Kristen Bellisario, adjunct professor in the Music in General Studies Department, has taught Music in Multimedia since 2002. As an invited speaker, she co-presented “Arts and Humanities: A Call to Action” at the second annual Global Sustainable Soundscapes Network, NSF CNH RCN Sonoran Desert Workshop, with Bryan Pijanowski, Professor of Landscape Ecology in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources at Purdue University from July 12-17 in Oracle, AZ.
The Global Sustainable Soundscapes Network is a group of ecologists and acousticians who study sound and how people perceive sound. The goals of the network are to monitor various sites collecting sound data; develop a common vocabulary, long-term monitoring standards, and metadata standards for acoustic data; increase awareness of this new field; and increase public awareness of their acoustic connection to nature.
After attending the workshop last year and presenting data in a poster presentation about sound maps in Baraboo, Wisconsin, Bellisario connected with artist Andrea Polli, Associate Professor in Fine Arts and Engineering at The University of New Mexico. Through this collaboration, Bellisario created a sound walk project for her students and presented a methods talk for sound walks at the 2013 GSSN workshop.
In April 2013, Bellisario discussed the perspective of a musician on how climate change, development and invasive species threaten natural soundscapes in the National Audubon Magazine’s article, “Recording Our Planet’s Acoustic Heritage.” Natural soundscapes are layers of sound, like in a symphony, that can be heard in the landscape. Bellisario continues, “I listen everywhere I go – in the car, at the café on the street, the noises found in a public space, and all the creatures beneath our manmade layers of sound. This is a crucial listening skill when developing sound for media – thinking of textural richness and diversity. But, more importantly, it reminds me of how fragile the sound ecosystem is. What if these sounds are lost forever?”