Category Archives: Publications

Environmental Sound Artists, Oxford University Press

Leah Barclay’s chapter on River Listening has just been published in ‘Environmental Sound Artists: In Their Own Words’ a new book published by Oxford University Press.


Environmental Sound Artists: In Their Own Words is an incisive and imaginative look at the international environmental sound art movement, which emerged in the late 1960s. The term environmental sound art is generally applied to the work of sound artists who incorporate processes in which the artist actively engages with the environment. While the field of environmental sound art is diverse and includes a variety of approaches, the art form diverges from traditional contemporary music by the conscious and strategic integration of environmental impulses and natural processes.

This book presents a current perspective on the environmental sound art movement through a collection of personal writings by important environmental sound artists. Dismayed by the limitations and gradual breakdown of contemporary compositional strategies, environmental sound artists have sought alternate venues, genres, technologies, and delivery methods for their creative expression. Environmental sound art is especially relevant because it addresses political, social, economic, scientific, and aesthetic issues. As a result, it has attracted the participation of artists internationally. Awareness and concern for the environment has connected and unified artists across the globe and has achieved a solidarity and clarity of purpose that is singularly unique and optimistic. The environmental sound art movement is borderless and thriving.

“Environmental Sound Artists: In Their Own Words is an extraordinary collection of self-descriptions of wonderfully alive and often iconoclastic work being done by ESAs today. Extremely well organized, edited, and exampled by Frederick Bianchi and VJ Manzo, it will amaze, confound, entertain, and, most importantly inform those with open minds on the present and future of art made in the free world. Unencumbered by strict labels of their work, these artists breathe air into oftentimes stagnant and commercial versions and views of art as described and prescribed by constraints arbitrarily defined centuries ago. I can’t recommend it more enthusiastically.” – David Cope

Edited by Frederick Bianchi, Professor of Humanities and Arts, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Edited by V. J. Manzo, Assistant Professor of Music Technology and Perception, Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Frederick Bianchi is a composer and music technologist. Recognized internationally for his musical compositions, installations, and innovative music technology development, Bianchi has been associated with interactive music applications since the mid-1980s.

V.J. Manzo is Assistant Professor of Music Technology and Cognition at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He is the author of the books MAX/MSP/Jitter for Music, Foundations of Music Technology, and co-author of Interactive Composition, all published by Oxford University Press.

Andrea Polli
Philip Blackburn
Bernie Krause
David Dunn
John Bullitt
John Luther Adams
Cheryl E. Leonard
Jeff Talman
Leah Barclay
Craig Colorusso
Joseph Bertolozzi
Marty Quinn
Bruce Odland
Ximena Alarcón
China Blue
David Rothenberg
Gordon Hempton
Dawn Scarfe
David Monacchi
Christopher DeLaurenti
Aki Pasoulas
Matthew Burtner

Conservation Biology Congress 2016


River Listening is featured at the 2016 Society for Conservation Biology Oceania Congress in a symposium titled “Continuous monitoring of invisible places: bioacoustics in marine and freshwater environments”

DATE: July 6, 2016
TIME: 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Brisbane Convention and Entertainment Centre

Monitoring aquatic species in underwater environments – rivers, lakes and oceans – has proven even more difficult than terrestrial surveys of endangered taxa. Traditional methods of aquatic survey techniques bear a) risks to fish health and habitat integrity, b) introduce bias, because it might cause fright responses in key aquatic species and c) standard surveying only produces a snapshot from the time of surveying – which in many cases does not happen more than once a year and d) it can be very expensive, particularly in areas with remote access. Non-invasive passive bioacoustic monitoring can address all four problems. This special session will explore novel techniques in aquatic bioacoustics that can aid conservation managers. Topics will range from holistic ecosystem monitoring (Linke, Gifford) to descriptions of detailed algorithms with which soniferous aquatic taxa can be detected. The symposium will also include talks on the challenges of using acoustical data for monitoring populations and on protocols for monitoring and mitigating impacts of noise. The final talk by Dr Leah Barclay will cover bioacoustics as a tool for engaging with the public. We hope that this first session in freshwater and marine bioacoustics at a continental or worldwide SCB conference will raise awareness and kickstart increased joint efforts by marine and freshwater scientists to establish bioacoustics monitoring as a key survey method.

02:30 Simon Linke Real-time Ecosystem Monitoring in Freshwater Environments using Passive Acoustics

02:40 Toby Gifford Underwater Soundscape Ecology: Holistic Methods in Freshwater Bioacoustics

02:50 Chris Karaconstantis Automatic Detection of a Soniferous Fish Species (Neoarius graeffei) to Facilitate Continuous Monitoring

03:00 Jan-Olaf Meynecke Monitoring cetaceans in nearshore coastal waters using hydrophones

03:10 Angela Recalde-Salas Imperfect detection: estimating detection probabilities of baleen whales using passive acoustics

03:20 Elisa Girola Changes in song characteristics with various sources of noise in humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae)

03:30 M. Montserrat Landero F. Can we generate relevant terrain metrics of the seafloor to model species distribution using a low-cost echo-sounder?

03:40 Leah Barclay River Listening: Raising ecological awareness through community engagement

03:50 Discussion