Pictoplasma studiokamp sound installation silent green channel soundscape creatures david kamp PMWO

Symposium on Soundscape

My 8-Channel sound art piece MIMICRY is part of the upcoming Symposium on Soundscape.

Presented by: Fondation du Doute à Blois, Conservatoire de Musique de Blois, Radio locale Studiozef, Mission Val de Loire, Patrimoine Mondial de l’UNESCO.

Further info: www.paesaggiosonoro.it/unheard_landscapes/

Unheard landscapes: this metaphor leaves space to imagination, to the un-thought, to the unknown, to past and future, as well as unexplored sound scenarios. It also reaches the field of auditory perception, the acoustic domain. Sound, through auditive qualities, acoustic phenomena, design practices, artistic creations, and listening experiences, offers an inspiring transversal entry onto landscapes and ambiances. Beyond the discussions on “soundscape”, approaching ordinary environments through sounds increases the awareness of our own capacities to feel, while we inhabit and move across different worlds. From an ecological perspective, resonance appears a keyword, too. It puts sound and space together. It implies the idea of a plurality of bodies, things and living beings vibrating all together, sharing common contexts of time and space.

The act of listening bypasses the passive meaning it usually receives. It contains in itself a completely unexpressed potential, connoted with «project», «pro-action» and «active decision» by individuals. What will be the sounds of the future and the soundscapes in which we will live, or would like to? How can listening practices evolve, how will we listen or how differently could we listen to the world around us, tomorrow?

Inhabiting the world brings to us questions about how we want to manage our being in it. How do we want to inhabit the world sonically? How sound and listening do actually affect our way to inhabit it? Have we lost some of our abilities to resonate with the world? What remains to be heard? Where could the practices of listening and attuning take us to?

FKL – Forum Klanglandschaft, as an international association interested in promoting sound-activist culture, awareness, and responsive management of the soundscape in which we all live, crosses the road of the Blois School for nature and landscape (INSA Centre Val de Loire), which trains landscape designers by working on different scales of spatial transformation through the exercise of the landscape project, and of AAU Cresson, a research team from the National School of Architecture of Grenoble and based on an interdisciplinary, sensitive and situated approach. All three share their different backgrounds and approaches in this field of interest. Scientific, artistic research, social action and empowerment of citizenship, they dialogue together, connected by a common interest in sound, listening and ecological perspective.

The attention paid to listening and the sounds that surround us, as well as to the relationships that living beings have with them, involves many disciplines in the fields of science, technology and techniques, philosophy, social and human sciences, and artistic expressions and disciplines. In the course of its short history, interest in themes related to the soundscape has also, and sometimes predominantly, developed responses that have been expressed through artistic creations, musical experimentation, sound art, singular listening situations, poetry, and narration.
«Unheard landscapes» suggests such transversal proposals from different disciplines as well as possible crossovers between different fields of study.

In FKL symposia, equal importance is given to proposals that take the form of scientific, poetic or artistic responses. This partnership between CRESSON, the Blois School of Nature and Landscape and FKL, takes an interdisciplinary and forward-looking approach to imagine new ways of considering the contribution of the sound question to our lives and our worlds. We have the desire to favor experimental situations.

The organization of this colloquium in Blois allows us to have a special relationship with the city and the landscape, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Public spaces, the banks of the Loire and places that our partners can make available are all possibilities of expression for conference participants.


1. In what soundscapes would we like to live?
Everyone of us has preferences and in some cases specific needs regarding the quality of the soundscape in which s/he lives. Beyond the conditions that guarantee the non-harmfulness of the sound environment, how is it possible for each of us, to be able to turn it into a soundscape that conforms to our tastes and our inclinations, expectations, desires? How do noise or dissonance make sense in a socially shared and designed soundscape? What instruments, what strategies can we use and put in practice individually? How much and what social and aesthetic changes are we willing to accept from this point of view?

2. What can we learn from listening to the coming world?
An attentive listening has the capacity to reveal and anticipate some major trends of the world to come expressed sonically. How to make audible some socio-ecological challenges of our era? What kind of listening could give us access to the transformations of contemporary living environments? What can we learn of the intwine between human and non-human living forms when we attune to it? We could expect contributions which emphasize the heuristic power of sound and listening and their capacity to highlight the issues, the damages as well as the promises of everyday environments.

3. Utopian / dystopian / heterotopian
Listening strongly convenes both reality and imagination. It can either anchor us within a place and a time or transport us elsewhere, at another time. It can also make different places and times coexist, as well as separate and even inhibit them. In our everyday lives, we go through sound worlds, often for the best, sometimes for the worst. What does listening to these different “present times” tell us? And does it tell us about the sound worlds we are going to cross tomorrow? Can we also consider that utopia is not a missing or absent place, but designates the totality of what is lacking in existing places?

