile applications for recording and listening to rivers across the world. The mobile application will facilitate creative collaborations and enable community members to become river custodians by monitoring river sounds and sharing their recordings with artists and scientists. The project team are also launching a touring exhibition and masterclass series that will explore rivers as the lifeblood of communities and draw on ten years of collaborations with river systems across the world.
As the international interest in the emerging auditory fields of bioacoustics and acoustic ecology continues to expand, there are clear opportunities to harness virtual technologies to develop accessible community engagement around the creative and scientific possibilities of listening to the environment. River Listening provides a model to develop a truly interdisciplinary approach with a strong focus on immersive community engagement. It is anticipated the future results will be beneficial to national ecosystem monitoring programs for river health. This project is a catalyst for interdisciplinary thinking at a time when the conservation and management of aquatic ecosystems is a critical priority. River Listening fundamentally explores the creative possibilities of aquatic bioacoustics and the potential for new approaches in the management and conservation of global river systems. River Listening is underpinned by inspiring environmental stewardship, revaluing urban river systems and connecting communities through music and sound.
By Leah Barclay (Originally published here for the World Listening Project)
At a time when the world is experiencing unprecedented ecological threats, the Balance-Unbalance International Conference is a global initiative designed to harness the talents of innovators working at the forefront of the arts, science and technology to explore transdisciplinary approaches to sustainability. The 2013 Balance-Unbalance Conference recently took place from 31 May to 2 June within the UNESCO Noosa Biosphere Reserve on the Sunshine Coast of Australia. The three-day event brought together a dynamic and diverse range of participants from 24 countries, including artists, scientists, activists, philosophers, sociologists, architects and engineers.
Balance-Unbalance was founded by Argentinean/Canadian artist and academic Dr. Ricardo Dal Farra in 2010 with the main goal to develop the role of the arts and artists in dealing with environmental challenges. After successful events in Montreal and South America, this was the first time the conference was hosted in the Asia-Pacific region. Features of the program included over 120 presenters, three keynote panels, 12 Pecha Kucha presentations, 60 papers, 25 performances and installations and 30 panels and trans-disciplinary activities. Although the program covered a wide spectrum of disciplines, there was a strong representation of both creative works and academic presentations that explored sonic art, listening and acoustic ecology.
The goal of Balance-Unbalance is not just in hosting events, but bringing like-minded individuals together to collaborate and take action. Ricardo Dal Farra is an acclaimed composer, so it’s not surprising that one of the first major outcomes from Balance-Unbalance was related to music. Dal Farra is particularly drawn to the work of Jacques Attali and his seminal book Noise: The Political Economy of Music, where he explores music as not just simply a reflection of culture but a “harbinger of change”. The ‘Art!⋈Climate’ competition was initiated at Balance-Unbalance 2011 in Montreal and is devoted to the power of organised sound. Developed in partnership with the Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre, ‘Art!⋈Climate’ is a competition for sound art related to “the effects of climate change and the world environmental crisis”.
The 2013 competition called for entries addressing two themes; one broad category including anything related to climate change and extreme weather events, and another concentrating on mosquito-borne diseases like malaria and dengue, which are affected by climate factors. The Red Cross was interested in functional creative resources to publish on the Climate Centre’s website and use for workshops, training materials and educational games. Therefore the winners of the competition would become part of a catalogue at the Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Action Centre.
There was 72 compositions submitted from across the world and the inaugural winners were announced at Balance-Unbalance 2013. The winning works were selected by a jury of internationally recognized electroacoustic music composers and new media artists including Joel Chadabe (USA) and Leigh Landy (UK). In addition to the official ceremony, the winning compositions were programmed in a multi-channel listening space at Balance-Unbalance that allowed delegates to experience the works throughout the conference. The winning artists included Ian Clothier (New Zealand), Damián Paúl Espina (Argentina) Nigel Helyer (Australia), Una Lee (South Korea), Katharina Vogt (Austria) and Richard Garrett (UK).
The ‘Art!⋈Climate’ project showcased the possibilities of combining a large-scale humanitarian organisation with artistic practice. In addition to creating a database of functional creative resources, ‘Art!⋈Climate’ attracted global attention and encouraged a dialogue around the role of sound and creativity in responding to climate change. This project highlights the role of Balance-Unbalance and certainly sets a high standard for initiatives to follow.
Balance-Unbalance 2013 explored how artists can participate in the challenges of our ecological crisis. The event inspired creative thinking and transdisciplinary action to create perceptual, intellectual and pragmatic changes. Balance-Unbalance is not just a conference, but the catalyst for new ideas, collaborations and most importantly actions in shaping our collective futures.
Noosa Biosphere Reserve, Australia, July 18, 2012
Biosphere Soundscapes launched on World Listening Day 2012 with a field-recording lab in the Noosa Biosphere followed by a forum at Noosa Regional Gallery featuring a panel of acclaimed composers and sound artists who will participate in the future project.
Joel Chadabe, President of Ear to the Earth in New York officially launched Biosphere Soundscapes followed by a presentation by Biosphere Soundscapes founding director Leah Barclay on the first phase of the project.
The panel involved short presentations from three of Australia’s leading sound artists; internationally acclaimed artist, author and performer Ros Bandt discussed interactive processes in environmental sound art, renowned composer Gerardo Dirié explored the value of listening and award winning Churchill Fellow Daniel Blinkhorn reflected on his recent expedition in the Arctic where he developed new strategies for composing with environmental sound. The launch will included an exclusive live performance with local Gubbi Gubbi artist Lyndon Davis, Ros Bandt and Leah Barclay .