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Vol. 38 No. 1 (2022): Rebooting Chroma

Exploring aspects of place through sound mapping

November 1, 2021


Combining aural and visual elements of a place can be a powerful way of exploring the intersections of time, history and geographical features that exist within a location. One way of combining these elements is through sound mapping and cartophony, where spatial and physical information is used as a way of representing an individual's surroundings and realities of a place, and particularly highlighting personal associations, emotions and memories. This paper details the author's processes in incorporating place into compositional practice through a combination of field recordings and sonification, in relation to the author's work, The Lost (2021) - an audio-visual contemplation of the sensation of loss and the subsequent feelings of dislocation, and how these feelings related to the artist's own life experiences at the time. The Lost is a work partly based on a map of Perth from 1838, detailing many of Perth's now-lost wetlands. This map was then sonified using Iannix (a graphical sequencer), and the sounds were processed and combined in Ableton Live (a Digital Audio Workstation) with a field recording from the still-existing Herdman's Lake and sonified longitudinal and latitude values of these lost wetlands. The Lost is an exploration of connections between artist, history and place, and how these aspects can inform the creation of a work. Through this practice, the author aims to explore how sound and visual elements can combine and resonate with the other, and how such a practice can highlight the connections between artist and place.