Sound Matters is a research project that brings together an interdisciplinary community working in the creative use and re-use of sound specifically field recordings and speech. We aim to create together a framework that facilitates the interrogation and relational playback of sound in its own terms. We envision the framework as a ‘Listening-Led Environment’.

In the initial stages Sound Matters is identifying needs and coping strategies of UK and international interdisciplinary researchers, artists, students, archivists and librarians, working with non-musical sound material, specifically field recordings and speech, in their research process and creative practice.

From April to June Sound Matters is engaging the community in three stages:

Stage 1 – Interviews and technical review

In April and May, Ximena Alarcon has been conducting interviews with interdisciplinary academics and practitioners who use field recording and speech in their creative and research work. The interviews aim to understand the creative and technical processes and tools that they use in relation to the proposed framework, their challenges, ideas and priorities. Also, she has been gathering information about the latest technologies that have been developed to support the processes of interrogation and relational playback of non-musical sound, specifically field recordings and speech. Regarding re-use of sound she has interviewed archivists to understand the current local and national context of sound archives. All this information is expanding the details of the initial framework.

Stage Two – Online participation

The project opens for online participation from May 20th to June 17th. We welcome you to get involved by contributing to the Creative framework with your practice and experience, as well as giving feedback about the ‘Stories’. Read more on the Online Gathering page.

Stage Three – Co-design workshop

Researchers who participated in the survey will be invited to gather in a co-design workshop. They will be discussing the created framework, experiencing technical developments that aid the processes of Interrogation and Relational Playback of sound, and contributing to the ideation of interfaces that will make these processes accessible and flexible tackling the common needs identified by the community.

This project is led by Ximena Alarcón and Cathy Lane from CRiSAP (Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice), London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, and it is funded by JISC Research Data Spring fund.

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