Jun

26

2017

The forgotten songs of Sydney’s birdsong

forgotten birds

Forgotten Songs commemorates the songs of fifty birds once heard in central Sydney, before they were gradually forced out by European settlement. The calls, which filter down from the canopy of birdcages suspended above Angel Place, change as day shifts to night; the daytime birds’ songs disappearing with the sun, and those of the nocturnal birds, which inhabited the area, sounding into the evening.

This delightful installation was a collaboration between ecologists and sound artists, with the AWSRG’s Fred van Gessel providing the birdsong recordings.

It isn’t clear from the article, but this artwork appears to have been installed twice, once in 2009 and again in 2012.

More info and images

Jun

26

2017

Transforming climate change data into music

Ten years ago, old-school graphs and text-based data were the only way to communicate the growing problem of climate change. But when it comes to inspiring action, a relentless march of charts can disengage many. For Leah Borromeo, co-founder of Climate Symphony, it became clear a different approach was needed.

“Music makes us feel things,” she says. “It affects us physiologically, emotionally. Sound has always acted as a warning for us, we have this ingrained in our limbic system. This is a new way of expressing the climate change issue.”

Full article on wired.co

Climate Symphony

Jun

9

2017

Speakers for the September 2017 workshop

We’re delighted to announce the speakers and facilitators for our September 2017 workshop.

Despite being a small, independent organisation, we’ve managed to interest some high profile speakers across diverse areas of nature sound research and practice to attend and share their experience.

The Genius of Birds - Jennifer AckermanOur special guest will be American science author Jennifer Ackerman, who’s fascinating book ‘The Genius of Birds’ has been widely read and praised. She will be presenting the latest research on avian intelligence and how it informs communication and repertoire.

In addition to presentations from leading bioacoustic researchers across bird, frog, insect and bat studies, we have eco-acousticians talking about both field work and analysis. Citizen science projects will be discussed, and the arts featured with participatory and performance components.

But the core of the week’s events will focus on developing practical recording skills, in field sessions run by experienced recordists. Once indoors, we’ll also be demonstrating how to clean up, publish and archive recordings.

It’s looking to be an exciting week of both presentations and field workshops. We hope you can join us!

For workshop info and to book your place, please see:
http://awsrg.org.au/2017-workshop/

Please note – if you’d like to offer a talk (and we’d love you to!), we do have space available to include you in our program. Please get in touch with Andrew or Sue to discuss.
Andrew Skeoch: listen@netcon.net.au
Sue Gould: susanfgould@yahoo.com

 

Our speakers and facilitators:

David Paull – local ecologist, who will give us an overview of the Pilliga.
Dr. Leah Barclay – Researcher, artist and educator at Griffith University. President of the Australian Forum for Acoustic Ecology, the vice-president of the World Forum of Acoustic Ecology. Director of Biosphere Soundscapes & River Listening Projects.
Jennifer Ackerman – science writer and author of ‘The Genius of Birds’.
Dr. Ros Bandt  – internationally recognised composer and sound artist, with a particular interest in environmental music and listening.
Julie Broken Brow – PhD student using Anabat for her research on bats.
Jessie CappadonnaAustralian Citizen Science Association, and research project using acoustic monitoring for Eastern Bristlebirds.
Alex Drew – CSIRO, Australian National Wildlife Collection – Wildlife Sound Archive.
Lucy Farrow – Research project on acoustic signalling of Noisy Miners.
Dr. Michael Mahoney – synchronous calling of frogs and what it may mean.
Dr. Sue Gould – Vocalisations of the Huon Bowerbird.
David Smith – Charles Sturt University, project using remote acoustic sensors.
Michael Towsey – Sonographic representation of long-temporal eco-acoustic data.
Andrew Skeoch – Using Izotope software to process and repair field recordings.

May

29

2017

Hollis Taylor – ‘Absolute Bird’, CD review

Review by Andrew Skeoch

Music and birdsong have been entwined in mythology and artistic practice through the ages. It would be easy to dismiss the relationship as mere romanticism, yet there remain clear comparisons between birdsong and the way humans express themselves in music.

