AWSRG news & events

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

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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.

Jan

2

2020

AWSRG into a new decade

I’d like to be upbeat and wish all our AWSRG friends a happy new year. But I just feel heartbroken at the moment. We have members who I know live in beautiful locations that are now in the path of the flames, and all I can do is hope for their safety.

There are so many wild places I’ve recorded in over the decades – Waratah Flat and Errinundra Plateau, where I first began recording – now gone. Forests near Mallacoota, where I recorded recently, also gone. Those ancient Gondwanan forests, koalas, gliders, sooty owls with their lovely trilling calls…

It feels too vast a tragedy to really comprehend.

I know members will feel similarly. I’d like to suggest that we each consider what the AWSRG can contribute to the social discussion that will evolve out of this catastrophe. Maybe, once the immediate situation subsides, we can arrange an online hookup to share ideas, or just our feelings.

Meanwhile – is this young magpie giving voice to the new Australia, or a requiem for the old?

(If you can’t view this video, try ABC Sydney on Facebook, that’s where it was posted)

Jul

19

2019

Smiths Lake nature sound conference report

The AWSRG’s 2019 conference has just been held on the shores of beautiful Smiths Lake on the NSW coast. Thirty of us gathered for the week, and whilst nature was the common bond, as a group we represented considerable diversity; experienced recordists to beginners, science researchers to artists, newcomers to some of those original members who began the group in the 1980s.

L-R: Janeene Willis, Arwen Ximenes, Marg Eller, Sue Boardman, James Harris, Michael Hannan, Bruce Robertson, Leah Barclay, Jurian Hoogewerff, Nicole Carol, Elena Gorgeva, Tim Duck, Virginia Hillyard, David Secombe, Sue Gould, Sophie Hoogewerff, Melinda Barrie, Rob Garbutt, Doug Quin, Rod Thorn, David Stewart, Michelle Scully, Graeme Chapman, Mike Fitzgerald, Andrew Skeoch & Jeff Eller (absent: Sharon Nott, Diana Hodge, Neil Boucher & Clem Fitzgerald)

more »

May

14

2019

Draft Program – AWSRG Workshop 2019

The AWSRG’s 2019 workshop (July 8-12) will be a week of immersive listening, nature sound recording, field craft and artistic engagement with nature.

Our venue, at the University of NSW’s field station at Smiths Lake on the north central NSW coast, will put us in the midst of habitats including subtropical rainforest, eucalypt woodlands, coastal heaths, wetlands and beaches. The perfect place to explore a range of sonic environments and how to record them.

Our keynote facilitator will be Prof Douglas Quin, from Syracuse University in New York. As a recordist, Doug has travelled widely and pretty much done it all, from terrestrial soundscapes and contact microphone work, to the extreme field practice he has undertaken in Antarctica. He’s used these recordings in film sound design, composition and installations. That is quite a breadth of experience, which Doug shares openly with warmth and clarity – he’s a born educator.

Doug will be joined by local experts in a program that will focus strongly on field craft and practical skills. Leah Barclay will lead a hydrophone lab, allowing us to explore nearby aquatic environments, from marine to freshwater. Dave Secomb, Andrew Skeoch, Sue Gould and others will conduct field sessions in terrestrial recording skills. And when it comes to documenting individual species vocalisations, we will be in the company of three of this countries most experienced naturalists; David Stewart, Graeme Chapman and Fred van Gessel.

These activities will allow us to get hands on with how to use a range of microphones and recorders. Once indoors, this will be complimented by sessions demonstrating software and the dark arts of digital magic for editing, processing, publishing & archiving.

Beginning with a presentation by local ornithologist Mick Roderick on the environmental significance of the local area, we’ll enjoy a week of fascinating talks. Among topics will be honeyeater dialects, anthropogenic noise and acoustic sanctuaries, gull subspecies, soundscape aesthetics, communication in flying fox colonies, zo√∂musicology, sonic recognition systems, birdsong mimicry and compositional practices. Graeme and David will lead a forum on the perceived decline of passerine populations, and sound artists will discuss how they communicate conservation values through creativity.¬† It’ll be a wide palate of ideas, fostering discussion across arts and sciences.

