Sounding Space and Place

Anna Brand
Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning
UC Berkeley

Sheryl-Ann Simpson
Human Ecology
UC Davis

Sounding Space and Place brings together a diverse group of scholars to explore the possibilities for sound-based examinations of space, place and scale that embrace the diverse practices of sound studies, with particular focus on methods in the digital humanities that keep sounds intact. These methods include the digital archiving and curation of sound, online broadcasts, digitized historical soundscapes, and online sound maps including participatory maps enabling broad participation in the interpretation of sound in space, alongside practices of sonification, the representation of non-sonic data and information through sound and music. The promise of these new ways of sounding include the ways in which deep listening to high volumes of sound might reveal patterns across space, between communities and longitudinally over time. Listening to sounds in overlapping combinations also opens opportunities to present marginalized alongside dominant sounds, to explore the multiplicities and pluralities around sense of place, and collective historic memories. The performative aspect of sound and sonification supports an engagement with data that is embodied as well as cognitive, which could become an invitation for a broader, diverse public to engage in humanities research building understandings of the past and present, imagining and advocating for possible futures.