Biosphere Soundscapes

Biosphere Soundscapes, founded by Leah Barclay in Queensland, Australia, in 2012, is a large-scale interdisciplinary research project underpinned by the creative possibilities of acoustic ecology, ecoacoustics and rapidly emerging fields of biology concerned with the study of environmental patterns and changes through sound. The project is designed to inspire communities across the world to listen to the environment and explore the value of sound as a measure for environmental health in UNESCO biosphere reserves. Biosphere Soundscapes is delivered through immersive residencies with artists and scientists, research laboratories, intensive masterclasses and a diversity of creative projects spanning four continents.

Biosphere reserves are sites recognised under UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Program (MAB) to promote innovative approaches to sustainable development. There are currently 669 biosphere reserves in 120 countries comprising terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems. Each biosphere reserve is designed and managed in a different way, but all seek to reconcile the conservation of biological and cultural diversity. They differ from world heritage sites in that they encourage active community participation and are ideal locations to test and demonstrate innovative approaches to ecosystem monitoring and sustainable development. Biosphere Soundscapes draws on the inherently interdisciplinary nature of sound to explore cultural and biological diversity through accessible audio recording technologies, interdisciplinary creativity and environmental engagement with local and global communities.

The Biosphere Soundscapes artistic and scientific team now works across the Asia-Pacific region, Latin America and the USA. Our artistic collaborators include internationally acclaimed sound artists Ros Bandt, Daniel Blinkhorn and Gerardo Dirie and our masterclasses and field labs have been delivered by some of the major figures of sonic art including Francisco Lopez and Andrea Polli.

Biosphere Soundscapes sits at the intersection of art and science, with the recordings providing valuable scientific data for biodiversity analysis and incredible source material for creative works that can bring awareness to these environments through new technologies. This project is designed as a platform for artists, scientists and global communities to collaborate and expose the creative and scientific possibilities of environmental sound to a global audience.



The picture above shows Ros Bandt and Daniel Blinkhorn at work.




Leah Barclay