Sound Methods to explore spaces – Michael Gallagher

Michael Gallagher is a musician and Human Geographer. He has been interested in the use of Sound methods as a way of exploring spaces. He thinks that while Social Scientists often use sound recordings for interviews, much more awareness is needed to appreciate how sound can offer rich perceptions of place:

Recently he has been exploring a modernist ruin in Scotland, and was interested in the haunting qualities of the sonic experience in that site. He created an audio drift blending sounds recorded in and around the ruin with interviews about the site. The work was designed to be listened to on portable MP3 players whilst walking around the site. In situ, the drift amplifies the uncanny, ghostly feel of the place. He has written about this project here.

Michael has also been developing methods to analyse field recordings, inspired by the sound transcripts of Australian geographer Michelle Duffy. His approach, developed with fellow geographers Anja Kanngieser and Jonathan Prior, involves using different kinds of listening to explore the full sonic experience: for example, listening for the causes of sounds, their timbral qualities, the associations they invoke, the feelings they evoke, their spatialities and so on, moving between these different listening modes rather than trying to separate them:

Michael has a blog where he documents some of his research with sound and on other themes:

Do you identify with Michael’s practices and issues? What are your own experiences, issues and needs when working with sound methods?

Use the ‘reply’ button on the top to leave a comment. Many thanks!


One thought on “Sound Methods to explore spaces – Michael Gallagher

  1. xadiaz Post author

    Moving between different forms of listening… when we are conscious of listening in a particular form or method, do we change again to yet another form of listening?, how do we resist what our mind wants, and what our body wants, for example…



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