4. Different sounds different listenings through forms and rhythms of life
Listening to the world means entering a myriad of spatial and temporal differences. Our auditive perceptions are attuned to our sense of time, while many sound qualities depend on the way spaces are built and organized, and how fast or slow we move across them. Thus, different times and spaces resonate within our experiences of listening. It takes a constant effort to make oneself available, through renewed adjustments, accomodations and attitudes, to the diversity of living beings and environments. How could we become more attentive and careful to other rhythms than ours – and perhaps detect infra-audible phenomena? The possibilities of getting closer to other forms of life remains open. What would our listening be like if we perceived space and time differently? How does sound allow us to build new relationships to space and time? In a perspective of attention to ecological environments, how could we make ourselves sensible to hetereogeneous rhythms and other forms of life?

5. Which ways for collective actions?
Listening connects a listener to an environment and encourages sensory and infra-political expressions. Attention to the other, to others and to their expressions becomes central. The attitude of listening is strongly affected by a society of visual entertainment, and of the permanent bludgeoning of images and information. The attitude of listening is important to build new relationships, more local, more attentive, more ambitious. The composition and diversity of relationships between individuals and between species has become a major issue in the face of the ecological, economic and social challenges that characterise our societies. We can expect contributions that highlight the collective power of sound and its ability to renew our collective ways of acting, as facts or as hypotheses. Would listening be a path towards more collective action? How can we claim collectively for a better sound world? Does a better soundscape necessarily lead or contribute to an equally balanced and just society?

Members of the direction
Giuseppe Furghieri, Francesco Michi, Stefano Zorzanello – FKL
Lolita Voisin, Olivier Gaudin – Ecole de la nature et du paysage – INSA CVL – CNRS CITERES
Nicolas Tixier, Jean-Paul Thibaud – ENSA de Grenoble – CNRS AAU Cresson

Scientific and artistic committee
Pascal Amphoux – ENSA Nantes AAU Cresson
Roberto Barbanti – TEAMeD, Paris 8
Peter Batchelor – Monfort University Leicester UK
Sébastien Bonthoux – ecologist School of Nature and Landscape INSA Centre Val de Loire
Grégoire Chelkoff – ENSA Grenoble AAU Watercress
Jean-Claude Dodin – director of Blois Conservatory
Giuseppe Gavazza – Conservatory of Cuneo, AAU Cresson
Bernard Fort – composer and audionaturist Groupe Musiques Vivantes de Lyon
Nicolas Frize – composer (Les Musiques de la Boulangère)
Frédéric Fradet – acoustician, director of research and manufacturing
Anke Haun – musician, pedagogist, FKL
Laurent Le Gall – teacher-researcher, organiser of the festival Longueur d’ondes de Brest
Alan Licht – musician and sound artist
Bruno Marmiroli – architect and landscaper
Damien Masson – University of Cergy, International Ambiances network
Albert Mayr – composer, sound artist, scholar, FKL
Camille Michel – architect, artist and researcher
Caroline Profanter – musician and sound artist, FKL
Nicolas Rémy – University of Thessaly, Volos, international network Ambiances
Patrick Romieu – AAU Cress
Makis Solomos – musicologist
Frank Smith – writer, poet, director (Bureau of Poetic Investigations)
Andrea Taroppi – musician and sound artist, FKL
Juliette Volcler – freelance researcher

Local Partners
Fondation du Doute à Blois
Conservatoire de Musique de Blois
Radio locale Studiozef
Mission Val de Loire, Patrimoine Mondial de l’UNESCO

Forum Klanglandschaft (FKL) – Forum for the soundscape – is a non-profit association that brings together people who, although coming from different disciplines, are interested in listening and responsible management of the acoustic environment. FKL was born from the impulse given by the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology created in 1993 and functions as an information and contact platform at the European level. FKL conducts and supports activities in the fields of science, art, and education that contribute to raising awareness for the acoustic environment and to open and active listening. In the field of urban planning, it supports initiatives aimed at a conscious use of sound spaces and times. The members of FKL are involved in acoustic environmental monitoring, acoustic design, the soundscape created by new media, and artistic activities based on interaction with environmental sounds and rhythms. Currently, FKL members are mainly from Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and Italy.

The Higher Studies of Nature and Landscape (ENP), a department of the INSA Centre Val de Loire, trains landscape designers, working on different scales of spatial transformation. The training is multidisciplinary and professionalizing, over five years, and is based on both scientific and technical disciplinary fields, on a pedagogy of creativity and expression, with a solid knowledge of human and social sciences, representation of space, and initiation to academic research. The training finds its synthesis in the exercise of the landscape project.

Originally focused on sound space, CRESSON is a research team from the National School of Architecture of Grenoble. It is based on an interdisciplinary, sensitive, and situated approach. CRESSON is one of two teams from the CNRS Ambiances, Architectures, Urbanités (AAU) laboratory.

The International Ambiances Network aims at structuring and developing the research field of architectural and urban ambiances. It wishes to promote the sensory domain in the questioning and design of lived space.