Points of reference
Current environmentally concerned sound art and science is in a similar situation that was resolved within the field of visual arts in the beginning of the 1990s. Since then the work of environmentally oriented artists was more or less recognised as a distinct movement in its own right. This open list is an attempt to bring together some names of people, initiatives and institutions approaching and thinking about sound in such a way that it resonates within the general critical environmental agenda of today. Not necessary it collides with musicians using field recordings as a material for their music composition, sound work, sound installations, radiophony etc. As well, the profession of artist or scientist is necessarily not conditional.
Lorella Abenavoli is a sculptor and audio artist. She has been living and working in Montreal for seven years, since she moved from France to do a PhD at the Université du Québec to Montreal. She developped her research toward the sound medium working it into audio installations.
Peter Ablinger (Born in Austria, 1959 Schwanenstadt) is an Austrian composer and sound artist. He first studied graphic arts and became enthused by free jazz. He completed his studies in composition with Gösta Neuwirth and Roman Haubenstock-Ramati in Graz and Vienna.
David Abram – (born June 24, 1957) cultural ecologist, geophilosopher, and performance artist – is the author of Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology (Pantheon, 2010), and The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-than-Human World (Vintage, 1997).
John Luther Adams composes music which evokes the landscape and ecology of his Alaskan home, stemming from his conviction that “music can contribute to the awakening of our ecological understanding.
Ximena Alarcón is a sound artist and academic researcher interested in listening to in-between sonic spaces and how they are manifested in dreams, underground public transport and the migratory context.
Jean-François Augoyard is senior researcher at CNRS in France. After studying philosophy (research on Giordano Bruno), aesthetics and musicology (Conservatoire National of Lyon and Gregorian Institute), he started teaching in the French national education system.
Mark Bain (1966) is an American contemporary sound and installation artist. His work focuses on the investigation of vibrational mechanics at the threshold between sound, science and architecture, often through the means of site-specific installations.
Karen Bakker studies the implications of digital innovation for governance and sustainability. Her current research project is situated at the confluence of two transformational trends: digitization and global environmental change.
Llorenç Barber (Valencia, 1948) is one of the mavericks of Spanish music. Departing from a passionate interest in John Cage - and particularly in ZAJ group (a sort of Spanish zen/ Dada collective) he has developed a unique musical language since his early minimalist-inspired compositions.
Leah Barclay is a composer and sound artist whose work reflects her belief that “[e]lectro-acoustic music, with the use of natural sounds exposing the state of the world, could be an unprecedented tool in artists taking action in ecological crisis.” Her works are underpinned by her ‘Sonic Ecologies Framework’, a methodology which involves
Justin Bennett (born 1964 in UK, based in The Hague) works with sound and image. Trained in sculpture and electronic music, he uses drawing, video, sculpture, and a diverse array of sound forms in his research. One recurrent theme is our experience of architecture, urban development, and the (un)built space.
James Benning, born in 1942 in Milwaukee, USA, began working as an independent filmmaker in 1972, even before studying film at the University of Wisconsin. From 1977 to 1980 he taught at the universities of California and Oklahoma, then moved to New York to continue his work as an independent filmmaker.
Leo Leroy Beranek (born 1914 in Solon, Iowa, died 2016, in Westwood, Massachusetts) was an acoustics expert and a founder of the company Bolt, Beranek and Newman. His ancestors came from West Bohemia. Edward's Baranek (Leo's father paternal grandparents) Josef Beránek and Anna Šimandlová were from Nynice and Jarov respectively.
Karin Bijsterveld's current research focuses on topics at the crossroads of Science and Technology Studies and Sound Studies.
Binaural Nodar is a contemporary cultural project operating since 2004 in the Portuguese region of Viseu Dão Lafões in the areas of soundscapes, sound and media arts, audiovisual ethnographic documentation, sound education, radio art and publications.
Elena Biserna is an independent scholar and occasional curator based in Marseille, France. Her interests are focused on listening and on contextual, time-based art practices in relationship with urban dynamics, socio-cultural processes, the public and political sphere.
Ally Bisshop is a Berlin-based artist, writer and researcher, originally from Meanjin (Brisbane), Australia.
Andres Bosshard (born in Zurich in 1955) is an internationally recognised expert in his field. He playfully designs towers, islands, gardens and skies of sound in the public space; Bosshard was in 1993 one of the co-founders of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology.
