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Aural Diversity - from hearing as universal to hearing in particular


John Levack Drever
NOVEMBER 17, 2022, 15.15-16.30, LUX:B251

The term aural diversity expresses the surprisingly provocative idea that hearing should not be represented as a fixed, ideal, symmetrical, mechanistic, universal set of metrics predicated on the otologically normal, but rather, as a capricious sense that we and others tacitly know from day to day experience, and will continue to learn from as we continue to carry out our lives.

In his imminent publication, Aural Diversity, Drever will chart the development of the concept arising out of necessity from a study on highspeed hand dryer noise. The talk will look back at one of the earliest recorded urban noise studies, London Street Noises from 1928, from a time that predates the employment of the decibel and the preoccupation with hearing loss from exposure to sound. In conclusion, the talk will explore some of the different areas that can benefit from taking a more aurally diverse approach, as espoused in the book. 

John Levack Drever

Photo portrait of John Levack Drever

John Drever is Professor of Acoustic Ecology and Sound Art at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he leads the Unit for Sound Practice Research (SPR). He studied Music at the University of Wales, Bangor (1992-95), followed by an MMus study in Electroacoustic Music Composition at the University of East Anglia (1995-6). In 2001 he was awarded a PhD from Dartington College of Arts, for a programme of research titled 'Phonographies: Practical and Theoretical Explorations into Composing with Disembodied Sound'.