The Listen(n) Project has grown into a major community partnership focused on the Acoustic Ecology of the SW deserts of America. With the largest online database of field recordings of the American South West, available at sonic_events database and an ongoing program of community workshops and embodied interactive media applications, the project takes this chance to reflect on sound as a powerful media in place making and to raise awareness of the importance of acoustic ecologies in general. The Listen(n) Symposium was hosted in October 2014 and reflected on the first year of the project.
The symposium featured scholarly and creative presentations, including research papers, panel discussions, musical performances, installations, and sound walks and a welcome from Tohono O’odham musicians. It provided a forum for a growing body of scholarship and creative activities on acoustic ecologies and sustainability issues of American Southwest desert.
The keynote address at the ASU Art Museum on October 16 featured Dr. Sabine Breitsameter (Berlin/Darmstadt), Professor for Sound and Media Culture at Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences.
The keynote was proceeded by a collaborative community engagement in making John Cages 49 Waltzes for the Tempe campus, a concert of John Cages Child of Tree by Simone Mancuso and opening remarks from Tamara Underiner, Associate Dean, Research, HIDA, and was followed by an opening reception at the ASU Art Museum.
The full day Symposium on October 17th, 2015, began with an opening welcome and blessing by “Kieg Mek Ne’edham kc Kehindam” from the Gu Achi District, Tohono O’odham Nation, led by Simon Lopez, traditional singer, curer, and cowboy. It also featured presentations from the Chair of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology, Eric Leonardson and the founder of the Balance-Unbalance conference, Ricardo Dal Farra with opening remarks from the Director of IHR, Sally Kitch and a presentation and demo of the EcoRift system for Oculus Rift developed as part of the Listen(n) project to enable remote visitation to national park environments by the elderly and disabled.
The closing concert at the ASU Art Museum featured new musical works composed from the sounds of the SW Deserts recoded as part of the Listen(n) Project by leading acoustic ecology composers include Ros Bandt (AU), Leah Barclay (AU), Douglas Quin (USA), Ricardo Dal Farra (CDN), and Garth Paine (USA/AU).
The inaugural Listen(n) Symposium was hosted by the ASU Art Museum, the Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts and the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability. Funding support was received from the Institute for Humanities Research, Herberger Institute, and the Schools of Music, Arts Media and Engineering and International Letters and Cultures, ASU.