Alex Braidwood is a sound artist, media designer, and educator who maintains a practice exploring issues of sustainability at the intersection of art and science. He has exhibited art, led workshops, lectured on his work, and performed live at a variety of events and venues throughout the US, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
Sabine Breitsameter is a professor of media culture at the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences. Her focus is on electro-acoustic art, media history and the culture of listening.
Matthew Burtner is an Alaskan-born composer and sound artist specializing in concert music, environmental sound art and interactive media. His work explores ecology, embodiment, and extended polymetric and noise-based systems.
Roberta Busechian (1990) is a sound artist, curator, researcher, lecturer of sound art theory, practice and sonic activism. She is a guest lecturer at IUAV University of Venice, was a lecturer at Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera (Master Sound Art for creative industries) at electronic music academy recreative12.
Nerea Calvillo explores the material, technological, political, and social dimensions of environmental pollution, at the intersections between architecture, feminist studies of technoscience, new materialisms and urban ecological policies.
Angus Carlyle is a British researcher and teacher, working with other sound artists in the CRiSAP Research Centre. He teaches at the University of the Arts London where he was the Co-Director of CRiSAP (Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice) from 2005 - 2017.
Rachel Louise Carson (May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964) was an American marine biologist, writer, and conservationist whose influential book Silent Spring (1962) and other writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement. Carson began her career as an aquatic biologist in the U.S.
For 25 years, while listening to the environment, Eric la Casa has been questioning the perception of reality and has tried to expand the notion of infra-ordinary, this space-time at low intensity, from background noise to the inaudible passing by the wait.
Raquel Castro (born in Viseu, 1976) is sound artist, curator and filmmaker, currently lives and works in Lisbon. In 2003, a video project about oral memory made her travel around Portugal and live in several regions of the country, collecting voices, images, sounds and children's drawings.
Christophe Charles (born Marseille, 1964), is a composer, lives in Japan. He works with found sounds, and makes compositions with computer programs, insisting on the autonomy of each sound and the absence of hierarchical structure. Graduated from Tsukuba University (Phd., 1996) and Paris INALCO (Phd., 1997).
Budhaditya Chattopadhyay (born in Birbhum, India) is a media artist, researcher, and writer. He studied Cinema specializing in Audiography at national film-school SRFTI in Calcutta (2003-2006), and later received Master of Arts in New Media with an emphasis in Sound Art from Aarhus University, Denmark (2007-2009).
David Chesworth works across sound art, experimental music, video and installation practice, examining the diverse ways we sense the world and how our understandings align through art, philosophy and the non-human. Chesworth's parents moved the family from Britain to Melbourne, Australia in the late 1960s.
Caroline Claus is a Brussels-based urban (sound) researcher. Her work concentrates on the position of (sonic) vibrations in a context of urban development.
Marcus Coates (1968 in London) devises processes to explore the pragmatism and insight that empathetic perspectives and imagined realities can offer. He explicitly addresses a need to create functional and inclusive languages where conventional strategies of understanding and rationalisation prove inadequate.
Marcel Cobussen studied jazz piano at the Conservatory of Rotterdam and Art and Cultural Studies at Erasmus University, Rotterdam (the Netherlands). He currently teaches Music Philosophy and Auditory Culture at Leiden University (the Netherlands) and the Orpheus Institute in Ghent (Belgium). Cobussen is author of the book Thresholds.
Beatriz Colomina is an architectural historian and theorist who has written extensively on questions of architecture, art, technology, sexuality and media. She is Founding Director of the interdisciplinary Media and Modernity Program at Princeton University and Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the School of Architecture.
Alain Corbin (1936) is a French historian and a specialist of the 19th century in France and in microhistory. Trained in the Annales School, Corbin's work has moved away from the large-scale collective structures studied by Fernand Braudel towards a history of sensibilities which is closer to Lucien Febvre's history of mentalités.
Madelynne Cornish is an audio-visual artist and curator based in Bogong Village, Australia. Her works explore the effects of climate on natural and built environments, and the social dynamics informing remote communities.
CRiSAP is a research centre of the University of the Arts London, London College of Communication, dedicated to the exploration of the rich complexities of sound as an artistic practice.
Phil Dadson (born 1946 Napier, New Zealand) is a seminal figure in New Zealand’s art history, both for pushing the boundaries of sound and intermedia art since the 70s and for his influence on a generation of now leading mid-career artists.
