Dec

29

2023

AWSRG Victorian Gathering, 11/12th Nov 2023

by Roslyn Oades

Creeping along the hilly, dirt road to Strangways in regional Victoria, I was quite unsure what to expect.

I signed up as a member of Australian Wildlife Sound Recording Group several years ago during Melbourne lockdowns. I’d enjoyed listening to their recordings, reading their articles, following group email exchanges, and on one occasion attending a fascinating online listening party, with audio accompanied by spectrograms. But, to be blunt, I was mostly an online AWSRG lurker. When it came to their in-person field excursions, I felt too much of an imposter to attend. However, on this occasion, the gathering was only a couple of hours from home, so I decided to take the plunge…

Following the directions I’d been sent, I took a left at the old ‘Land for Wildlife’ sign and pulled up at a charming mud-brick house surrounded by bushland. I was greeted by Andrew Skeoch, the AWSRG’s president, whose insightful new book I’d just begun reading. Andrew had generously opened his home to an enthusiastic group of AWSRG field-recordists for the weekend – both novices and experts alike. I fell into the novice end – highly curious, and with a lot to learn.

My adventures in sound over the next two days blew my mind. Our friendly group of around a dozen included several musicians, audio engineers, academics, a sound designer, a bird watcher and a few other field-recording novices like myself. One thing we all had in common was a passion for nature recordings and the technology that allows us to document natural environments with fidelity. The weekend was full of generous exchanges of knowledge, artistic sharing, close listening, ample food and warm company – while also managing to be very relaxed.

Highlights included experiencing one of Vicki Hallett’s responsive environmental music improvisations on clarinet in the bush at dusk on Saturday:

Earlier in the day, we’d also been introduced to the work of the Bowerbird Collective – two classical musicians who (by a serendipitous coincidence) were performing a duo concert of environmentally-themed music nearby in Maldon that afternoon. After they’d dropped by to join us for lunch and speak about their work, we attended the concert which featured nature audio and video woven among the live music.

The following morning, several of us rose early to record the dawn chorus, each using our own recorders, allowing a comparison of equipment. A small group of Brown-headed Honeyeaters chipped in the canopy overhead, while a Scarlet Robin, Bronzewing Pigeon, Magpies, Yellow-faced Honeyeaters and White-throated Treecreepers called not far off.

Back in Andrew’s studio, we compared our recording methods and learned about audio processing techniques using Isotope RX.

I came home from my adventure in Strangways feeling inspired, nurtured and energised – and with a new list of listening and reading materials to dive into. I was so appreciative of this opportunity, and in particular, the warm hospitality and generosity of spirit I encountered among the AWSRG community. I look forward to attending another gathering in future, and recommend any fellow AWSRG lurkers to do the same.

Aug

21

2022

Vale Ian Venables

With sadness we advise of the passing of one of our members, Ian Venables. Ian has been part of our group for nearly quarter of a century, attending many conferences over the years and co-ordinating the 2001 event at Lady Elliot Island. As a keen and knowledgeable birder, Ian also played a significant role in Birds Queensland. We extend our sympathies to his wife, Denise, and their family.

Ian’s funeral service will be held on Wednesday 24 August 2022 at Centenary Memorial Gardens, 353 Wacol Station Rd, Sumner Qld at 3.30pm.

Nov

2

2021

ASRA 2021 Conference – Survival and Revival, Nov 9-11

Australasian Sound Recordings Association
2021 Conference – Survival and Revival
9-11 November 2021

Online Conference

Program & Ticket Registration
https://www.asra.asn.au/asra-2021-conference-survival-and-revival

Announcing this year’s Australasian Sound Recordings Association’s conference Survival and Revival which will be held online from 9-11 November. The conference theme  is about the creation, use and preservation of sound recordings during the present time of pandemic, climate emergency and social and political upheaval. The program will examine new and shared challenges, collaborations and opportunities associated with sound recordings. It is aimed at sound archivists, audio engineers, broadcasters, publishers, sound creatives and field recordists.

