Bryan Pijanowski, the head of the Soundscape Ecology Project at Purdue University, and Sorin Adam Matei, the author of this blog and the founder of the Ubimark publishing initiatives have set up a mapping site, http://Ubimark.info, to collect and map everyday sounds that define the invisible environments of sound from throughout the world. The project is associated with World Listening Day, a celebration of the sounds that make our lives profoundly human.
The site http://ubimark.info is open to anyone who would like to contribute a short recording of their everyday life soundscapes. Ushahidi (a crowd reporting software platform) helps the users find the exact location of their recordings, describe, annotate, and share them with other people. If you want to spread the word, click on the facebook, digg, tweet, or other social media icons to the left. If you tweet about us, please use the hashtag #Worldlisteningday.
Why listen to the sounds of everyday life? The ideas behind World Listening Day were inspired by Shafer’s Acoustic Ecology concept, which proposes that each type of habitation, human or animal, has its own ecology, which gives it not only personality, but which also sustains its life cycles. We live in a lo-fi acoustic ecology or urban cacophony, Shafer said, where sounds overalp and cover each other. This slowly smothers our humanity, which needs to rediscover the hi-fi soundscapes of pre-industrial society, in which each animal or activity had its own niche.
World Listening Day, which in fact will stretch for the whole next week, was announced by the World Listening project:
You are invited to participate in the first World Listening Day, which happens on Sunday, July 18, 2010. The purposes of World Listening Day are:
- to celebrate the practice of listening as it relates to the world around us, environmental awareness, and acoustic ecology
- to raise awareness about issues related to the World Soundscape Project, World Listening Project, World Forum for Acoustic Ecology, and individual and group efforts to creatively explore phonography
- to design and implement educational initiatives which explore these concepts and practices
July 18 was chosen as the date for World Listening Day because it is the birthday of the Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer. Schafer is one of the founders of the Acoustic Ecology movement. The World Soundscape Project, which he directed, is an important organization which has inspired a lot of activity in this field, and his book Soundscape: The Tuning of the World helped to define many of the terms and background behind the acoustic ecology movement.
Here is how you can participate in World Listening Day:.
· You can set aside some time when you pay attention to your soundscape.
· You can organize a listening party when people play field recordings.
· You can organize a soundwalk.
And, most importantly, you can contribute soundscape recordings via http://ubimark.info/map