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Frogs in your radio: An acoustic ecology celebration of Earth Week

The Wetland Project - an acoustic exploration of a Saturna Island wetland

Today in anticipation of Earth Day and Earth Week, we're celebrating and paying attention to the world we hear. Acoustic ecology is the study of human beings in their relationship to their environment through sound.

Multidisciplinary artists Brady Marks, Mark Timmings have created The Wetland Project to celebrate Earth Week 2018, a program of events exploring the soundscape of a Saturna Island, British Columbia marsh. The goal of the project is to connect people to the circadian rhythm of the wetland.

There are a few different components to this project -- an audiovisual installation at the VIVO gallery in Vancouver, a musical performance comprised of sounds transcribed from field recordings of the marsh along with a work performed by chamber choir. And Slow Radio Day, where four radio stations and an internet stream will play the sounds of the wetlands all day on Earth Day, this Sunday, April 22.

The Wetland Project commemorates the 50-year anniversary of the founding of the World Soundscape Project and the idea of "wilderness radio" proposed by WSP associate Bruce Davis in 1975. In Davis’s words, it would be "a radio service which ‘listens in’ rather than broadcasts out." Four decades later the Wetland broadcast realizes his vision.

Victoria Fenner, rabble.ca executive producer of podcasts, has been a soundscape artist and acoustic ecology practitioner for many years, primarily inspired in her early days at Vancouver Co-op Radio by Hildegard Westerkamp and the late Howard Broomfield, both World Soundscape Project researchers and artists. So she's especially happy to be doing this program today for rabble radio.

She had a conversation with Brady Marks and Mark Timmings, starting their conversation by talking about who Murray Schafer is, and why the World Soundscape Project remains so important to listeners around the world.

View the full schedule, including the radio broadcast here.

Image: Nancy Angermeyer

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