Listening to Earth uses recorded sound and storytelling to capture histories and memories that sound in ongoing vibration both above and below Earth’s surface. This work asks: If we no longer assume an anthropocentric orientation to truth, and instead assume the interdependence of species, ecologies, and temporalities, can an approach to listening to Earth help reorient human contributions to storytelling about Earth in a more responsible and ecological way? This project develops creative installations as a way to analyze recorded sounds and measurements of water and Earth from Iceland, Antarctica, Mongolia, and Australia to decode forms of ecological memory and story not yet understood.

Listening to Earth offers temporal investigations of our changing environment through the collection and subsequent translation of recorded sound into past and future imaginaries using spatial installation, written word, and composition. On this page I highlight a number of the projects that have come out of this body of research, each of which serve as form of analysis of field recordings made of Earth. An example of one such work is an 8.3 channel spatially composed soundscape made from recordings taken in inter-tidal zone areas in NSW, Australia of water and seismic vibration under the ocean and on the land. This installation was presented in Singapore at the Performers(‘) Present 2023: International Artistic Research Symposium held at National University of Singapore’s Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music. Through this work my collaborator Damien Ricketson and I ask audiences to consider how we can listen and connect to Earth’s stored memories through a sonic investigation of its oceans.  Is it possible that through the sensorium of listening and vibrational stimuli we can access a connection to stored and shared pasts, to deeply embedded and held Earth stories, and through these to a connection and deeper understanding of our changing environment?

Listening to Earth has been under development since 2021 and relies on transdisciplinary collaboration with artists, scientists, and scholars. The research and resulting creative work has been supported through fellowships, scholarships, grant funding and in-kind resources from a number of collaborating organizations. These include, Oxford Centre for Life-Writing, Smithsonian Institute, Sydney Environment Institute, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at University of Sydney, United States Government Public Diplomacy Fund, Mount Holyoke College’s Alumnae Fellowship, and the Powerhouse Museum.

Photo Gallery

Research Projects