Since the 1970s, sonic environments have been viewed in ever broader music-cultural, ecological, and technological contexts. The SNSF-project «Seeking Birdscapes – Contemporary Listening and Recording Practices in Ornithology and Environmental Sound Art», led by Helena Simonett and Patricia Jäggi, aims at gaining new insights into the relationship between humans and nature. We assume that people perceive nature sounds such as the songs and calls of birds 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 different geographic environments inside Europe, such as densely populated areas in Central (Switzerland) or Southern Europe (Catalonia) and the sparsely populated island of Iceland. 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 SNSF-project aims at raising awareness about the characteristic soundscapes that surround us as part of our intangible heritage. For that purpose, the subproject “Seeking Birdscapes & Interdisciplinary Art Mediation” was started. It is part of the Interdisciplinary cluster “Spatial Development and Social Cohesion” and aims at developing new methodologies and mediation formats for the outcomes of the SNSF project. This subproject was initiated and is led by Marie-Louise Nigg and Patricia Jäggi.
Contact for the SNSF project and the interdisciplinary subproject: Patricia Jäggi (firstname.lastname@example.org).