about us

is an interdisciplinary seminar and a platform for discussions on theory, practice and aesthetics of field recording.

Seminar is founded in December 2019 and is based at the RAS Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology. Since spring 2020 seminar meetings take place online, since February 2021 both online and offline.

Field sound recordings — be it an interview or a soundscape, an audio-track for video or a registration of the sound waves that a human being is unable to hear – all these are usual elements of research and artistic practices. During last 1,5 century the possibility of sound recording was transforming from being a technological miracle to something quite trivial and generally available for masses. Sound recording industry is developing first of all in the relation to the inquiry for a high-quality, realistic or peculiar sounding of the voice, music instruments, noises and other sounds, which are used in entertainment content production (music, cinema/animation, video, television, games, radio et c..)

Nevertheless, there is no clearness in what is the status of the recordings of a «natural», unprepared, documental sound – it’s changing, being dependent both on the purpose of these recording creation and on the playback context. In general, we might outline three perspectives for field sound recognition and use:

  • instrumental (recording is a way to transmit and circulate information)
  • museum-documental (recorded sound proves the realness of some past event)
  • aesthetic (audio recording is a way of creating self-sufficient sensory experience)

The experience of the sound recordings perception is anyway defined by the status/role that we attribute to these recordings. Rethinking the status of a sound caught in the field would allow us, on the one hand, to take a closer look on some important details in the human-to-technologies relationships, and on the other hand, would induce us to treat more delicately and attentively the sounding environment, its importance and meaning.

«Zvuk v pole» // «Sound in the Field» seminar is a series of meetings, where specialists from various domains and areas of activities (from anthropology, ethnomusicology, philology and linguistics to sound-art, sound-design, acoustics and architecture) discuss following questions:

  • how and why we use sound recording in the field work?
  • why we go «to the field» to record sounds?
  • how we interpret and use these sounds?
  • why we keep and value them?
  • what happens when we public field recordings? how do we re-contextualize them?
  • what is the role of sound recording technology in research practices and cultural products creation?
  • what we do to sounds when we record them?

The seminar’s goal is to build a platform of discussion on sound as a cultural, physical and psychic phenomenon and to foster sharing experience of theoretical rethinking and practical applications of the sound recording technologies in various area of research, industrial and creative activity.

Go to this page to meet our team and get some links to our pages in facebook, youtube and more.

Announcements and seminars’ archive is here.