Learning Through Listening: The soundscapes of Cephalonia and their contribution to academic learning
Katerelos, Dionisiοs G.
MetadataΕμφάνιση πλήρους εγγραφής
Soundscape research can be a very important factor during the learning process. The acoustic environment of Cephalonia island offers contrasting soundscapes of various range forms, which need to be explored, documented and appreciated. This environment consists of urban and countryside landscapes, varying from coastal areas to mountainous areas, of high elevation and caves, and also from noisy to extremely quiet, hi-fidelity soundworlds. Also, these environments can be very contrasting during different seasons of the year, regarding the geophysical, biological sources and activities, and also regarding human presence. During the last years, these environments are explored through a number of visits and recording sessions by students and teaching staff of the Department of Sound Technology and Musical Instruments of the Technological Institution of the Ionian Islands. The purpose of these actions is to document the acoustic sound-world of the island and through this documentation to focus on a variety of different learning procedures regarding different scientific and musical topics. Thus, a number of academic lessons are carried out in these outdoor environments. The topics discussed in this paper refer to audio recording, musical composition and acoustic research, as these fields are approached through the exploration of soundscapes as a common material of study. Firstly, fieldrecording is explored technically, regarding the use of different types of microphones and recording techniques, monitoring and experimentation with different microphone positioning. Secondly, the acoustic properties of the recorded spaces are examined through acoustic measurements, comparisons between different acoustic areas and often through a number of (pilot) experiments such as producing sound within the space, thus sonically intervening with or ‘stimulating’ the environment’s acoustic behavior. Finally, the material can be utilized compositionally for the creation of acousmatic musical contexts as part of musical/compositional training: from microphone experimentation and selection of what sources to record, to sound transformation in the studio trough digital processing techniques, soundscapes can serve as a valuable audio basis, and provide models for mimesis. To sum up, this paper describes and proposes a model of academic lessons which combine multiple topics, where different areas of study converge and are often being taught simultaneously in the field. Being and interacting with the above environments during the lesson can be a unique teaching and learning experience and a great challenge for both students and tutors.