presentation by Peter Cusack
The Favourite Sounds project addresses the everyday sounds of our lives. Mostly payed little attention to, they are always present and constantly informing us about our environment and the events happening around us. Occasionally everyday sounds affect us more deeply. Then they take on personal meanings and over time become essential to our understanding and memories of the places where we live.
The Favourite Sounds project started as a radio program for London’s ResonanceFM in 1998 and has continued in other world cities since. In a survey as many people as possible are asked the seemingly simple question, “What is your favourite sound of London… Beijing… Prague…, Chicago…., and why?” The responses have been fascinating, revealing the city of the ear and people’s feelings about their sound environment.
More recently the project has focused in areas of high immigration in the UK, such as Handsworth Lozells in the city of Birmingham. These areas are characterized by an incredible ethnic variety. Cultures from the world over constantly mix and change. People living there were not only asked about the sounds heard in Birmingham, but also about those remembered and appreciated from their places of origin.
This presentation summarises the favourite sounds project so far. It demonstrates the findings and explains how the project argues that ‘sonic diversity’ should be an essential component to the understanding of what makes for a positive soundscape.
appearance at Tuned City
Subjective Soundscapes / 08.07.11