You are viewing an archived version of this website. Go to the current version

Listening to Language, Culture and Artefacts



15-16 December 2016

This third network event will be staged at the London College of Communication, UAL on the 15+16 December 2016. The focus of the meeting is on speech and language, technology, museology and curation.

Network Meeting

Organised across these two days will be 3 sessions of debate and discussion triggered by and focussed around 15 minutes presentations by the key and core network membership, who will describe, workshop, present, evidence, illustrate, etc. how they listen, what they hear, and how they deal with sonic material/ information in their work and research, and how they evaluate, use and apply their sonic findings, and how they engage these listening/recording methodologies in teaching, communication or for the consultation with clients, patients, students, industry, etc.

Like the first two network events this meeting too aims to facilitate knowledge sharing and promises to provoke novel interactions, enabling the key and core participants, as well as a participatory audience, not only to break down barriers between disciplines, but also to set the terms for doing so between universities, research, pedagogy, industry and the public. The meeting invites exchange and debate to enable a ‘shared enquiry’ that produces shared and shareable outcomes.

The particular emphasis on Language, Culture and Artefacts produces a cross disciplinary listening with the aim to understand technology, music, museology and curation through a sonic sensibility: augmenting and adding to the visual conventions and interpretations that dominate the field; and to debate data and the sonority of speech and language to explore how new knowledge might be created, applied and communicated through sound.

The roundtable consists of network members, core members, as well as a specially invited participating audience involving international experts, doctoral students, post-doctoral researchers, UAL and SoU staff as well as members of the general public.

The aim is to engage the group in the differing methods, channels, tools, and objectives of listening practices across the differing academic or professional fields, in order to discuss and query processes, technologies, tools, and aims. The presentation and discussions of such a variety of academic, artistic and professional contexts and objectives of listening will provide a platform for comparison, exchange, re-evaluation and inspiration, and initiate a debate on the legitimacy of the heard and the impact of sound studies on cultural production, its evaluation and use as well as its dissemination, producing an aesethetic, literary and cultural knowledge through the sensibility and awareness to sound.

The first two meetings brought a focus on language, and emphasised the need for a shared terminology and discourse, and it foregrounded the question of consensus or ambiguity. In this second meeting we will continue to pursue these questions and persist with the effort of building a glossary of terms and a resource of key texts and materials that might serve this endeavour.

Among the other questions brought forward from the first two events are:

  • What sound is to different professions / tasks / disciplines?
  • How different disciplines listen / record sound?
  • What different professions, academic researchers, etc. hear?
  • How the listened to is evaluated, communicated and applied?
  • How listening can be taught, shared?

But we imagine many more questions will arise during the network days.


Public Engagement

Points of Listening #30: Close Listening → Close Looking? with Irene Noy, Thursday December 15th, 2016

In the evening of the first day there will be a Points of Listening (PoL) event which opens the discussion and demonstrations of the network day to a general public.

A full description of the event and documentation is available on the Points of Listening website. 

Radio Series on Resonance FM

The event was recorded and has been edited together with other material for broadcasts as a monthly series Listening across Disciplines on our network partner station Resonance 104.4 FM - airing every Wednesday afternoon at 3pm, repeated on Mondays at 11am. Listen to past episodes here.

Documentation of the Network Event

The entire network event will be audio recorded and the full documentation will be made available shortly after the events. 

Facebook Group

Ongoing discussions and additional links are shared in our Listening Across Disciplines Facebook Group

And on twitter @listenacross

Participants’ Work & Research

This image is a reproduction of an excerpt from Josquin des Prez's 'Cueur langoreulx', printed by Tielman Susato in Antwerp in 1545, overlaid with handprinted acetates. It forms part of James Wilkes's ongoing project to rewrite Josquin's chansons.

This lute was made in about 1630 and shows little sign of alteration, which makes it much prized by musicologists and luthiers. Although its provenance remains unknown, it is more likely to have served as an artist’s prop rather than a professional musician’s instrument after the early 1800s. Image provided by Joanna Norman.

eXperimental electronics is a series of events that take place monthly in London, and occasionally abroad, curated by Laura P. Gracia. In Cafe Oto, 07/09/2016, the audiences could enjoy the work of Pablo Padilla (on the screen), a video created to be listened to. Pablo has specialised in the field of sensory distortion, creating new environments in pre-existing places by disfiguring them. He explores the spatial side of sound, and its interaction with visual and tactile feedback, creating a whole sensual scene.

