Login | Register

Hearing Motion in the Moment: New Approaches to Sound-based Mapping


Hearing Motion in the Moment: New Approaches to Sound-based Mapping

Powell, Eric (2019) Hearing Motion in the Moment: New Approaches to Sound-based Mapping. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

[thumbnail of Powell_PhD_S2019.pdf]
Text (application/pdf)
Powell_PhD_S2019.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Spectrum Terms of Access.


This dissertation frames and describes my research-creation project, which involved building three interactive sound-based mapping interfaces that challenge how we listen to and make meaning from urban sounds. Old Montreal’s Acoustic Labyrinth is a marble-maze game that allows listeners to explore a simultaneous recording of the Basilica Notre Dame’s bells from six different locations. Street Ears, a GPS-enabled smartphone app, gives listeners the opportunity to navigate the acoustic environments of two Montreal neighbourhoods—from anywhere in the world. Finally, 168 Hours is a large clock-like interface that encourages listeners to remix time by playing with snippets of a continuous, week-long recording from a single location in Montreal’s Milton Park. Each of these interfaces draws listeners’ ears to a different aspect of the aural environment: how sound is shaped by architecture, how space creates points of sonic transition, and how durational listening reveals unexpected patterns and textures that give new meaning to familiar sounds.
My project makes contributions to theories of mobility, space, and place by developing an approach to listening that challenges presumed hierarchies surrounding “good” and “bad” sounds. I interrogate institutional representations of urban sound as they relate to questions of power and authority, advocating for more grassroots approaches to sound-based mapping. The introductory sections to this document establish the theoretical and methodological frameworks for the project as a whole; the three main chapters detail the conceptual and practical aspirations of each mapping interface. In the conclusion, I consider the relationship between maps and stories and encourage my readers/listeners to embrace a new approach to urban sound. Drawing from the fields of Sound Studies, Cultural Studies, and Critical Cartography, this dissertation refigures the role sound has in shaping our sense of place and demonstrates how the acoustic environment structures our daily lives.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Communication Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Powell, Eric
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Date:January 2019
Thesis Supervisor(s):Sawchuk, Kim
ID Code:985141
Deposited By: ERIC POWELL
Deposited On:07 Jun 2019 16:54
Last Modified:07 Jun 2019 16:54
All items in Spectrum are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved. The use of items is governed by Spectrum's terms of access.

Repository Staff Only: item control page

Downloads per month over past year

Research related to the current document (at the CORE website)
- Research related to the current document (at the CORE website)
Back to top Back to top