Hollis Taylor’s ‘Absolute Bird’ is a lavishly produced, double CD set and extensive booklet. It is part musical document, part memoir of her travels, and part musing on a bird’s capacity for aesthetic sound making. But above all it is a celebration of a remarkable single species of songbird; the Australian Pied Butcherbird. Their tonally rich songs are often considered among the most musical in the birdworld – not simply by being melodic and pleasing on the ear, but by the bird’s creative exploration of repertoire.

Hollis Taylor, Absolute Bird CD

more »

Apr

9

2017

XXVI International Bioacoustics Congress

The International Bioacoustics Congress is a premier gathering for researchers into the sounds of the natural world. This year it is being held in Haridwar in India, at the foot of the Himalayas on the banks of the sacred river Ganges.

The intention is to promote international participation throughout the entire field of bioacoustical activity. The subject of bioacoustics is principally a marriage between the fields of biology and physical acoustics. Given its multidisciplinary nature, IBAC aims to bring together, in informal settings, biologists from different specialisations (ethologists, physiologists, taxonomists, etc.) with engineers, sound archivists and amateur sound recordists, to foster discussion and exchange of ideas.

The event will be held between 8th-13th October 2017

http://www.ibac2017india.com/

more »

Apr

9

2017

The successful 2015 AWSRG Workshop

The 2015 AWSRG workshop was held at Little Desert Nature Lodge from 27th September to 2nd October 2015. This was a great success, with participants coming from far afield to attend.

Over the five days we heard a variety of speakers presenting on a range of topics ranging from field experiences, exotic destinations, sound editing and sound recognition software, the evolution of bird and mammal calls, how birdsong can inspire music, and more. There were also workshops, equipment comparisons, early morning dawn chorus sessions, sharing of sounds and reflecting on the future of the group. Then there was the more serious business of the AGM.

For more reading and sounds that were recorded, see Audio Wings Vol.17, No.2 and listen to CD No.33.

Here is a snapshot of the week, in images and sounds…

Some of those who attended, from back left to right: Arwen Ximenes, Fiona Baylis, Neil Boucher, June Boucher, Sue Boardman, Micheal Hannan, Margaret Elrick, Maureen Collier, Jill Plowright, Howard Plowright, David Secomb, Bob Tomkins, Kerry Watson.

more »

Feb

17

2017

AWSRG 2017 Biennial Workshop

Australian wildlife sound recording workshop

6th – 11th September, 2017

Camp Cypress, Baradine, NSW.

 

A week of listening to the natural world – sharing the skills and experience of nature sound recording for a variety of purposes, ranging from scientific research, to artistic responses and simple, personal enjoyment.

Camp Cypress at Baradine is on the edge of the Pilliga forest, the largest expanse of contiguous dry woodland in inland NSW, and a wonderful area for birdlife and wildlife sound recording.

Our workshop will be a week of expert presentations and discussion, covering all aspects of wildlife and environmental sound recording, including:

  • equipment (microphones, recorders etc) and recording techniques,
  • fieldcraft and associated natural history skills,
  • editing, audio processing and archiving,
  • species identification and repertoire,
  • environmental listening and cultural responses

Practical sessions of field tuition and recording opportunities will be scheduled in nearby Pilliga forest and other natural areas.

We look forward to welcoming members and non-members. The week will be a gathering suitable for beginners, field naturalists, student and professional researchers, artists/musicians and anyone interested in engaging with the natural world more deeply through listening.

For information, read further details, or speak to:

May

24

2015

AWSRG meeting Little Desert 2015

This years meeting will be held at Little Desert Nature Lodge 27th September to 2nd October 2015. Put the dates in your diary, let the Little Desert Nature Lodge and Tony Baylis know ASAP if you intend to attend the meeting. There will be an additional cost of $50 registration at the meeting. See the attached for further details AWSRG meeting Little Desert 2015