Soundscapes Of The Sunshine Coast: Listening In The Wild At Horizon Festival

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'Listening In The Wild' 'Listening In The Wild'

‘Listening In The Wild’ – part of Horizon Festival’s 2020 Words + Ideas programme – offers audience members the opportunity to aurally and visually immerse themselves in the abundant ecosystems of the Sunshine Coast.

Created by direct descendant of the local Kabi Kabi people and founder of the Gubbi Gubbi Dance troupe, Lyndon Davis, and sound artist, designer and researcher Leah Barclay, ‘Listening In The Wild’ is a series of lush, immersive soundscapes exploring environments across the Sunshine Coast.

“At last year’s Horizon Festival, I facilitated transient sound walks where participants walked through an environment wearing headphones connecting with the environment, stories from the location, and also deep listening to parts of the environment that we might not usually think about, like the sounds inside tree roots and beneath the ground and underwater,” Leah explains.

“The idea for the experience this year was to build on that and create soundscapes that connect audiences to environments across the Sunshine Coast but in a way that they can do it remotely.”

The virtual sound walks will take listeners on journeys through Eudlo Creek National Park, the Maroochy River, and on an ocean expedition from Mooloolaba Beach.

“The three locations are all very significant ecosystems on the Sunshine Coast that deserve our attention and conservation, and they also are sites that are quite significant for Lyndon as well, being associated to Kabi Kabi stories from the area,” Leah says.

“They are three quite different ecosystems representing fresh water with the Maroochy River, the rainforest with Eudlo Creek (also another very rich fresh water environment), and then a marine environment which starts at Mooloolaba and goes out into the ocean and connects to Old Woman Island.”

‘Listening In The Wild’ sees long-time collaborators Lyndon and Leah joined by active documentary photographer and Lecturer in Photography in the School of Creative Industries at University Of The Sunshine Coast, Tricia King.

“The interesting thing about this collaboration is that we’ve added another digital layer to it with Tricia,” Leah explains. “The idea with this experience is initially about engaging with Tricia’s visual imagery of the sites, and then the deep listening experience is purely about the audio.”

Binaural 3D soundscapes best experienced with headphones, the ‘Listening In The Wild’ series will be produced live and streamed for listeners to engage with at home.

“The benefit of the binaural 3D recording technique and Lyndon’s storytelling technique is that it makes the audience feel like they are actually there in that ecosystem. The birds sound like they are flying around your head, and it feels like Lyndon is sitting beside you, chatting on the riverbank.”

It was on the banks of the Maroochy River that Leah experienced her favourite production moment.

“I buried underwater microphones in the marine mud and Lyndon played didgeridoo into the river, and it was quite a surreal and spectacular recording because the riverbed itself was vibrating with the sound of the didgeridoo,” she says. “So the recording is the sound of the water, but you can also hear the didgeridoo echoing through the riverbed, and that is not the kind of recording you can ever plan. It felt like a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

'Listening In The Wild' Dates

Sun 12 July @ 4pm – Maroochy River (Freshwater)
Sun 19 July @ 4pm – Eudlo Creek National Park (Rainforest)
Sun 26 July @ 4pm – Mooloolaba (Ocean)



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