Listening to Place: Music, Sound, Heritage and Memory

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPublished conference contribution


R. Murray Schafer, in his seminal work The Tuning of the World: The Soundscape (1977), suggests that the soundscape predominantly experienced by most of us, that of the city, has inevitably created a sense of nostalgia for other sounds, particularly sounds that we have lost, whether through neglect or through human development. We try to preserve these sounds, honouring Schafer’s notion of Museums of Disappearing Sounds, through recording and subsequent presentation in multiple formats, including concert performance, sound installation and internet-based sound maps.

At the same time, we are witnessing a growing interest in sound itself as a starting point for discussions in different community groups. In this paper I will evidence this growth by describing two of my internet-based sound mapping projects:

1. Aberdeen Soundsites; a community-driven sound map where users can upload sounds, add comments, and start sound conversations via social media;

2. Hilton Soundscape; a sonic archaeology project using a location which has transformed from a workplace (former academic institution) to a dwelling place (housing estate).

I will also discuss the Sonic Postcards project, begun in the 1990s by Sonic Arts Network in London, UK and continued into the 2010s in Scotland by Aberdeenshire Council and sound . This project empowers school pupils and teachers, who may not have strong musical literacy skills, to engage with sound as listeners and creators, highlighting both the democratic nature of technology as a tool and affording a greater appreciation and understanding of the many roles of sound in our society.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMundos Sonoros
Subtitle of host publicationDruces, circulaciones, experiencias
EditorsRaúl Minsburg
Place of PublicationBuenos Aires
PublisherUniversidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Mar 2019
EventMundos Sonoros: Cruces, circulaciones, experiencias - Centro Cultural Borges, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Duration: 13 Sep 201814 Sep 2018


ConferenceMundos Sonoros
CityBuenos Aires
Internet address


  • soundscape
  • place
  • community
  • sound mapping


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