Roberto Paci Dalò is a composer and musician, film maker, theatre director, visual and sound artist, author and radiomaker.
Yannick Dauby (born 1974, France) is sound artist, field recordist, sound designer/mixer for film, audio documentary maker and electroacoustic music composer based in Taiwan. His works are inspired by ethnography, amphibian conservation, stories from the forests & mountains and marine biology.
Christopher David DeLaurenti is an American sound artist, improvisor, and phonographer. His sound work encompasses field recordings, electroacoustic and acousmatic music, text-sound scores, free-improvised low-tech electronics, and compositions for acoustic instruments.
Georg Dietzler (1958, in Burgbrohl, Germany) is a cultural-political engaged artist - curator. He has studied Fine Arts, Philosophy, Pedagogy and Ethnology.
Adam Diller is a filmmaker and composer living in Brooklyn, NY. His work uses video, multimedia installation, and sound to explore aesthetic information embedded within our environment. His film and media works challenge our understandings of the ecologies, cultures, and media within which we live.
Kate Donovan is a practicing radio artist, facilitator and researcher based in Berlin. Her artistic practice deals with radio in an elemental sense, in terms of frequency, transmission and interconnectedness (but also disruption and interference).
Milena Droumeva is an Assistant Professor of Communication at Simon Fraser University specializing in mobile technologies, sound studies and multimodal ethnography, with a long-standing interest in game cultures.
David Dunn creates ‘environmental performance works’ which investigate, and often become a functioning part of, living environmental systems.
Frances Dyson is a writer, media artist and associate professor in Techno-Cultural Studies at the University of California at Davis. She is the author of The Tone of Our Times: Sound, Sense, Economy and Ecology (MIT Press, 2014).
Earshot is the worlds’ first not-for-profit organisation producing audio investigations for human rights and environmental advocacy.
Max Eastley (born 1944) is a British kinetic sculptor, musician and composer. Has worked across a variety of genres including: improvised and experimental music; folk music; popular song; jazz; compositions using environmental recordings as well as musical resources. He has also composed music for film and dance.
Julia Eckhardt is a musician and organiser in the field of the sonic arts. She is a founding member and artistic co-director of Q-O2 workspace in Brussels, for which she conceptualized various thematic research projects.
Alice Eldridge’s background in music, psychology, evolutionary and adaptive systems and informatics underpins creative and empirical interdisciplinary research in sonic (complex) systems at the interstices of music, technology and ecology.
Sigmund Exner (1846 - 1926) is known for his work in comparative physiology and his studies of perception psychology from a physiological standpoint. He conducted important research on the localization of behavioral functionality in the brain, in particular studies on the functional architecture of the visual cortex.
Prof. Almo Farina is an Italian naturalist and Professor of Ecology in the Department of Pure and Applied Sciences, Urbino University. He has dedicated the last years to elaborate new theories in landscape ecology, soundscape ecology and ecoacoustics.
Steven Feld (born 1949) is an American anthropologist, filmmaker, musician, and sound artist, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology Emeritus at the University of New Mexico and Senior Scholar at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Luc Ferrari (February 5, 1929 – August 22, 2005) was a French composer and filmmaker of Italian origin. Born in Paris studied the piano under Alfred Cortot, musical analysis under Olivier Messiaen and composition under Arthur Honegger. His first works were freely atonal.
Harvey Fletcher (1884 — 1981) was U.S. physicist, a leading authority in the fields of psychoacoustics and acoustical engineering. Fletcher graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, in 1907 and received a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Chicago in 1911.
Bill Fontana (Born in Cleveland in 1947, based in San Francisco), began his career as a composer and, over more than forty years, his oeuvre has unearthed the delicacies of the hidden music surrounding us in our daily lives, drawing our attention to it in striking ways.
Patrik Franke is a freelance ornithologist, sound & recording artist. started with his first sound recording and soundscape composition studies and experiments at the end of the nineties. From 2002 through 2008, studied Media Art in Leipzig, Germany and turned more and more to wildlife sound recording as his prior discipline.
Jez riley French (born 1965). Using intuitive composition, field recording, improvisation and photography, I have been exploring my enjoyment of and interest in detail, simplicity and an emotive response to places and situations since my early teens and as a full time artist for over 20 years.
