The sonic explorers workshops will be assisted by Sophie Jung, a talented music technology student from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music in Brisbane. Sophie is an aspiring sound artist & composer and has written an introduction article to sound for the sonic explorers blog:
“Sounds are pressure waves travelling through a medium like air and water. If there is air, sounds are ‘here, there and everywhere’ with or without our consciousness. Sounds generally are characterized by pitch, loudness and timbre. For pitch, humans normally can perceive from the lowest of 20 Hz to the highest of 20 kHz frequencies. The ultrasounds above 20 kHz are inaudible to humans, however, some animals like bats and dolphins can even use them. I particularly prefer low frequencies like bass sounds, which are sometimes more felt than heard. Interestingly, babies feel comfortable when they hear the low sounds from a vacuum cleaner, because it reminds them of the time and place when they were in their mother’s womb. If a sound source increases in loudness, it is perceived as approaching. Changing the amplitude of a sound source is a simple but effective way in a sound production process to differentiate the distances of the sound sources. Also, reverberation, the ratio of direct to reflected sound, is an important factor related to the space that the sound is in. When we hear a sound, the particular place such as a living room, bath room, train or on the street will affect this. We can also comprehend that some sounds are dark or warm, while other sounds are bright, harsh or mellow. These are examples of the timbral characteristics of sounds.
I think it is important for young people to explore the sound world. If they take time to actively listen to the sounds around them, they will be surprised by the variety of sounds and the different sound characteristics. It will be meaningful for young people to take the opportunity to engage in sound workshops, which can help them to learn how to appreciate the various qualities of sounds. To experience the sonic world around them can also be a good part of their emotional development.
Before I began to study music technology at the Conservatorium, I wanted to know more about the techniques of how to manipulate sounds for my music compositions. Through the recording and mixing experiences, I have gained very practical knowledge of how to control the sounds that I work with. The technology gives me wings to create new sounds using the existing sounds, and they help me to find continuous joy while I create my compositions. If a sound is an egg, with technologies and your preferences, you can scramble, boil, or fry it, or even make a pavlova.”