AWSRG news & events

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, zoömusicology, 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

Oct

19

2018

Audiowings – out now!

Thanks to our amazing journal editors – Sue Gould, text and Tony Baylis, audio (with John Campbell proof reading) – the latest edition of Audiowings (plus accompanying CD) is now available.

If you’re a paid up AWSRG member, you will have received it recently. Its arrival in the post may also be a prompt for a few members to renew their membership! If you’d like to receive the journal, simply get in touch with us (via contact form) and become a member.

Audiowings journal 2018 cover

So, what’s in this edition? A personal reflection and summary of our 2017 Baradine workshop from Bob Tomkins, articles on environmental music practices by Vicki Hallet and Nicole Carroll, Sue Gould discusses song variation in Cicadabirds, Michael Mahony details his research on the intriguing vocalising of the Green-thighed Frog, pioneering field recordist Les Gilbert converses with John Campbell, and I recall my recent experience in New Guinea’s cloudforest.

Then there’s the CD, featuring humpback whales, flamingos, froglets, curious crows and acquatic soundscapes. And a diversity of vocalisations from our cover bird, New Guinea’s White-winged Robin.

And finally, a reminder that past editions of Audiowings are digitally archived and available to members on this site.

Aug

21

2018

Your journal needs you!

AudioWings is the member’s journal of the Australian Wildlife Sound Recording Group. With it, we aim to improve the skill base of members with respect to sound recording techniques, sound analysis and archiving of your sounds. We also aim to facilitate information sharing among the community of sound recordists.

The AudioWings editorial team has been working on improving the quality of the journal. With this in mind we have updated the Style Guidelines, both to improve the look of the journal, and to make the guidelines simple for contributors to follow.

We welcome ANY contributions relating to sound recording including: observations and analysis of sound recordings, book reviews, equipment reviews, trip reports, profiles of sound recordists and any novel techniques you may have developed.

Southern Royal Albatross pleading for copy (Photo: Sue Gould)