Anna Fritz is media, sound and transmission artist, working across platforms to present installations, broadcasts, films and performances. Her creative and scholarly works often reflect upon media ecologies, land use, infrastructures, time perception, radio and transmission art histories, and critical fictions.
Jennifer Gabrys is Chair in Media, Culture and Environment in the Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge. She leads the Planetary Praxis research group, and is Principal Investigator on the ERC-funded project, Smart Forests: Transforming Environments into Social-Political Technologies.
Stuart Gage (1941 - 2019) earned his PhD in Entomology at Michigan State University in 1974. He taught entomology and explored new models of ecoacoustics.
Raviv Ganchrow (born 1972) completed his architectural studies at The Cooper Union, New York and sonic studies at the Institute of Sonology, University of the Arts, The Hague. He researches interdependencies of sound, locale and hearing through installations, writing, and the development of transduction technologies.
Jono Gilmurray is a writer, researcher and electroacoustic composer, currently conducting AHRC-funded PhD research into ecology and environmentalism in contemporary music and sound art, based at CRiSAP (Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice) at the University of the Arts London.
Gustaw Gliwiński ( Milanówek, Poland) is a composer, author of theatre and film music, art installations, and exhibitions. He works at the intersection of contemporary music, electronics, field recording, and soundscape studies. He implements the ideas of sound architecture and sound gardens.
Jonathan W. Y. Gray is Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Critical Infrastructure Studies at the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London.
Amanda Gutiérrez explores the experience of home, belonging, and cultural identity by bringing into focus details of everyday practices whose ordinary status makes it particularly hard for us to notice their key role in defining who we are.
Lucinda Guy is a composer and sound artist exploring broadcast radio as a space for democratic participation and creative expression. She is a researcher with Transtechnology Research at the University of Plymouth, looking into the use of automation in broadcasting.
Lawrence Abu Hamdan is a Private Ear, listening to, with and on behalf of people affected by corporate, state, and environmental violence. Abu Hamdan's work has been presented in the form of forensic reports, lectures and live performances, films, publications, and exhibitions all over the world.
Donna Haraway (1944 in Denver, Colorado) is Distinguished Professor Emerita in the History of Consciousness Department and in the Feminist Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. In 2002, she was awarded the J.D.
Yolande Harris is an artist and researcher exploring ideas of sonic consciousness. Her projects consider techniques of navigation, expanding perception beyond the range of human senses, the technological mediation of underwater environments and our relationship to other species.
David Haskell is a writer and a biologist. His latest book, Sounds Wild and Broken, explores the story of sound on Earth. His previous books, The Forest Unseen and The Songs of Trees are acclaimed for their integration of science, poetry, and rich attention to the living world.
Richard (R.I.P.) Hayman (born 1951 in New Mexico) is an American composer and performer. He studied at Columbia University and with John Cage, Ravi Shankar, Chou Wen-chung, Petr Kotik, and Philip Corner.
Gordon Hempton / Sound Tracker® is an acoustic ecologist, and Emmy award–winning sound recordist.
Felix Hess (1941, Den Haag, 2022, Haren) was a Dutch sound artist, natural scientist and filantrop. He graduated 1967 in biology at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. Between 1975 and 1979 he was researcher at the University of Adelaide, where he became interested in the communication patterns of frogs.
Martin Howse (born 1969, UK) is an artist/programmer and theorist; educated at Goldsmiths College Fine Art London, living in Berlin.
Pedro Hurpia is visual artist and researcher and collaborator at the SEA Foundation Tilburg (Netherlands). He recently earned a Research Grant from Est-Nord-Est résidence d’artistes in Canada. Last year received a Research Grant from the Kone Foundation (Finland) to develop his project at the Saari Residence in Mynämäki in 2020.
Tim Ingold (born 1948) is a British anthropologist, Chair of Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen. For his doctoral research (1971-72) he carried out ethnographic fieldwork among the Skolt Saami of northeastern Finland.
Helmi Järviluoma-Mäkelä (born 1960 in Ylivieska, North Ostrobothnia) is a Finnish sound, music, and cultural scholar and writer. She is a Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Eastern Finland. As sensory and soundscape ethnographer, Järviluoma has developed the mobile method of sensobiographic walking.
