Sound research encourages Coast to listen to nature | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Sound research encourages Coast to listen to nature

16 Jul 2020

Two USC academics who specialise in sound design and photography have teamed with a Kabi Kabi cultural performer to present a trio of innovative listening events for the public as part of the 2020 Horizon Festival.

Award-winning sound artist and producer Dr Leah Barclay, who is a USC Lecturer in Design, and Kabi Kabi performer-educator Lyndon Davis, a USC Honorary Senior Fellow, have created the soundscapes interwoven with traditional stories and featuring photography by USC Lecturer Tricia King.

Called ‘Listening in the Wild’, the series started last weekend with a sonic immersion in the Maroochy River, continues this Sunday 19 July with a sound walk along Eudlo Creek, and finishes on Sunday 26 July with an ocean expedition from Mooloolaba out to Old Woman Island.

The experiences are live streamed from 4pm Sundays with recordings and images available post-event. Go to the Horizon Festival link or for the live streams.

Dr Barclay said the soundscapes were deep listening experiences that allowed audiences to engage with ecosystems across the Sunshine Coast from home.

“Each soundscape features a prelude of site-responsive images by Tricia to visually engage with the site before listening,” she said.

“I am also using the images as sound filters, so it is an audio-visual dialogue with the site that has been guided by Lyndon’s stories of place.

“In the first experience on the banks of the Maroochy River, Lyndon speaks about the importance of storytelling, saying that ‘stories really help us to connect to our landscape and the more we know about the place, the better we can look after it’.”

She said the project was part of an emerging portfolio of research at USC investigating new ways of using digital technologies to connect audiences to environments to inspire conservation.

“The USC team is inspired by the interdisciplinary possibilities of this research and the pathways for engaging students in these projects in the future,” she said.

The multi-arts Horizon Festival is being held online until August, with monthly schedules of digital artworks, events and experiences. Its foundation partner is Sunshine Coast Council.

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