Leah Barclay is an Australian interdisciplinary artist, creative producer, composer and researcher who specialises in electroacoustic music, sound art and acoustic ecology. Her work has been commissioned, performed and exhibited to wide acclaim across Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, Europe, India, South Africa, China and Korea. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and has directed and curated interdisciplinary projects across the Asia-Pacific.
Leah composes complex sonic environments that draw attention to changing climates and endangered ecosystems. These works are realised through immersive performances and multi-sensory installations drawing on environmental field recordings, data sonification, multi-channel sound diffusion, live performers and ephemeral projections. Leah has received critical acclaim for her immersive performances, installations and large-scale community projects that explore volatile locations ranging from the south west deserts of North America to the floor of the Australian ocean. Her most recent installation transformed the Eiffel Tower into the centre of Amazon Rainforest for COP21 in Paris.
Leah’s diverse creative practice has resulted in a career where she works as an artist, consultant, educator and researcher with various organisations and institutions. These include designing immersive education programs for UNESCO, directing large-scale interdisciplinary research projects for major universities across Australia and the USA and facilitating partnerships between communities, NGOs and government to explore creative approaches to climate action.
Leah is the president of the Australian Forum for Acoustic Ecology and the founder and artistic director of Biosphere Soundscapes, a large-scale interdisciplinary project exploring the changing soundscapes of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves across the world. She is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at Griffith University where she is leading a portfolio of acoustic ecology research at the Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre.
Composer website: leahbarclay.com
Sounding Zameen, an electro-acoustic composition.
Sounding Zameen explores the stories of displaced communities along the Narmada River in North India. To date over 30 million people have been internally displaced, and the resulting Indigenous activist movement – the Narmada Bachao Andolan – has become one of the most successful and sophisticated in contemporary history. This sound material in this composition is all drawn from the site and was recorded in 2011 when we met and lived with communities that are gradually being submerged due to large scale dam development in their region.
Featured in Playlist 2 – Other-worldly Waves (28/02/2015)
Guest curator of playlist: Sonic Environment Waves July 2016