Seeing Sonic Atmospheres: 
GIS as a Tool for the Reenactment of Archival Sound

Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, 2016.

In 2013, I began to conduct research on an archaeoacoustic event that took place in Ansacq, France in 1730. The archival record of the occurrence was recently rediscovered by music theorist Brian Kane, who describes it in Sound Unseen: Acousmatic Sound In Theory and Practice. I was intrigued by the performative aspects of this event, as well as the conundrums that it creates for historical representation.

Along with an article-length historical essay about the event, I also produced a ten-channel sound installation with composer John Berendzen, and a series of drawings that visually re-imagine the event (inspired by the photographs of Axel Hoedt).

Most recently, I simulated the event by using GIS software to visualize historical sound data as a geospatial representation.


In the spring of 2016, I presented my simulation at the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society (IBES) as part of their Atmospheres Conference. The video below summarizes my research and the simulation. Viewing in HD with headphones is best.


Atmospheres (Earth, Itself 2016 Conference) - Institute at Brown for Environment and Society (IBES), Brown University