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Concert Lecture

Peter Cusack: Well tuned cities and Sonic journalism

Meeting with british musician and soundartist
Mon 23.4. - 20:00

Meeting with field recordist and sound artist.

“Favourite Sounds” aims to discover what Berliners, Londoners, etc.. find positive about their city’s soundscape by asking the seemingly simple question, “What is your favourite Berlin sound, and why?” The replies create an archive of knowledge about the city’s sounds and what people think and feel about them. The responses are fascinating. There are often unexpected suggestions and everyone has a different perspective on the question. Together they reveal not only the significant sounds of everyday life but also questions of city sound identities, changing soundscape, noise problems and creative aspects of the sound environment. The “favourite sounds project” began in London in 1998 as a project for the artist's run radio station ResonanceFM. It has since happened in other world cities including Manchester, Birmingham, Chicago, Beijing and Prague.

Sonic journalism is the sound equivalent of photojournalism. It is based on the idea that all sound, including non-speech, gives significant information about places and events different from, but complimentary to, visual images and language. It does not exclude speech but re-addresses the balance towards the relevance of other sounds.

Recent projects - Thames Estuary shipping; Garzweiler brown coal mine - have used field recordings to explore environmentally sensitive places. More links between favourite sounds and sonic journalism have been found than was first expected.

We will talk with Peter about his work and ask about his experience with different soundscapes in Berlin, London and Prague and in places where significant environmental questions are raised.