The principle research questions for the project include: “what can the integration of cell phones and other mobile media devices bring to the field of soundscape studies, and, concomitantly, what are the intersections between mobility studies, soundscape studies, and contemporary practices of electronic music production?” While many contemporary audio technologies are portable (i.e., laptops, mixers, microphones, etc.), they are not “mobile” in terms of being carried with the user at all times. Cell phones with built-in audio functions represent new opportunities in terms of spontaneous field recording and production applications.
Audio-Mobile aims to raise awareness around the ecological, social and cultural impacts linked to mobility. For this reason the field recording initiatives are focused on “eco-territories” –i.e., urban natural spaces not designated as parkland. These zones (such as the Falaises St. Jacques and the De Montigny Stream Basin in Montreal) are unofficial “natural” habitats that are traversed by movement at multiple levels. They are hybrid, impure, and oft-times contested territories that are home to a variety of species, a range of resilient vegetation, as well as human residences and urban or industrial developments. Audio-Mobile uses cell phones to gather GPS-tagged audio field recordings of such locations. Sounds collected are processed into “soundscape” compositions that are catalogued and visualized using open source software such as Google Maps. As part of the project the research team is developing an “Audio-Mobile app” for the iPhone.
Zachary Patterson, Geography, Concordia University, Montreal
Charity Marsh, Canada Research Chair, Interactive Media and Performance, University of Regina
Tara Rodgers, Digital Cultures and Creativity Program, University of Maryland
QingFeng, B Sc. Computer Science, Concordia University
Samuel Thulin, PhD in Communication Studies, Concordia University
Previous research assistants
Laura Newman, Cynthia Wong, Andrew Simpson, Ben Spencer
Contracted Research Professionals