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Sonic Environments

  • Cooroora Institute 780 Cooroy Belli Ck Rd 4563 Australia (map)

Listening to place: sonic adventures

Join Vanessa Tomlinson, Leah Barclay and Tamsin Kerr for a day exploring the sonic environments and acoustic ecologies of place. The morning will start with a sound walk and listening activities followed by presentation and discussion about the practice and philosophy of listening, recording, improvising, composing, and celebrating the many layered sounds of place. The afternoon will be a listening museum of transient installations and performances celebrating the acoustic ecologies of the Cooroora Institute. Participants will have the opportunity to join improvisations, collaborate on site-responsive installations or explore and discover sonic environments throughout the landscape. 

9:30am to 5pm Sunday 20th November

Full day catered: $75/$45

 Register your interest now, or purchase your ticket.

Vanessa Tomlinson is a percussionist, composer and improviser, dedicated to exploring sound through collaborations and deep listening. She is one-half of the innovative and energetic ensemble Clocked Out and also heads the percussion department at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University. As both improviser and composer, Vanessa works on place-based work and has been commissioned by Queensland Music Festival, The Piano Mill, Tyalgum Festival, Australian Percussion Gathering and many more.

For more than 20 years, Vanessa has been at the forefront of contemporary music making in Australia. Providing the nation with Australian premieres by composers as diverse as Ferneyhough, Xenakis, Reich, and Feldman alongside more than 100 new works by Australian composers, she is a vital part of the Australian soundscape. Her Australia Council Project Fellowship allows her to continue this work and develop further partnerships with leading Australian composers. 


Dr Leah Barclay is an Australian sound artist, composer and researcher working at the intersection of art, science and technology. She specialises in electroacoustic music, acoustic ecology and emerging fields of biology exploring environmental patterns and changes through sound. Her work has been commissioned, performed and exhibited to wide acclaim internationally by organisations including UNESCO, Ear to the Earth, Streaming Museum, Al Gore’s Climate Reality and the IUCN. She creates complex sonic environments, immersive live performances, interactive installations and augmented reality experiences that draw attention to changing climates and fragile ecosystems. She is currently the director of Biosphere Soundscapes which is mapping the changing soundscapes of UNESCO biosphere reserves and a postdoctoral research fellow at the Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre where she is leading a portfolio of research in acoustic ecology and climate change. 


Dr Tamsin Kerr is the director of the Cooroora Institute, sharing the song of the earth through creative practice. Tamsin has presented and spoken all around the world on the connections between culture and nature, place and creativity. Her PhD, Conversations with the Bunyip, includes a mythic and Indigenous understanding of place. She has award-winning short creative writing about nature and memoir, and art and heritage, as well as being a sought-after guest speaker. Through the Cooroora Institute, Tamsin runs courses on the poetics of place and collaborates with local and international artists and musicians in partnership with the hinterland environment and its ecology.

Later Event: December 7
Monica Chau residency