Brona Martin is an Electroacoustic composer and sound artist from Banagher, Co. Offaly, Ireland. Brona has recently completed a PhD in Electroacoustic Composition under the supervision of Professor David Berezan at NOVARS Research Centre, University of Manchester. Her research interests include narrative in Electroacoustic music, soundscape composition and acoustic ecology. Her site specific works composed in stereo, 5.1 and 8-channel have included the creative exploration of soundscapes from Ireland, Manchester, West Coast Australia, Spain and Germany. Her works have been performed internationally at EMS, ACMC, ICMC, NYCEMF, ISSTA, NOISEFLOOR, Balance/Unbalance, SSSP, iFIMPaC, Sonorities and MANTIS.
Composer website: www.bronamartin.com
OZ, a soundscape with didgeridoo.
In January 2012 I traveled to Brisbane to visit my parents, to the suburb of Arana Hills, north of the city, where I experienced a whole new soundworld. The birdsong, crickets and frogs presented a new sonic experience. Dawn and dusk presented more excitement in the parks and trees as the animals and birds competed against one another in order to be heard. The unique sounds and melodies of the Bell Bird and the Pied Butcherbird amazed me compared with the harsher calls of the Cockatoo and the Kookaburra. I was a tourist for three weeks and all I had to do was listen.
The field recordings are from the parks around my parents’ house, the suburbs of Brisbane, and further up the coast to Rainbow Beach, Hervey Bay, Fraser Island and the Eco resort of Lady Elliott Island in the Great Barrier Reef. In the parks in Arana Hills I was amazed at how nature and man could live together. Even though the parks were busy with people, wildlife was plentiful, evident by the sounds. I became conscious of how much destruction of wildlife occurs around the world as humans intervene in natural habitats, and animals are forced to find an alternative home. This transforms the soundscape of an area.
This piece is an investigation into the natural soundscapes of these places, an exploration of their geophony (wind, rain, water) and biophony (sounds of plants and animals). It also raises the issue of the impact of human sound, (anthropophony) on these soundscapes and how it can take over and mask natural sound.
I would like to thank Callum Wheeler for playing the didgeridoo.
Featured in Sonic Environment Waves July 2016