Dr. Diana Chester is a sound studies scholar, composer, educator, and artist whose work uses sound to traverse disciplinary boundaries and explore sonic capacities core to the human condition. This work draws from sound studies, archival studies, and the ethnographic study of expressive culture in religious festivals and traditions. Chester’s research is largely practice-based and relies on field recording and composition to explore diverse sonic contexts around the world working fluidly with multilingual, environmental, and data generated sounds.
Chester’s monograph, Sonic Encounters: The Islamic Call to Prayer is a glimpse into the creative, methodological, and artistic implications of a 10-year research project making field recordings of (adhan) the Islamic call to prayer, and sits alongside a broader body of academic and creative work including numerous journal articles, sonic compositions, and solo exhibitions. These include a solo album, articles in the Journal of Sonic Studies and ECHO at the Orpheus Institute, and solo exhibitions in five countries, which include the InterArtsCenter in Sweden, Gallery25 in Australia, Gallery 4211 in the UAE, and a forthcoming soundscape currently being developed for the Smithsonian in Washington DC.
Chester is currently a Lecturer in Media Practice at the University of Sydney, and has held visiting academic positions at TISCH School of the Arts, Yale-NUS College, and Duke University, as well as been an artist in residence at NMEMNM Digital Residency for Music and Sound Cultures, Inter Arts Centre in Malmo, Sweden, and in 2022 will spend a month in residence at ArtsIceland. Dr. Chester received a BA from Mount Holyoke College, a Masters Degree from Columbia University, and a Doctorate from the University of Porto. You can find more information on Dr. Chester’s CV.