Sonification and the Field Recording

In this video, Jon Wargo (Lynch School of Education and Human Development, Boston College, USA) discusses the use of sound and sonic methodologies in his research.

Wargo introduces an approach to think about sound as a signifier to give meaning to a child’s voice or about a particular cause or issue that they are aware of. More specifically, he presents a project in which young children produced field recordings of the ambient backdrop of their cities. He contends that sound can be a resource to signify “that which was there but is no more,” with an example of birds that have disappeared due to climate change.

He also discusses tensions between sound and noise in early years settings, and the importance of re-envisioning noise and reflecting the way we qualify voice in early learning.

In order to work with sound in these ways, Wargo encourages us, as researchers and early years educators, to do some “unlearning” and “re-educate” the senses to think about how we take for granted inaudible sound and make it audible.

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