The Soundscape Project

This cross disciplinary project seeks to increase awareness about changing natural soundscapes. Soundscape refers to the total acoustic environment surrounding the listener. Although sound is an important and irreplaceable component of all academic fields, the complex interplay of sounds and its effects on organisms has only in recent decades become a field of study.

ENSP and Engineering Science students were trained by Bernie Krause to use the handheld Samson Zoom H4N recorders and Audition CS6 (Mac) for manipulating and archiving recordings. Between late May and end of June, recorders were used to sample biophonic, geophonic and anthrophonic sounds in a variety of environments, including Galbreath Wildlands Preserve, Fairfield Osborn Preserve and other location in the region (e.g., coastal areas). During recording, students used standardized protocols including datasheets and vocal data input. Recordings included dawn choruses of bird song, bird song at other times of day, cicadas, crickets and other insects, evening and nocturnal sounds, water, wind, and human made sounds such as footsteps or equipment. Engineering students archived recorded material and used Adobe Audition to remove human and wind interference to create "best of" recordings to be made available as indoor soundscapes and ambient noise for events and functions. Raw recordings were delivered to Composer Jesse Olsen Bay who created an original composition designed to encourage exploration of sounds by dance students (Intermediate and Advanced Acting and Dance Blocks, Dance Ensemble, or Choreography) under the direction of Dr. Kristen Daley. Students created an original dance based on the composition and performed their piece as part of dance recitals in Person Theater and Weill Hall.


Project Results
Title Format Download Students
"Best of" Preserve environmental recordings digital recording (mp3) "Best of" recordings from SSU Preserves  David Golden, Zachary Beltz, Eric Waugh, Alberto Maldonado
The Soundscape Project 30-min dance performance you tube video


Sonoma State University Soundscape Project 

Intermediate and Advanced Acting and Dance Blocks, Dance Ensemble, and Choreography
The Soundscape Project original soundtrack by Jesse Olsen Bay digital recording (mp3) Center archive: Art, Dance, Music (44 Mb)