Sonic Urbanism: Listening to Non-Human Life Publication Launch

Theatrum Mundi presents,

Sonic Urbanism: Listening to Non-Human Life Publication Launch

Wednesday 26 January 2022 | 7:30pm [7pm doors]

General Admission [including publication]: £8.50
Members Only [including publication]: £4.50
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Theatrum Mundi invites you to celebrate the launch of the third publication in the Sonic Urbanism series edited by &beyond for Theatrum Mundi. In this edition, contributors listen to the cacophony of human noise to hear the voices of non-human agents. From parrots and pigeons to crystals and electrical substations, the complex depth and variety of city soundscapes reveal new ways to understand life among urban ecologies.

The physical publication comes with a parallel digital publication that can be read, heard and watched at Join us for an evening of discussion, performance and music, opening with a screening of Your Mating Call Is Important To Us: A Sonic Apothecary for Synanthropes, by The Sousrealists, 2021 (8 minutes).

The screening will be followed by a discussion with The Sousrealists, and Sonic Urbanism contributors John Bingham-Hall (Theatrum Mundi), George Kafka (&beyond), and Matilde Meireles. The evening will also feature a live performance of Sunnyside by Matilde Meireles, and culminate with a selection of tracks evocative of the non-human in many of its incarnations by Theatrum Mundi curator Andrea Cetrulo.


Your Mating Call Is Important To Us: A Sonic Apothecary for Synanthropes, by The Sousrealists, 2021 (8 minutes):
As Rachel Carson’s book, “Silent Spring,” first noted, the decrease in sonic activity of an ecosystem may point to larger health issues at play. For example, due to human noise pollution, birds and insects often have to adjust the sound frequencies of their calls just to be heard by one another. If soundscape ecology uses sound to monitor the health of ecosystems, what if sonic prescriptions could heal them? In this fictional history, we glimpse rival factions debating this question, including The Resounders, whose Sonic Apothecary emits elixirs for the given ills of the urban environment.

Created by The Sousrealists, a creative research collective: MariaEugenia Dominguez, Hannah Rose Fox, Anjali Nair, Miriam Young Credits: Jmar Reid – “Shushers” Voiceover, Billie Seeland – Audio Mastering, Mark Avery – “Great Tit Birdsong” (CC BY-SA 4.0). Additional SFX via Zapsplat.

Sunnyside live performance by Matilde Meireles:
In a time when human contact is restricted for safety reasons, contact in Sunnyside takes place by – literally – listening closely to the sounds of objects which are very much part of Matilde’s domestic daily life during the initial lockdown on Sunnyside Street (Belfast, NI). These include a wide variety of textures captured with different types of contact microphones, and multiple layers of electromagnetic interference caused by the growing use of electronic devices and the internet.

The recordings form the basis of an exploration of the micro and extra-human sounds produced by the physical and virtual objects such as the radiator, the kettle, the shower, or the internet. The Sousrealists are a creative research collective on a quest to unpack what lies underneath, unquestioned. Through their experiments in multi-sensory making, performance, and creative writing, they question and subvert the default ways humans relate to ourselves, others, and our fellow Earthly lifeforms. The collective consists of MariaEugenia Dominguez, Hannah Rose Fox, Anjali Nair, and Miriam Young, with occasional collaborations from rabbits Spot and Thumpkins”.

Matilde Meireles is a recordist, sound artist, and researcher who makes use of field recordings to compose site-oriented projects. She holds a PhD in Sonic Arts from the Sonic Arts Research Centre, Queen’s University Belfast, and is currently a Research Fellow at University of Oxford in the project ‘Sonorous Cities: Towards a Sonic Urbanism’.

John Bingham-Hall is the Director of Theatrum Mundi. He has a PhD in Architectural Space and Computation from University College London, where he is Honorary Senior Lecturer at UCL STEaPP. He has also held posts at LSE Cities and Central Saint Martins in London.

&beyond collective is an international collective of editors, writers and graphic designers specialising in print and digital publishing in architecture and design.The editors of this project are George Kafka and Sophie Lovell, with creative direction and graphic design by Diana Portela and editorial assistance by Fiona Shipwright and Rob Wilson.

Andrea Cetrulo is Associate Programme Curator at Theatrum Mundi, and has an affinity for architecture, philosophy, the Atlantic Ocean, and wine. She studied Sociology at the University of Barcelona, and Urban Studies at University College London. She shares her life-long fascination with the occult through her monthly show on Noods, a UK independent radio station.