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Blesser, B., & Salter, L.-R. (2007). Spaces speak, are you listening? Experiencing aural architecture. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press. 
Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard (2/9/08, 2:48 PM)   
Resource type: Book
ID no. (ISBN etc.): 0-262-02605-8
BibTeX citation key: Blesser2007
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Categories: General
Keywords: Acoustic ecology, Space
Creators: Blesser, Salter
Publisher: MIT Press (Cambridge, Massachusetts)
Views: 4/687
p.11   "Auditory spatial awareness is more than just the ability to detect that space has changed sounds; it includes as well the emotional and behavioral experience of space."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Space
p.15   "...we do not so much hear sound as perceive sonic events..."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception
p.16   Because humans have an innate ability to produce sound (cf light production), "aural architecture is dynamic, reactive and enveloping." Spaces respond sonically to the human voice and sound-making but not visually.   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Acoustic ecology Space
p.17   "...full sonic illumination of aural architecture requires a mixture of continuous and transient energy over a wide range of frequencies, amplitudes, and locations."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
p.22   Acoustic Horizon: "the maximum distance between a listener and source of sound where the sonic event can still be heard."

Acoustic Arena: "a region where listeners are part of a community that shares an ability to hear a source event."

Auditory Channel: "the connection between a sound event and a listener ... a channel shared among listeners provides social cohesion."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
p.26   "An acoustic arena has both social and physical properties ... The social consequence of an acoustic arena is an acoustic community, a group of individuals who are able to hear the same sonic events."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Acoustic ecology
p.31   "Headphones produce the most private of all acoustic arenas."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
p.31   "Injecting noise of whatever kind into an acoustic arena is nothing more than an exercise of sonic power"   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Noise
p.33   "... silence is the ultimate manifestation of social cohesiveness" because it requires common purpose and adherence to a shared set of values.   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Silence
p.46   "A cognitive map of space is a combination of the rules of geometry as well as knowledge about the physical world. [...] This knowledge is acquired in childhood and continually modified in our experience as adults, we are not conscious of its existence. When sensing a spatial environment, an individual builds a cognitive map of space using a combination of sensory information and experiences accumulated over a lifetime. [The map] is subjective and personalized -- an active and synthetic creation -- rather than a passive reaction to stimuli."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Cognition Navigation Space
p.49   "In all spatial experiences, there are two perspectives: allocentric, from which objects are perceived relative to a fixed external framework; and egocentric, from which objects are perceived relative to the perceiver."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Autopoiesis Immersion
p.317   The authors begin a chapter on auditory spatial awareness as evolutionary artefact with "the premise that the aural experience of space contributed, at least indirectly, to the reproductive success of our species. From a narrow perspective, our brain evolved specialized auditory substrates that could incorporate spatial attributes into awareness. But, from a broader perspective, auditory spatial awareness also contributes to our ability to thrive in socially complex groups."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Evolution and Sound
p.323   Summarizing Nicholas Humphrey's (2000) view "that evolution progressively shifted sensory awareness of external stimuli from publicly observable reactions to private experiences."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Evolution and Sound
p.15   The authors define attentive listening as an intense focusing on sound often with the eyes shut.   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
p.16   The authors distinguish between soundscape and aural architecture. The former emphasizes sound which has intrinsic importance. The latter emphasizes space and sounds serve merely to illustrate that space. A subtle and not necessarily relevant distinction.   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Soundscape
pp.25–26   The concept of an acoustic arena is a powerful one particularly when the occupant has some power in shaping it.   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Acoustic ecology
p.30   Urban growth led to a shrinkage of the public acoustic arena -- e.g. bells would not carry so far from one village to the next but were now masked by other buildings.   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
pp.34–35   Social spheres are defined by social distances or proxemic distances whereby different distances (from 9.5m to > 4m) are used to limit proximity to other persons and therefore access to a private acoustic arena. Technology (e.g. audio technology) has overturned these rules and complete strangers can now vocalize within a person's private arena through the agency of headphones and an intimate sound balance.   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
pp.35–46   A discussion on auditory spatial awareness. Conclusions, based mainly on case studies of blind people:

  • Auditory spatial awareness is a skill that must be learnt and is difficult to learn.
  • Different aural cultures have different abilities and there is no one sensitivity to aural space; rather a group of independent sensory skills (some more aware of spatial volumes, others more aware of objects in that space).
  • Controlled experiments showing humans have give auditory spatial awareness should be treated with care as they are artificial and, in testing one spatial factor, usually remove other potentially confusing factors.
  Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Perception Realism Sensation
p.51   The authors make a distinction between architectural embellishments that are active sources or are passive filters (e.g. fountain and resonant alcove) and draw a parallel to light (e.g. candle and mirror).   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
pp.51–52   Local embellishments (fountain and alcove) affect only part of a larger area and are only heard close up whereas global embellishments affect all of that larger space e.g. reverberation). Typically, visual objects are local whereas acoustic objects are global.   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Autopoiesis
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