SAE Extra: The how and why of field recording practice: London Street Noises 1928 - 2028

12 Oct 2018
14:00 to 16:00
12 Oct

SAE London is pleased to invite you to a guest talk from Professor John Drever.

This talk will discuss the making and motivation of field recording practice. Exploring both the development of phonography as an arts practice in its own right and the role of field recording in soundscape analysis and design, Drever will pay particular attention to the pioneering field recordings made of London in the 1928, and what they can tell us of changed attitudes to noise and sound.


Operating at the intersection of acoustics, urban design, sound art, soundscape studies, and experimental music, Drever’s practice represents an ongoing inquiry into the affect, perception, design and practice of everyday environmental sound and human utterance. He has a special interest in soundscape methods, in particular field recording and soundwalking. Deriving from his study on the noise impact of high-speed hand dryers, he has recently been focusing on the experience of everyday hearing from a non-normative perspective that he calls ‘auraldiversity’.

Drever is Professor of Acoustic Ecology and Sound Art at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he leads the Unit for Sound Practice Research and is Deputy Dean of the Graduate School. He was a co-founder (1998) and chair of the UK and Ireland Soundscape Community (a regional affiliate of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology) for whom he chaired Sound Practice: the 1st UKISC Conference on sound, culture and environments in 2001 at Dartington and Sound Practice 2006 at Goldsmiths.

Drever is an avid collaborator and has devised work in many different configurations and contexts. Commissions range from the Groupe de Recherches Musicales, France (1999), WDR Studio Akustische Kunst, Germany (2011), Shiga National Museum, Japan (2012) and Arts Council England (2002, 2007, 2013). He is a member of arts collective Blind Ditch.

Drever is an Academician of The Academy of Urbanism, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Member of the Institute of Acoustics, and a Visiting Research Fellow at Seian University of Art and Design, Japan. In the summer of 2017 he was a Guest Professor in The Department of Digital Design and Information Studies, Aarhus University, Denmark and in the autumn of 2007, he was a Visiting Scholar, at the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong.