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SoundScapeIssue 02 41Sounding Brighton those in charge of the design, management and use of cities must take more responsibility for the sonic implications of their actions. We need to take as much care of our soundscapes as of townscapes and landscapes. NAS managing director, Lisa Lavia, explores one city's responseSound affects everything we do. It is fundamental to the health and wellbeing of all life and is a crucial building block for civilisation. It could be called the first element. Before the onslaught of visual media the importance of sound, hearing and listening was overtly understood to be critical to life. But in modern life, we are continually bombarded by noises, and listening has, for many of us, become a 'Cinderella' sense. However, we can develop new ways of listening - and take more control of our listening. To help respond to this need and encourage better public understanding of the associated issues, the Noise Abatement Society (NAS) developed Sounding Brighton supported by the European funded COST (European

SoundScapeIssue 02 42Cooperation in Science and Technology) Action on the Soundscapes of European Cities and Landscapes; and the International Organisation for Standardization Working Group 54 on The Perceptual Assessment of Soundscape Quality. In April 2011 the pioneering initiative commenced with a workshop hosted with Brighton and Hove City Council in England to facilitate exchange between international soundscape experts and community, government and local government stakeholders. The primary focus was on soundscape issues related to the health, quality of life and restorative functions of the environment. The workshop provided opportunities to discuss how soundscape concepts might, alongside tackling conventional noise problems, contribute to local planning and environmental improvement in Brighton and Hove in a range of environments, e.g. the seafront, foreshore, historic terraces, squares, lanes, parks and gardens. Perhaps most importantly it encouraged exploration of new ways of listening to local soundscapes and new ways of tackling noise and improving local soundscape quality.To this end, on 29th October 2011, the NAS along with Brighton and Hove City Council, Brighton & Hove Arts Commission and the COST Action on Soundscapes co-commissioned a series of sonic artworks, produced especially for White Night, the city's annual all night arts and cultural festival. The works were designed to provoke debate, challenge notions of sound in public spaces and initiate innovative explorations to help solve noise disturbance in urban environments. The project was part of White Night's commitment to 'new work' and 'new approaches' through cultural solutions for wider social concerns.A night to rememberFocused around the festival's theme of 'Utopias' the following programme set out to raise awareness of new possibilities for quality soundscapes through immersive sonic experiences, using artistic and musical interpretations and interactive lectures:West Street Story - an original 3D outdoor soundscape installation transforming the atmosphere and ambience in the heart of Brighton's cacophonous clubbing area, was created by Martyn Ware of The Illustrious Company. Martyn, a founder member of The Human League and Heaven 17, is a musician committed to helping the public understand positive soundscaping. Situated in part of West Street, in the heart of Brighton's night life, the installation consisted of two rows of speakers and created a 3D soundscape, through which people walked. Martyn presented original compositions of both recorded and live sounds from a kiosk at the side of the street. The soundscape presented a contrast to the raucous disharmony so frequently heard in lively areas at night, and connected with visitors to the area and residents, as well as those exiting the clubs. Come Together - a special event exploring 'sound and rapport', in Brighton University's Sallis Benney Theatre, where audio from West Street Story and live footage of crowds in the West Street area was fi lmed and broadcast by Driftwood Productions. There, psychobiologist and communications expert Dr Harry Witchel facilitated three entertaining, interactive, masterclasses about Body Language, Music and Social Territory. These enabled participants to analyse the effects of soundscapes on the body language and behaviour of people in general, as well as those fi lmed during White Night. Dr Witchel, from Brighton and Sussex Medical School, is also well known as a media personality and body language commentator for Big Brother. He is author of You Are What You Hear, How Music and Territory Make Us Who We Are. Sounding out the Museum - Peter Vogel Retrospective Exhibition, staged by Brighton University, was the fi rst exhibition in the UK of Vogel's pioneering and infl uential sound sculptures, which were activated by the movement, gestures and sound emanating from audiences as they entered the space. Julian Treasure and Dr John Drever, both sound experts, ran interactive lectures in Brighton's independent coffee houses, as part of a wider programme for White Night involving independently minded thinkers. They demonstrated how certain sounds, which are fi tting in one space, are disturbances in another. Sounding Brighton is encouraging exploration of new ways of listening to soundscapes, tackling noise and improving local soundscape quality Martyn Ware from Illustrious composed West Street Story