Sound, Density, and the Environment

CASE STUDIES FROM THE BERNESE ALPS, BRAZIL’S MINAS GERAIS, AND HONG KONG’S SAI YING PUN QUARTER

This project explores different contemporary soundscapes (the Bernese Oberland, the rural Gerais in Central Brazil, and Hong Kong’s Sai Ying Pun quarter) from a global comparative perspective to analyze their sonic dimensions, predominant influence lines, and related impact on human interactions with the surrounding environment. It aims to establish a critical reflection on the actual dichotomies among natural, rural and urban soundscapes. Moreover, it investigates the lines of influence of environmental sounds, technology, human culture, music making, and performance. While based in ethnomusicology, it integrates perspectives and methods from anthropology, soundscape research, urban studies, and architecture, proposing the reintegration of musical material and affect studies into a sonic research perspective. Reanalyzing factors such as density, and reflecting on perceptive processes, such as immersion and transduction, the project “Sound, Density, and the Environment” particularly focuses on the following specific dimensions of intersection: a) the impact of human-generated sound on a natural environment; b) the impact of environmental sound on cultural and social life;  c) strategies of reappropriation of an urban context through sound and reflected in sound.

Project leader: Prof. Dr. Britta Sweers

Project coordinator: Dr. des. Lea Hagman

Reserchers: M. A. Victor Soares, M. A. Andrin Uetz

The project is based at the Institute of Musicology of the University of Berne. It is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF).

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