Acoustic Environments in Change/Five Village Soundscapes (+4 cd) (Pehmeäkantinen kirja)

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How are the soundscapes of European villages doing? Can you still hear the factory hooters in the Swedish Skruv? What about the echo and children?s voices in the old part and the new residential areas in the Italian Cembra? The writers are interested in both the disruption of sonic order, and the listening experiences of the members of the communities who wish to preserve order and equilibrium. How willing are the villagers to open up to the outside world and tourists, their new potential "patrons"? What about the process of becoming more aware of the noise and silence in their own lived environment? The writers also delve into the dynamics of social memory, nostalgia and soundscape, and the relationship between human and non-human materialities in these villages.

The first part of this publication with its twelve articles takes you to six European places, five of which were visited by the World Soundscape Project in the mid-1970s. The starting point in both studies has been to research acoustically and culturally diverse sonic environments. In this new study methods of anthropology and cultural studies have been deployed to supplement the methodology of soundscape research. The study strives towards making us aware of local interpretations about soundscape.

Writers: Dr Helmi Järviluoma, professor of cultural studies at the University of Joensuu; Dr Heikki Uimonen, ethnomusicologist and researcher of the Academy of Finland, Dr Noora Vikman, lecturer of musicology at University of Joensuu, MPhil Tero Hyvärinen and FM Meri Kytö, junior researcher at the University of Joensuu.


This re-publication of the World Soundscape Project?s seminal Five Village Soundscapes study not only brings this landmark case study back into print, but, perhaps for the first time, allows a longitudinal comparison over 25 years of community soundscapes in transition. The result of the original study, apart from its detailed documentation of the soundscapes of five contrasting villages, was a model of the ?acoustic community? characterized by their variety, complexity and balanced state, yet vulnerable to social and economic change in the form of noise. This model serves as a reference point for contemporary communities by showing the highly varied ways in which sound can play a positive and cohesive force at a social level, while subject to inevitable change. The studies are complemented by extensive audio examples on the accompanying CDs.

Editor: R. Murray Schafer, composer and founder of the World Soundscape Project. With a new introduction by Prof Barry Truax, School of Communication & School for the Contemporary Arts, Simon Fraser University.

The book and CDs are published in co-operation with the World Soundscape Project, Simon Fraser University, Canada.
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