After a full day, we’ll relax of an evening with a program of live music performances and film screenings curated by Leah, utilising an immersive multi-channel playback system. This will be rounded out with an informal sharing of member’s activities, trips and adventures. We may even entice Doug to tell us exactly how he recorded one of the most extraordinary of all nature’s sounds; the vocalisations of Weddell Seals under the Antarctic sea ice.

As much as the program is shaping up to be memorable, it is the people and relaxed atmosphere at an AWSRG gathering that make it so much fun. And of course, the food. After working up an appetite, we’ll be settling down to a convivial sharing of gourmet cuisine from a talented local chef.

It will be an engaging week and a revitalising sharing of nature. We look forward to meeting old friends and new.

Bookings, costs, accommodation and catering arrangements

 

Poorly fed sound recordists resort to eating their microphone…

Mar

8

2019

Latest Audiowings journal plus CD

The December 2018 issue of Audiowings has been out a while, and members will have received and devoured it well by now! However for those who haven’t, here’s a summary of what’s in our latest edition.

Nocturnal ecologist Julie-Broken Brow begins with an insightful article on how habitat and foraging ecology are related to ultrasonic microbat vocalisations.

Cetacean ecologist Jennifer Allen takes us under the sea searching for clues on how Humpback Whale songs are transferred so faithfully and quickly across vast distances from one population to another.

Sue Gould paints a broad-brush picture of Huon Bowerbird vocalisations, focusing on the overall pattern of singing behaviour and how that might relate to their social behaviour. She includes links to her online audio recordings.

Tony Baylis contributes a companion article on the birdsong of Papua New Guinea’s Huon Peninsular, focusing on vocalisations of the Emperor Bird of Paradise, with spectrograms. more »

Mar

1

2019

AWSRG 2019 Workshop / Conference Dates

Dates for the Australian Wildlife Sound Recording Group’s 2019 conference / workshop are now confirmed. Specific details and logistics for the event are still coming together, but in the meantime, please make a note of dates in your calendars.

8th – 12th July, 2019

UNSW Field Station, Smiths Lake, NSW.

Australian wildlife sound recording workshop

 

Our gathering will be 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 personal enjoyment.

Our venue will be the UNSW Field Research Station, located on the southwest shore of Smiths Lake, part of the Myall Lakes region on the central NSW coast. It is around 100km north of Newcastle and 35km south of Forster.

This location offers us a huge range of opportunities for wildlife sound recording, encompassing ocean and coastal, saltwater to freshwater lake habitats, and extensive tracts of sandy coastal heath, swamps, sclerophyll woodlands and subtropical rainforests.

One of our keynote presenters will be Dr. Douglas Quin, from Syracuse University in the US. Doug has a vast experience of sound recording around the world, including some extraordinary research in the Antarctic, and his work is accomplished in both sciences and arts. He’s generous with his knowledge, a natural educator, and enthusiastic about being part of our event.

We’re scheduling our conference for July to tie in with Doug’s availability. However we’re hoping it will also make it possible for local researchers, who would often be in the field during spring, to attend and contribute. We’ve found that our usual September timeslot has often precluded these professionals in the past. Given the extremely dry conditions in recent years across the inland and Queensland in particular, the coastal location should give is ample recording subjects, even though it is early in the season.

Details about the speakers program and workshops for the week, accommodation options, costs and booking details (much of it preliminary at this stage), will be available and updated on the conference page here.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Jan

1

2019

HNY 2019!

Wishing all AWSRG members and friends a fulfilling 2019. May the natural world sing for your microphones, or even better, just for you.

This year we will be holding our biennial workshop/conference. The organising committee are still considering venues (although we have one which looks very suitable), and our anticipated dates are the second week of July (a little earlier than usual). This time will hopefully allow researchers who would normally be in the field during spring to attend, plus allow a pre-eminent visiting recordist from overseas to be our keynote guest.

More details of all this as they are confirmed. But for now, lightly pencil the 8th-12th July in your (digital?) diaries, and we’ll look forward to gathering again.

Grey Fantail