Nov

22

2017

Perspectives on Listening Symposium – Brisbane

Perspectives On Listening Symposium December 2017

December 7-9, 2017
​Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, Brisbane

Biosphere Soundscapes and the Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre, Griffith University are hosting “Perspectives on Listening”, an international symposium and workshop bringing together an interdisciplinary group of researchers to explore the role of sound in understanding place and environmental changes.

“Perspectives on Listening” will introduce the interdisciplinary possibilities of acoustic ecology and highlight emerging fields including ecoacoustics. The event features keynotes from Steven Feld (USA) and Monica Gagliano (West Australia) in addition to panels, research presentations, live performances, immersive installations, sound walks and field trips across the rainforests of the Sunshine Coast and aquatic ecosystems in Noosa Biosphere Reserve.
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Nov

13

2017

Sound recording the cloudforests of Papua New Guinea’s Huon Peninsular

Five members from the AWSRG have recently been field recording in the mountain forests of the Huon Peninsular in Papua New Guinea.

With three previous years recording in the region, Tony Baylis organised and lead this year’s expedition, comprising Sue Gould and her partner Rod Thorn (who both accompanied Tony last year), plus David Stewart and myself, Andrew Skeoch.

On the trail in Papua New Guinea – (from left) Rod Thorn, David Stewart, Andrew Skeoch, Tony Baylis and Sue Gould.

Tony’s connections with the local people were crucial to the expedition. Without permission and support from local landholders we simply could not have visited these forests. We hired porters from nearby villages to assist in moving all our equipment and supplies between camps. Here they arrive at our first bush camp in the morning, ready to help us relocate further up the mountain.

Tony and Rod ascending slowly. Trekking was exhausting, a combination of altitude and a vertical landscape. Often a day’s walk with only modest altitude gains, would involve first descending into a deep valley and then climbing up a sheer slope beyond. The locals were adapted to it, padding along in bare feet, but slippery rocks, mud and hidden tree roots were treacherous in our hiking boots. We relied on our walking poles for both balance and secure footing.

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Oct

1

2017

A Magical Evening with Glossy Black Cockatoos

On one of the final evenings of our workshop, a group of us set out for Salt Caves Dam, to witness and record the Glossy Black Cockatoos coming in to drink on sunset.

We set up both terrestrial and hydrophone rigs, recording independently above and below the surface of the dam.

The hydrophones were filled with sound immediately, a rich symphony of aquatic insects fizzing away. However we had to wait quietly as the late afternoon ebbed before the glossy blacks came in. They timed their arrival just as the breeze stilled. A pair arrived first, and watched us unconcerned from a high vantage. After a while others drifted in, around 15 birds eventually, perching and calling back and forth before finally dropping down to the dam edge to drink just on nightfall.


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Sep

30

2017

Minutes of AWSRG 2017 AGM

Our workshop at the Pilliga concluded with an AGM, minutes of which can be accessed here (pdf):
Minutes 2017 AGM of the AWSRG

Sep

21

2017

A week of sounding the Pilliga

In summing up our recent week of sharing sound in the Pilliga forest, I can’t say it better than Tony Baylis; “the best AWSRG workshop I’ve been to”.

From left to right (* in back row):
Kerry Watson, Fred van Gessel, Michael Hannan, Julie Broken-Brow, Sue Gould, Jessie Cappadonna, Rod Thorn*, Vicki Hallett & son Jackson, Bob Tomkins*, Lucy Farrow, Howard Plowright, Leah Barclay*, David Secomb*, Pat (from Gamilaroi mob), Jennifer Ackerman*, Nicole Carroll, Sue Boardman*, Jill Plowright, Michael Mahony*, Marg Eller*, Andrew Skeoch, Mike Fitzgerald*, Ros Bandt, Arthur McDevitt*, Melinda Barrie & Tony Baylis.
Photographer: Jeff Eller

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Aug

31

2017

Provisional Program for September 2017 workshop

Download the provisional program for our September workshop/conference (pdf).

Flexibility will allow us to respond to discussion and interest from the group in the structuring of some sessions, and  spontaneity in adding others.

AWSRG 2017 Workshop Provisional Program

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.

This artwork was commissioned in 2009 and has now been retained as a permanent installation.

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

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