Earth/Sound/Apps22 Apr 2014
Bryan Pijanowski wants to capture the sounds of the world on a single day, and he needs your help. Beginning on Earth Day of this year, Pijanowski hopes to enlist thousands of people in recording a few minutes of their everyday surroundings with his Soundscape Recorder smartphone app.
Though I have yet to meet Bryan, I’ve been lucky enough to recently meet some of the people working directly with him (some at the recent workshop that I co-organized). I actually used the Soundscape Recorder app this morning with my students, and it was a really successful and interesting exercise. Luckily, most of my students have smart phones—though not all of them had the up-to-date operating systems required for the app—so we paired up and walked around Penn State’s campus capturing some local sounds, from the Creamery to the Arboretum.
After the recording process, the app asks you a bunch of questions, ranging from the factual (what did you hear?) to the loaded (how did it make you feel?). This gave the class a chance to discuss both what we recorded and the assumptions inherent in the act of recording and built-in to the app itself.
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