Transient soundscape production

Creative and pedagogical significance for educators and practitioners


Over the past decade, there has been a steady increase of scholarly output examining the multidisciplinary, creative, and theoretical aspects of sound and music production in the recording studio and beyond (Zagorski-Thomas & Bourbon, 2020; Bennett & Bates, 2019; Hepworth- Sawyer, Hodgson, & Marrington, 2019; Thompson, 2019; Zagorski-Thomas, 2014; Frith & Zagorski-Thomas, 2012). Accordingly, a broad range of literature examines sound as a widespread cultural phenomenon (Papenburg & Schulze, 2016) and an essential source for pedagogical and ethnographic modeling in music technology education (Bell, 2018). Advances in technology make the “studio,” long viewed as a site of artistic and commercial production, available to a broader group of composers, musicians, and artists. Similarly, portable digital recorders afford sound artists and fi eld recordists an expansive range of choices to conduct soundscape research and creative practice. What emerges is a hybrid “composer- producer” identity and a studio’s function in the artistic process. This growth is the rise of an independent and transient practice in soundscape production among multidisciplinary composers and musicians. This article advocates for an updated notion of soundscape composition that integrates fi eld recordings, studio production, and collaboration from musicians representing a broad range of stylistic infl uences. Positioning the studio as a site of cultural production and creativity has implications for how soundscape production is taught to young composers. The author argues for a more inclusive, process-oriented view on both creativity and the places where musicians, composers, and producers work. The article includes a case study from the author’s recent album project, narrative analysis, concluding with a discussion on the pedagogical implications of independent soundscape production in education.


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How to Cite
Walzer, D. (2021). Transient soundscape production. SoundEffects - An Interdisciplinary Journal of Sound and Sound Experience, 10(1), 142-157.