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Exploring Mastodon

The first thing I did when I set up the new Mastodon account for the project was to explore our instance’s local timeline and a few relevant hashtags (#soundstudies, #acousticecology, #envhum, and so on). It was a fun trip down multiple rabbit holes, reminiscent of earlier times on Twitter, when interesting projects and accounts weren’t yet drowned by the incessant noise of advertising.

I spent there more time than I should have, but I didn’t leave empty handed. Besides various accounts worthy of being followed, through #soundstudies I soon found two projects that are clearly connected to our research activities, even if they have no immediate historical angle:

1. Aporee’s map of crowdsourced sounds of the world. You can pick a point on the map and listen to a recording of local sounds. Each comes with full metadata and a sound specific link. It is a great archival resource. Sound quality varies however, as does the spatial distribution: quite obviously, not every area is as well represented. The good news is that, if a place is missing, you can just add your own field recordings! Thanks to @mnnk for the original posting.

2. Kimbal Bumstead’s Sonic Landscapes participatory art project, “which explores drawing as a tool to tune into and map the experience of everyday environmental sound.” It is made up of a zoomable collage and an audio file of the soundtrack. According to the artist, “Sonic Landscapes builds on my previous work exploring the notion of ‘embodied drawing’, which investigates the physicality of drawing as a way of mapping the body’s physical and emotional connection to the space it is in.” Various people contributed to the collage and the soundtrack, sending in drawings produced, with their eyes closed, in response to the sounds around them as well as recording of the same sounds. Thanks to @jwjg for making me aware of this brilliant attempt at visualising soundscapes.

Follow us on Mastodon (or Twitter, if you prefer), we’ll continue to look out for related projects and boost (retweet) them at leisure.

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