Show Calendar


“Some biologists have made it their calling to use their special knowledge and education to look at the natural world from the ecological perspectives. Why then should composers and musicians not make it their calling to use their special knowledge and education to listen to the world from the ecological perspective?” -- Hildegard Westerkamp - 2002

Join us for Acoustic Ecologies - three days of talks, discussions, concerts, films and installations arts with environmentally engaged artists and researchers from the University of Sussex and around the globe. Centred on a celebration of the music and ideas of Hildegard Westerkamp (DE/ US), other artists include: Leah Barclay (AU), Angus Carlyle (UK), Anja Kanngieser (AU), Annie Mahtani (UK), Jez Riley French (UK), Steven Feld (US), Yolande Harris (US), Hanna Tuulikki (FI) & Voces del Bosque (EC) plus new works from Sussex Music students Dylan Beattie, Ryan Bridgewater, Catherine Ireton, J. Luis Berna Moya, Pete Myson and Max Worgan.

Hildegard Westerkamp (1946-) is a soundmaker, teacher and thinker who is celebrated today as the mother of acoustic ecology - the study of the sonically mediated, reciprocal relationships between the environment and its inhabitants. Westerkamp’s pioneering work at the intersections of composition, environmentalism, acoustic communication, radio arts, listening practices and soundwalking activate an awareness of sound as a decisive dimension of the world, an idea that underpins, and is transforming contemporary thinking across social, political, artistic and scientific practices of environmental respect and concern.

Acoustic Ecologies celebrates Hildegard Westerkamp’s vision of the artist/composer as a crafts person, trained in all disciplines of sound, and as someone entirely connected to and useful in the real world; Acoustic Ecologies highlights the valuable interactions between artistic and scientific concepts and methods for engaging with the soundscape; Acoustic Ecologies explores the role of listening in developing environmental understanding, empathy, communication and action.

The Festival of Music and Ideas is a collaboration between the Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts and the Department of Music, University of Sussex. Artistic Director, Dr. Alice Eldridge.

Links to events:

Hildegard Westerkamp & the Path of Acoustic Ecology

Acoustic Ecologies Installations

Voices of the Rainforest

Dew Pond #1

Away with the Birds artist talk

Voicing Environments

UK and Ireland Soundscape Community Network Meeting

Dates & Times

Wednesday 29 January, 2020
– Saturday 01 February, 2020


  • Voicing Environments
    £5 / £3
  • UK and Ireland Soundscape Community Network Meeting
    £20 / £10
  • All other events
Acoustic Ecologies Festival
Wednesday 29 January  – Saturday 01 February
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