Already in the 70s Murray Schafer when proposing a definition of soundscape coined the concept of soundmark, as a sound or soundscape of unique qualities, that made it worthy to protect. Promoted and developed by Schafer acoustic ecology influenced projects focusing on preservation of these soundmarks against loss and forgetfulness in the face of increasing noise associated with fast industrial development. This development has become the basis for drawing attention to the anthropogenic changes that characterize a new geological age called the Anthropocene.
In this presentation I will consider sound and soundscape as specific means to create memorials by analogy to architectural monuments, visual sculptures, or biological one (such as for example protected trees or ecosystems forming national parks). The sound itself will be understood in two ways: as a medium and as the subject of memories.
I will analyze chosen examples of sound sculptures, memorial sound installation or sound monuments, such as the Bill Fontana's Urban Sound Sculpture, Canadian Trace of Teri Rueb, and AmericanThe Sonic Memorial Project. It provokes a question of what is the function of sound in relation to memory, space and time, when placed in the chronology of geological changes? and what is a role of a short duration of cultural/human memory when compared to the long duration of heritage of humanity as seen on a planetary scale. (abstract)
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