Listening to Place: Music, Sound, Heritage and Memory

Peter John Stollery

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPublished conference contribution


R. Murray Schafer, in his seminal work The Tuning of the World: The Soundscape (1977), suggests that the soundscape predominantly experienced by most of us, that of the city, has inevitably created a sense of nostalgia for other sounds, particularly sounds that we have lost, whether through neglect or through human development. We try to preserve these sounds, honouring Schafer’s notion of Museums of Disappearing Sounds, through recording and subsequent presentation in multiple formats, including concert performance, sound installation and internet-based sound maps.

At the same time, we are witnessing a growing interest in sound itself as a starting point for discussions in different community groups. In this paper I will evidence this growth by describing two of my internet-based sound mapping projects:

1.Aberdeen Soundsites; a community-driven sound map where users can upload sounds, add comments, and start sound conversations via social media;

2.Hilton Soundscape; a sonic archaeology project using a location which has transformed from a workplace (former academic institution) to a dwelling place (housing estate).

I will also discuss the Sonic Postcards project, begun in the 1990s by Sonic Arts Network in London, UK and continued into the 2010s in Scotland by Aberdeenshire Council and sound1. This project empowers school pupils and teachers, who may not have strong musical literacy skills, to engage with sound as listeners and creators, highlighting both the democratic nature of technology as a tool and affording a greater appreciation and understanding of the many roles of sound in our society.

1sound is a new music incubator based in North East Scotland which runs the sound festival. (accessed 25th September 2018)
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationI Simposio Internacional de Arte Sonoro "Mundos Sonoros:Druces, circulaciones, experiencias" Ponencias
EditorsRaúl Minsburg
Place of PublicationBuenos Aires
PublisherUniversidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero
ChapterPaisaje, territorio y comunidad
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)978-987-4151-99-5
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2019
EventMundos Sonoros: Cruces, circulaciones, experiencias - Centro Cultural Borges, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Duration: 13 Sept 201814 Sept 2018


ConferenceMundos Sonoros
CityBuenos Aires
Internet address


  • soundscape
  • place
  • community
  • sound mapping


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