Jeph Jerman (born 1959 In Hagåtña, island of Guam) is an American sound artist and musician. He records sound fragments or collects found objects which he uses in his improvisations and performances. As a contemplative walker without a set destination, he is interested in the pure sound without references.
Sonic journalism is a term proposed by Peter Cusack for his project Sounds from dangerous places.org and is based on the premise that: "all sound, including non–speech, gives information about places and events and that listening provides valuable insights different from, but complimentary to, visual images and language.
Douglas Kahn (1951 in Bremerton, Washington, USA) is an American/Australian academic and writer. Kahn is known primarily for his writings on the use of sound in the avant-garde and experimental arts and music, and history and theory of the media arts.
Orsolya Kaincz has been working with sound and organizing contemporary music events for more than a decade. As a self-taught musician, her interest in music gradually shifted focus from instrumental free improvisation and performing conceptual compositions to electroacoustic experimentation.
Joseph Kamaru, aka KMRU, is a sound artist and experimental ambient musician, raised in Nairobi, Kenya, and currently based in Berlin where he is a Master’s student in Sound Studies and Sonic Arts at the Universität der Künste.
AM Kanngieser is a geographer and sound artist, working through listening and attunement to approach the relations between people, place and ecologies.
Ernst Karel works with sound, including electroacoustic music, experimental nonfiction sound works for multichannel installation and performance, and postproduction sound for nonfiction vilm [film/video], with an emphasis on observational cinema.
Hannah Kemp-Welch is a sound artist with a socially-engaged practice. She produces audio installations and radio broadcasts with community groups, using voices, field recordings and found sounds. She also delivers workshops, makes zines and builds basic radios, aiming to open out sonic practices and technologies for all.
Suk-Jun Kim studied theology (BA) at Yonsei University (South Korea), and moved to Canada to earn a diploma (honor) in Recording Engineering at the Ontario Institute of Audio and Recording Technology (OIART), London, Ontario (Canada).
Jacob Kirkegaard (born 1975 in Denmark) is a sound artist. He graduated at the Academy of Arts and the Media in Cologne. Jacob is exploring sound in art with a scientific approach and his sound works focus on investigations into the potential musicality in hidden sound layers in the environment.
Ludwig Paul Koch (1881, Frankfurt am Main -1974, Harrow, London) was a broadcaster and sound recordist. An expert on recording animal sounds, he played a significant part in increasing the British public's appreciation of wildlife.
Simona Gabriela Kossak (1943 in Krakow, died 2007 in Bialystok) was a Polish biologist, ecologist, and professor of forest sciences. Kossak is known primarily for her efforts to preserve the remnants of natural ecosystems in Poland. Her work dealt with, among other things, the behavioral ecology of mammals.
Karl David Kryter (Born 1911 in Indianapolis, USA, died 2013) was a world-renowned scientist of Psycho-Acoustics and Audition and Engineering Psychology. Karl received his bachelor's degree from Butler University in Indiana in 1939, and his doctorate from the University of Rochester in New York in 1943.
Brandon LaBelle (born 1969 in Memphis, Tennessee, United States) is an artist, writer and theorist working with questions of social life and cultural agency, using sound, performance, text and sited constructions.
Kate Lacey is Professor of Media History and Theory in the School of Media, Arts and Humanities and, since August 2019, Director of the AHRC DTP Consortium for the Humanities and Arts in South-East England (CHASE).
Alan Lamb (1944 in Edinburgh) is Perth-based composer and biomedical research scientist. Living is Fremantle. He has created a body of innovative composition based on the resonance of 'singing wires'.
Cathy Lane is a British sound artist and composer, She is interested in sound and how it relates to the past, our histories, our environment and our collective and individual memories. This informs her current work as a composer, sound artist, lecturer and researcher.
Tom Lawrence (died 2011) was a wildlife sound recordist, musician and educator. His work in acoustic ecology regularly appears in natural history documentaries. Tom also produced documentaries for radio broadcast, installations and his work has featured in UK, Germany, Denmark, Portugal, Canada and Ireland.
Peter Lenaerts is a Belgian sound artist active in the fields of performance, contemporary dance, & film. Lenaerts is fascinated by empty spaces and invisible or acousmatic sound. Sound that doesn’t scream for attention but sneaks into the listener’s ear unnoticed.
Cheryl E. Leonard is am American composer, performer, field recordist, and instrument builder whose works investigate sounds, structures, and objects from the natural world.