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20 Years of Sound Environments

19 November 2024, Helgonavägen 3, LUX-building, Lund University, Sweden

This one-day conference marks the 20th anniversary of the Sound Environment Centre. The centre was initiated in 2004 and established in 2005, with the ambition to bring ideas about soundscape and acoustic ecology into a trans-disciplinary research context. With this conference we wish to revisit this initial trans-disciplinary ambition and ask what roles research into sound and sound environments play in today’s increasingly complex world.  

The conference will explore a number of themes: How the field contributes to contemporary issues such as climate change and ecological disruption. What role sound plays in the processes of decolonization. What consequences a feminist approach has on the study of sound. How sound matters in a world of increasing social injustice and global political tensions. And how the aesthetic qualities of sound help us rethink and imagine ways to new sustainable acoustic ecologies. 

The Sound Environment Centre was inspired by studies into soundscape and acoustic ecology in Canada and elsewhere. It is worth noting that both the founders of the centre and of the World Soundscape project in the early 1970s all were composers who had the trans-disciplinary approach to the study of sound in common. While the methods of study, scientific knowledge and ideological positioning have developed increasingly over the past 50 years, the trans-disciplinary and collaborative approach is still the core of many successful studies of sound.