UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering


Soundscape researchers from UCL feature in BBC Radio 3 programme about composer R Murray Schafer

12 June 2023

UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering researchers Francesco Aletta, Andrew Mitchell, Tin Oberman and Jian Kang feature in 'The Tuner of the World' on BBC Radio 3

Lake beside Rocky Mountain in Canada

R Murray Schafer was many things – Canada’s preeminent experimental composer of the 20th Century, an artist, novelist, educator, musicologist, historian, and environmental activist. Schafer was also a romantic, with a strong sense of Canadian identity, who preferred rural life with an uncluttered sense of place. Critics, and he had many, accused him of being abrasive, a luddite, and prone to cultural appropriation. Above all though, Murray was a passionate listener, constantly pushing his message of an "ecologically balanced soundscape" by asking "which sounds do we want to preserve, encourage, multiply?"

In this sound-rich documentary (best enjoyed with headphones) John Drever, Professor of Acoustic Ecology and Sound Art at Goldsmiths, University of London explores Schafer’s life and legacy, as the soundscape now has an ISO framework for consideration in urban design and planning in the UK and beyond. The UCL IEDE Acoustics group contributed with the work being done within the ERC-funded project "Soundscape Indices" led by Prof Jian Kang. Project team member Francesco Aletta said:

We were delighted to be invited to contribute to this episode, together with so many prominent researchers in the field who have helped to shape soundscape theory



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