‘Sounds of Europe’ is a project that acknowledges and follows the increase offield recording activity in music, art and sciences in recent years. By field recording activity we mean an artistic practice working with the accidental sounds of our environment. Our aim is to draw up an overall picture of the many different ways of using field recordings, and to explore their signification and effect.
The project has been initiated by Q-O2 (workspace for experimental music and sound art/ Brussels), MTG (Music Technology Group/University Barcelona) / Sons de Barcelona , IRZU (Institute for Sonic Arts Research/Ljubljana) and CRISAP (Creative Research in Sound Arts Practice /University London). Together with associated partners, we’ll set up activities and artistic projects which explore the sounds of the world, thereby stimulating an exchange of experiences, results, and understandings of sound and listening.
More info on: http://www.soundsofeurope.eu/about/
Although sound is a natural phenomenon, many sounds in our cultural environment are designed by humans. Street signs make use of specific acoustic signals, kitchen appliances are tweaked in such a way that they produce sounds that users of these devices are expected to hear, car doors are supposed to make a particular sound when they are closed, a sound that conveys solidity, safety, and quality to the driver of that car. Often, these sounds are not produced as a result of the mechanical and electrical processes that are necessary for a correct functioning of the device. Instead, they are designed and added in order to enhance the aesthetic experience of operating the device, or to improve its ease of use.
Sonic environments, too, are often designed. Sound is used to demarcate place, to invite people, or to exclude certain individuals. Also, sound can influence people’s mental state, to calm them, to excite them, to convince them to stay longer and spend more. This is one of the reasons why sound design is important in games and cinema as well. The veracity and convincing power of the virtual environments created within these media can be greatly enhanced through a proper design of the sounds that can be heard. In short, perhaps even more so than visual objects, sound is capable of manipulating human subjects.
In the sixth issue of the Journal of Sonic Studies we would like to explore these, and other, instances of sound design. We invite papers that explain specific practices of sound design, written by sound designers themselves, as well as essays that critically examine the use of sound in urban environments, devices, movies, etc. We are even more interested to receive contributions that not only deal with sound design in one way or another, but are also themselves designed in new, surprising and perhaps even irritating ways. As it is an e-journal, the Journal of Sonic Studies allows for many conventional and unconventional ways to represent ideas on sound design, both in words, sounds, and images.
Potential contributors are invited to submit completed essays by August 1, 2013.
Editors of this issue: Elif Ozcan, Marcel Cobussen, Vincent Meelberg