The study of environmental sound highlights the limitations of human perception. Sonification and audification predominantly use scientific methods that favor transformation of sound to the sweet spot in the middle of our hearing range. This approach overlooks the different perceptual effects of high and low, loud and soft, fast and slow sounds. It is my contention that in our interpretation of how to make inaudible sound audible, we must consider the strengths and limits of human hearing and listening. The work of acoustic ecology focuses on listening to emphasise an awareness of the overall soundscape. This is usually limited to areas where it directly affects human presence, and it is largely because underwater and ultrasonic are inaudible to us that we are unaware of the impact of anthropogenic over biotic and abiotic sounds. Acoustic levels underwater are unregulated, and given that sound is essential to marine life, the impact of additional sounds is having considerable consequences.
- Composer and artist Yolande Harris works with sound, its image and its role in relating humans and their technologies to the environment. Through her performances, installations, instruments and writings, she investigates how sound relates us to our surroundings, both architectural and ecological.
Full text (PDF) p. 1q33-135