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Acoustic Atlas: Cultivating the Capacity to Listen

Project description

Developing acoustical understanding

Acoustic ecology is a term for the scientific field that refers to the study of the relationship between humans and their environment through the mediation of sound. The purpose of this discipline is to encourage, improve and develop our ability to listen. The EU-funded ACOUSTIC ATLAS project intends to advance world acoustical understanding by creating an innovative application of web-audio technology as a universal site of listening. The project will digitally preserve the acoustical heritage and soundscapes of three caves in England. It will create a sequence of new listening real-time virtual reality experiences connected to each cave, aiming to develop the capacity to listen to isolated heritage sites and advance acoustic ecology studies.


‘Acoustic Atlas’ aims to advance world acoustical awareness through the creation of a novel application of web-audio technology as a ubiquitous site of ‘listening,’ and it starts its journey by digitally preserving the acoustical heritage and soundscapes of Yordas Cave, Victoria Cave and Ingleborough Cave in the UK Yorkshire Dales. The main action is the creation of a series of novel listening experiences that are connected to each studied cave, intended for the cultivation of the capacity to listen to and connect with, remote heritage sites. Participation is fundamental to the user experience. Auralisations, which can be thought of as real-time virtual acoustic reality experiences, transport the listener by allowing them to hear the reflections of their own voices in these virtual caves, providing a direct sensory, aural perspective. The fellowship will allow the researcher to complete professional training in areas fundamental to the execution of the project as well as key academic skills, including virtual acoustics, binaural audio recording, JavaScript, Webaudio programming, project management, dissemination strategies and lecturing. The host institution will benefit from the fellow’s experience in sound design, composition and sound art projects via lectures, collaborations and exchanges with students, colleagues and relevant research centres. The outputs will include a novel real-time auralisation application, 3 journal papers, 5 symposia presentations, 4 concerts and a sound art series. The auditory experiences provided through ‘Acoustic Atlas’ are key to nourishing, refining and expanding our ability to listen. Moreover, ‘Acoustic Atlas’ advances the study of acoustic ecology in Europe by exploring creative methods for dissemination as well as providing the starting point for long-lasting collaborative networks in the field of acoustic preservation.


Net EU contribution
€ 224 933,76
YO10 5DD York North Yorkshire
United Kingdom

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Yorkshire and the Humber North Yorkshire York
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 224 933,76