This is an abstract from the Beyond Listening symposium program.

Soundwalk with Sam Auinger and Peter Cusack

Friday 24 November

You are invited to take part in a slow walk starting at the symposium venue to listen to the sounds of the area, pay attention to its acoustics, aural architecture and the sonic presence of infrastructure, wildlife, the season, weather and everything else. This is intended as a spontaneous event for an interested group many of whom, including Sam and Peter, will be unfamiliar with the neighbourhood and are listening to it for the first time. Please join us to make observations, raise questions and discuss the sounds encountered as we go.

Sam Auinger is an Austrian sonic thinker, composer, and sound artist. Central to his artistic research aims to deepen understanding of acoustic/aural qualities in our urban living environments, precisely public spaces. He propagates “thinking with the ears.” For him, it is a critical daily praxis towards understanding our role in an endangered planetary environment at all levels, from social to environmental. With Bruce Odland, he founded O+A in 1989. Their central theme is “hearing perspective.” In 2009 O+A introduced the idea of the “Sonic Commons.” It questions the dominance of the visual culture in our perception of the world. Sam Auinger was a professor at the University of the Arts in Berlin. He lectures and gives workshops at international Universities like GSD at Harvard, ACT at MIT, or London School of Architecture. He collaborates with city planners and architects and places a high value on a personal experience on-site in all design and planning processes.

Peter Cusack is a field recordist, musician and sound artist with a long interest in the sound environment. He initiated the “Favourite Sounds Project” to discover what people find positive about their everyday sound environment and ‘Sounds from Dangerous Places’ (sonic journalism) that investigates sites of major environmental damage such as the Caspian Sea oil fields and the Chernobyl exclusion zone.

Cusack produced Vermilion Sounds, the environmental sound program, for ResonanceFM Radio, was a lecturer/research fellow at the University of the Arts, London. In 2011/12 he was invited as a DAAD artist-in-residence in Berlin and began Berlin Sonic Places that examines relationships between soundscape and urban development.’ His musical collaborators include David Toop, Steve Beresford, Terry Day, Clive Bell, Martyna Poznanska, Udo Noll, Max Eastley, Nic Collins and Viv Corringham. He is based in Berlin and London. Peter participated in the conference Mundus Murmurans in Ústí nad Labem and many other events in the Czech Republic since 1994.