Urban experiments in sound-art and sonic space, in a practice-based research collaboration between composers, architects and acousticians, Urban Sound Institute 2005-06, funded by the Swedish Research Council.

The project aimed to understand and develop spatial qualities of sound as architectonic, aesthetic and cultural practices in urban space, and as modes to experience and interpret urban space. We especially studied dynamic criteria such as changes over time, timbre, relations to physical borders, and between auditive and visual dimensions - how sounds correspond with the environment in collective spaces that are accessible for many people within different lengths of time, how sounds may enhance the sense of place, promote qualities such as orientation and specific atmospheres, and create new meaning to the urban surrounding.

We combined our artistic-scientific competences within room acoustics, music, architecture, urban design and noise environment research to develop transdisciplinary strategies on sound and urban space.

A series of investigations were staged as site-specific soundart experiments in public space, as open musical-acoustic-architectural installations that acted with spatial-sonic precision and timing in specific design situations. A continuous modelling between material, place and settings was the leading methodological principle in the project and gradually formed a bank of experience and reference material that could be transformed, re-modelled, analysed and developed acoustically, architecturally and musically to the specific context and conditions of each place. Experiences from the experiments were also reflected through theories on situated sound.

Our experiments were combined with academic teaching in courses and workshops within the education of composers at the Academy of Music and Drama at Göteborg University, in the School of Architecture at Chalmers University of Technology, at the Royal College of Arts and Crafts, Konstfack, and through various commissions as guest teachers and lecturers. Thus experimental results and research questions could also be reflected upon through pedagogical work

A research collaboration was also established with CRESSON (Centre de recherche sur l'espace sonore et l'environnement urbain), Grenoble, France.

Comments by Catharina Dyrssen

Lund 2006



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