Since the 1970s, sonic environments have been viewed in ever broader music-cultural, ecological, and technological contexts. The project aims at gaining new insights into the relationship between humans and nature. We assume that people perceive nature sounds such as birdcalls differently depending on their personal biographies. In addition, we assume that cultural as well as geographical factors are influential. There are numerous studies within one ecosystem (e.g., Amazon or Arctic Siberia), but no comparison of two vastly different geographic settings, such as the densely populated Europe and the vast outback of Australia. The project focuses on a selection of people, such as field ornithologists, sound artists, and composers. Through interviews, sound recordings and observations in the field, the experience of bird voices and the imaginative worlds behind them are investigated. We are also interested in the ways in which auditory experiences shape biographies and, ultimately, environmental awareness.
Through the collaboration with the Swiss Ornithological Institute in Sempach, the Foundation BirdLife Lucerne and the Natural History Museum of Lucerne, as well as through the public presentation of our research, the project aims at raising awareness about the characteristic soundscapes that surround us as part of our intangible heritage.