In October 2016 Ed Baxter directed a performance of Larry Shipping in The Abbey and Saaleaue at Planena by the Resonance Radio Orchestra at Radio Revolten, Halle, Germany. "I had intended to perform myself but language difficulties (working with a German actress, Marie Anne Fliegel) meant it made more sense for me to wave my arms about instead. The direction was simplicity itself: play/don't play, louder/quieter. This meant that I didn't really take part, but at least I got to concentrate and to listen. That proved quite important in retrospect as both the recording and broadcast of the work in question were inadequate - and have since disappeared, falling into the divine cogwheel."

Documentation – Resonance FM series

The Network event, Listening to Language, Culture and Artefacts was recorded and has been edited together with other material for broadcasts as a weekly series Listening across Disciplines on our network partner station Resonance 104.4 FM - airing every Wednesday afternoon at 3pm, repeated on Mondays at 11am.

Episode 16 with Simon King. Broadcast date: 1 Mar 2017

In the sixteenth broadcast of the series Dr. Simon King, Professor of Speech Processing at The University of Edinburgh, where he is director of The Centre for Speech Technology Research, will be talking about different methods of speech synthesis, the sound of natural speech as gold standard, and the status of listening as a development cycle in the production of synthetic speech.

"When you are listening to synthetic speech are you using the brain in the same way as when listening to natural speech?"

Episode 17 with James Wilkes. Broadcast date: 8 Mar 2017

In this seventeenth broadcast we hear from Dr. James Wilkes poet, writer and Senior Researcher in the Department of Geography, University of Durham; Associate Director of Hubbub a collective of researchers and artists exploring rest and its opposites – including noise, work and mindwandering. James works with the textures and rhythms of spoken and heard language and will be talking about imagining into being a distant world by listening to 15th Century Chansons.

Episode 18 with Marcel Cobussen. Broadcast date: 15 Mar 2017

In this eighteenth broadcast we hear from Marcel Cobussen, Professor of Auditory Culture at Leiden University, The Netherlands,and editor of the Journal of Sonic Studies, who will be considering music from its silence and its space and debate the need for dialogue and an ethics of listening.

Episode 19 with Joanna Norman. Broadcast date: 22 Mar 2017

In this nineteenth broadcast in the series we hear from Joanna Norman, Senior Curator at V&A, and Lead Curator for the Scottish Design Galleries at V&A Museum of Design Dundee, who will be talking about listening in the context of the V&A. In particular she will be discussing the museum’s musical instrument collection addressing the paradox of its mute display. Her presentation asks how curators can try to get around the silence of the artefact?

Episode 20 with Thomas Gardner. Broadcast date: 29 Mar 2017

In the twentieth broadcast of the series Thomas Gardner, composer, improviser, teacher, computer programmer and academic, course leader of the MA Sound Arts at the London College of Communication, UAL, will be talking about musical measurements, equality and hierarchy; and put his audience through an exercise of rhythmic counting.

Episode 21 with Daniela Cascella. Broadcast date: 5 April 2017

In this twenty-first broadcast we will be hearing from Daniela Cascella, a London-based Italian writer whose work focuses on sound and literature across a range of publications and projects. On the occasion of her presentation she makes her audience read quietly from the text 'Beginning to write after Clarice, after Clarice’s', asking them to listen out for sonic moments in the text.

Episode 22 with Holger Schulze. Broadcast date: 12 Apr 2017

In this twenty-second broadcast we will be hearing from Holger Schulze, Professor of Musicology at Copenhagen University, Principle Investigator of the Sound Studies lab and founding member of the European Sound Studies Association, who will be introducing the idea of alien forms of listening - and the beginning of talking. 

Episode 23 with Michael Bull. Broadcast date: 19 Apr 2017

In this twenty-third and final broadcast in the series we will be hearing from Michael Bull, Professor of Sound Studies at Sussex University, co-editor Sound Studies Journal, and author of many publications on sound and the social sphere, who will be talking about listening to people, air raid sirens, conflict and war.

Further Episodes of Listening Across Disciplines on Resonance FM

Episodes 1-8 documenting our first network event Listening to the Environment.

Episodes 9-15 document our second network event Bodies and Materialities.



Event 3 Stakeholder:

Bloomsbury Academic has been publishing titles in sound studies for over 10 years, and has distinguished itself as one of the foremost publishers in the area. They are interested in exploring the interdisciplinary nature of the field in its relation to all areas, including sound art, technology, soundscapes, ecology, music, philosophy, and more. From definitive texts such as The Audio Culture ReaderListening to Noise and SilenceBackground Noise, and Noise Music, Bloomsbury continues to publish a range of new material including scholarly monographs, textbooks, and general interest books. Forthcoming on the list is the newly developed Bloomsbury Handbooks in Sound Studies series, as well as the Study of Sound series, which will explore a range individual concepts related to sound. Bloomsbury is pleased to be involved in and to have editorial representation at Listening Across Disciplines.

Key Stakeholders and Network Partners