Of special interest is the inclusion of an afternoon session (Thursday 11th Nov) devoted to environmental sound that will be moderated by Andrew Skeoch. The program includes AWSRG members, Tony Baylis, Mike Fitzgerald, Vicki Hallett and Ros Bandt, who will discuss a range of topics about the use of field/sound recordings in their respective practices. Topics include field recording in remote parts of Australasia, sound art case studies, the four seasons after the megablaze and an interrogation into why we record. In addition, Nat Grant will investigate the kinds of histories and memories that can be shared through making and experiencing field recordings and sound walks, and Alana Blackburn will discuss the collaborative process between sound designer and performer using sound recordings, focusing on her recent work on Regrowth with composer Ros Bandt.

Presenter’s abstracts, session times and ticket registrations are available at the conference website.

Aug

26

2021

Les Gilbert, 1946 – 2021

Les Gilbert

Les in Spain by Gillian Chaplin

Les Gilbert – musician, composer, sound recordist and multimedia company director – has died on 17 August, aged 75.

Les was not formally a member of the AWSRG, focusing on his own extremely time-consuming work, however he has been an important figure in Australian nature recording. He attended the Rotamah Island gathering in the early pre-AWSRG days, and was a delegate at the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology conference in Melbourne in 2003, so many long-term AWSRG members will remember him. His 1990 Kakadu Billabong CD was a particular inspiration to myself.

This tribute to Les is offered by John Campbell, who did audio production and post-production work for him from 1992 to 2018. more »

Aug

20

2021

2021 AGM – September 11 @ 3pm (AEST)

You are warmly invited to join us online for our 2021 AGM, to be followed by a sharing of recordings.

Saturday, September 11th, 2021, 3pm (AEST).
To be hosted online via zoom, click here to register for the event and receive the meeting link.

more »

Jun

27

2021

AWSRG Winter Listening Party

Join us for an AWSRG Winter Listening Party.

Wednesday, July 14th at 7.00pm AEST

This will an opportunity to gather, chat and share recordings. Contribute a recording or two to the evening by sending audio no later than 24hrs beforehand (possibly via WeTransfer.com) to: listeningearth (you know the symbol) gmail (dot) com.

Registration is free but required to access the meeting link

Apr

8

2021

Earth Law – an introduction by Michelle Maloney

As we face a climate changed world and transition away from our destructive reliance of fossil fuels, human societies need to create new ways of working together and nurturing the wider Earth community – the need for new governance systems has never been greater.

Our April online seminar will be an introduction to Earth jurisprudence, an exciting approach that can reshape the way we protect of nature.

April 21st at 7.00pm AEST

Click here to register and receive the meeting link.

more »

Feb

21

2021

South America – A Nature Sound Journey, with Juan Pablo Culasso

Our March seminar will take us to South America, with nature sound recordist Juan Pablo Culasso.

Juan Pablo Culasso Nature Sound Jounrey to South America - AWSRG

more »

Jan

30

2021

Pied Butcherbird Song with Hollis Taylor

Our February AWSRG seminar will be a talk by Hollis Taylor on her research into the songs of the Pied Butcherbird.

more »

Dec

5

2020

AudioWings Digital Archive Published

Over the last 20 or more years, AWSRG members have contributed recordings and articles to our journal, AudioWings.

The journals and accompanying CDs have been published (usually) biannually, and collectively contain a treasure trove of wildlife recordings and research, from this country and further afield.

Previously editions have been mailed out to financial members as they were produced, with limited back issues available. Now, all editions, from No.1 to the latest, No.42, are available online, for listening or digital download. This is the first time they’ve all been available together.

Collating the entire archive has involved members pooling their personal collections (“I’m missing the first six CDs, and who’s got the journal of Vol.8 No.1?”). My thanks to Tony, Jeff and Bob for their assistance in this, and to all past journal and CD editors, Fred, Bill, Sue, Tony and Vicki particularly.

While digitising CDs, entering track details and creating cover artwork, I’ve been aware that these recordings represent the history of the group. Past and departed members and their research interests are presented, often along with their spoken commentary, a poignant reminder for those who remember them personally.

Our AudioWings digital archive is hosted on Bandcamp, click here to view and listen. Each CD edition is available either to stream, or purchase and download, as a complete album or per track. Each download edition includes its corresponding journal in PDF format, plus recordist and equipment information.

We hope that having the complete AudioWings archive publicly available will boost the profile of the AWSRG and its history of participation and research.

Current financial members may download any editions for free. The member’s section of this site contains details of how to access free codes to enable this.

A partial index for the audio archive is also available via the member’s section. We’re currently updating it to a complete index of all recordings.