World Listening Day 2015. Theme: H20.

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Field Recording, Sound, World Environment


World Listening Day 2015, Theme: H20.

World Listening Day H20

World Listening Day 2015 is an annual world event held on the 18th July. This year the theme is “H20” and this is what the World Listening Day 2015 website had to say:

The global water crisis means 750 million people around the world lack access to 
safe water. Water is rapidly becoming the commodity of the 21st century and 
the catastrophic effects of climate change often involve negative associations 
with water. Rising sea levels, devastating floods, melting ice in Antarctica 
and droughts spreading throughout the globe, all highlight our increasingly 
unpredictable and extreme relationship with water.
Yet H2O is vital for life, water covers 71% of the Earth’s surface, and 60% of 
our bodies are made of water. Oceans, rivers and lakes are the core of many of 
the world’s iconic cities and historically civilizations formed around water. 
Indigenous communities across the globe believe water is at the core of our existence. 
For thousands of years communities have lived sustainably by holding significant 
cultural and spiritual value of rivers, lakes and oceans.
World leaders believe we need to create a cultural shift in how we think about water. 
We need a better understanding and awareness of the value of water and we need to 
make critical changes to avoid the ramifications of the global water crisis. 
In the words of Sylvia Earle “even if you never have the chance to see or touch 
the ocean, the ocean touches you with every breath you take, every drop of water 
you drink, every bite you consume. Everyone, everywhere is inextricably connected 
to and utterly dependent upon the existence of the sea.”
World Listening Day 2015: H2O invites you to reflect on water, metaphorically 
in how you listen, or through creative events inspired by water and sound 
across the globe. The 2015 theme resonates at a time where we need to shift 
our collective thinking and actions towards water globally.

Strickland's Glen Steam 6

There is a enchanted glen that is walking distance from my house in Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland. It’s called ‘Stricklands Glen‘ and is full of little walk ways with many small waterfalls and streams surrounded by various trees which lead you down towards the North Down coastal path.  It is quite nice for a short peaceful stroll.  About 16 years ago me and my mates would have used this area for hanging out but today the woodland area is much better to use for its true essence.

Strickland's Glen Steam 7

Sonic Terrain (Your source for sounds in the field) is a website that dedicates itself to Field Recording.  It focuses on sounds from the world around us.  Sonic Terrain encourages us to not just hear the sounds but to listen to them and also record them for various purposes such as reflection, art, science or entertainment.  The website is run by author Miguel Isaza and co-founder Nathan Moody.

This year Sonic Terrain Website asked composers and Musicians to create compositions based around the theme of the year: H2O.  Here are the guidelines for the competition they set-out:

  • Create a composition based on field recordings of several sounds result of any kind of water sources. Be free to use and alter the sounds of water in the way you want, but don’t use field recordings from other kind of sources. The important thing here is the sonic terrain you can offer through your field recordings, so not musical instruments are allowed, only water field recordings you can edit and compose.
  • Composition duration can be from 3 to 30 min. Time is extended this year so you have more space for combining your recordings and exposing your own narrative.
  • The criteria for releasing pieces will be not only the way each composition reflects on the water that is heard through the sounds, but the sound of water itself, its concrete, invisible, non-referential exposure. This compilation is interested on listening to how you interact with that sonic matter that is generated by water sources, whether if you’re ecologically-minded or not.
  • Format will be 44.1k/24b WAV minimum (48k is also good). The piece you send shouldn’t have been published in any medium.
  • You need to send: wav piece + txt file (with artist name, piece name, notes about the piece and a link to website or social network). Also attach water pictures if you like (they could be used for compilation’s artwork). Send to: sonicterrain[at]gmail[dot]com; preferring through wetransfer, dropbox, drive, etc.
  • Deadline: July 16th.
  • Compilation will be published during WLD2015.

Sonic Terrain WLD 2015

This year the WLD 2015 project by website Sonic Terrain received a high volume of work from sound artists all over the world. Sonic Terrain released 4 compilation albums online presenting the varied field recordings.

AOS blog is pleased to say that it contributed to WLD 2015 by submitting a composition based on streams of tiny waterfalls from Stricklands Glen (Strickies).  I recorded my sounds with a Zoom H4N recorder and a hydrophone d-series thanks to field recordist artist Jezz Riley French.

It is a cool contribution by all the recordist/sound artists to have captured material from locations all over the world. They are all worth having a listen.  I have named a few from the 4 albums below i found interesting:

Field Recordist        Title of Composition                  Online Album

Cities and Memory      Sound Waves                           [STR023] (Pt.I)
SM Milligan            Dock 401                              [STR023] (Pt.I)
Casuso                 Urumea Industrial                     [STR023] (Pt.I)
David Rodgers          Dungeness Shoreline                   [STR024] (Pt.II)
GRISperu               El agua que vive en mi hogar          [STR024] (Pt.II) 
Martina Testen         Droplets                              [STR024] (Pt.II) 
David Nod              Water field                           [STR025] (Pt.III)
Marta Amaro            Water will                            [STR025] (Pt.III)
Kit Brown              Fragmentary Entropic Irrigation       [STR025] (Pt.III)
Tom Lane               Hidden Currents                       [STR026] (Pt.IV)
Simon Serc             Raintrap                              [STR026] (Pt.IV)


I would also like to say thanks to Miguel Isaza from Sonic Terrain website for giving me the chance to submit and share my recording through the for World listening day 2015 project.

~ Happy Listening ~

North Down Coastal Path

“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”

Bruce Lee.

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