PhD Thesis / 博士論文

The thesis is available at Senate House and Goldsmiths Library, University of London


Mapping Sojourners' Soundscapes: Listening Experiences of Taipei Sojourners in London (2010)


This PhD research aims at identifying and presenting ‘sojourners’ soundscapes’. Soundscape here is understood to be an interaction between the physical environment and the listener’s perception. Taking Taipei sojourners in London as a case study, the research suggests that the London soundscape and the auditory memories of Taipei are interconnected, and are shaped by sojourners’ listening experiences of their homeland and the foreign land. Considering it as a space, and reflecting on it through sounds, a presentation of this interconnectivity is a presentation of ‘sojourners’ soundscapes’.

The interconnectivity between the soundscapes of London and Taipei is explored by means of qualitative interviews with Taipei sojourners in London who are requested to nominate and record sounds of the two cities. Through the development of art practices, diverse forms of artworks including an artist’s book with a CD, an Internet sound map and four sound installations were made to finalise Sonic Constellations as the artwork to present sojourners’ soundscapes. An analysis of the close interaction between sound and maps further supports the research in proposing the concept of ‘inter-soundscapes’ as a contribution to related research fields.

Influenced as it is by the mobility of sounds and sojourners, it is important to point out that the sound map produced in this research does not end at the borderline of the London and Taipei soundscapes; it actually projects a bigger horizon. Since these London-based Taipei sojourners are destined to leave London and continue their journey, the map of sojourners’ soundscapes is continuously expanding.

Content List: 

 Introduction 12
 Chapter 1 Art Practices 16
1.1 Artwork 1: Clapham Junction
      1.1.1 Sound diaries
      1.1.2 Clapham Junction: combination of present London sounds and archived Taiwan sounds
1.2 Artworks 2 & 3: London and Taipei: combination of present London sounds and subsequently recorded Taiwan sounds
      1.2.1 Field recordings
      Sound connections for field recordings summarised from my answers
     1.2.2 Artwork 2: London and Taipei (Stereo)
     1.2.3 Artwork 3: London and Taipei (Dolby Digital5.1)
1.3 Conclusion: introducing the concept of 'sonic constellations'
     1.3.1 From Dolby Digital 5.1 to the multi-speaker installation
     1.3.2 'Sonic constellations'
     1.3.3 Next: from personal to public

 Chapter 2 Soundscape: a literature review
2.1 About World Soundscape Project
    2.1.1 History
    2.1.2 Development-- Five Village Soundscapes and other international soundscape researches
2.2 Question 1: What if the researchers were familiar with the targeted soundscapes?
2.3 Question 2: What if the targeted soundscapes were investigated through not only auditory but also visual senses?
2.4 Question 3: What if the listeners were not the natives?
2.5 Conclusions
     2.5.1 Shaping the case study: field work and homework
     2.5.2 Definitions of terms
    'The London-based Taipei sojourners'
              Definition of 'the London-based Taipei sojourners'
   'The London Soundscape'
             The boundary
             The inside: multi-cultural sonic mosaics
             The in-between: interconnectivity
             Definition of 'the London soundscape'
   'Sojourners' soundscapes'
   Restating soundscape
 Chapter 3 Researching 'Sojourners' Soundscapes'
3.1 Research aims and questions
     3.1.1 Questions
     3.1.2 Aims
3.2 Methodologies
     3.2.1 Blending art practices and academic research
   Definition of 'practice-led research'
   My research as a 'practice-led research'
     3.2.2 Blending sound artworks and interview
             Sound diary
             Sound nomination
             Sound drawings and sound maps
  My employment of the interview method
    3.2.3 Blending audio recording and auditory memories
  In Memory studies
  In sound artworks
  My employment of auditory memories
   3.2.4 Proposed methods
 Chapter 4 Collecting sound materials
4.1 The interviewees
4.2 The interview questions
4.3 The interview sessions
    4.3.1 Aims and methods of the sessions
    4.3.2 The duration of the interview procedure
4.4 Conclusions
    4.4.1 Facts or imaginations?-- An extension of the band of listening
    4.4.2 Categorising the nature of sounds nominated by the interviewees
  Regular/predictable sounds and incidental sounds
  Natural sounds and performed sounds
  What are the sounds of Taipei?
    4.4.3 The role of the interviewer
  The scholARTist's interview
  Foreignness and curiosity
  The ethics
    4.4.4 The outcomes
 Chapter 5 Presenting 'sojourners' soundscapes'
5.1 London and Taipei (Installation)
    5.1.1 The aim
    5.1.2 The investigation
    5.1.3 Reflections
5.2 Moments of Recollection
    5.2.1 The aim
    5.2.2 The investigation
    5.2.3 Reflections
5.3 Listen to London with Ten Taipei Sojourners (An artist's book with a CD)
    5.3.1 The aim
    5.3.2 The investigation
    5.3.3 Reflections
5.4 The London-Taipei Sound Map (An Internet sound map)
    5.4.1 The aim
    5.4.2 The investigation
    5.4.3 Reflections
5.5 Sonic Constellations
    5.5.1 The aim
    5.5.2 The installation
  The London and Taipei maps
  The indoor space
  Ten recorded London sounds and twenty-thee recorded Taipei sounds
  The physical interactions between the audience and the sounds
  The assembly
    5.5.3 Reflections
 Chapter 6 Analyses through art practices and theory
6.1 An analysis through art practices
    6.1.1 Extended Acoustic Horizons
    6.1.2 The Inter-soundscapes
    6.1.3 Conclusion
6.2 An analysis through theory: the interactions between sounds and maps
    6.2.1 Moving from a neutral and silent sound map
    6.2.2 Making a sound map audible
    6.2.3 Making a sound map subjective: ;sonic mental/cognitive maps'
    6.2.4 Making a sound map interactive: 'inter-soundscapes'
 Chapter 7 The conclusion: 'Sojourners' soundscapes'
7.1 A modified definition of 'sojourners' soundscapes'
7.2 The nature and potential of 'sojourners' soundscapes'
7.3 The contribution of the research
7.4 The fundamental principles discovered from the research
 1. My sound connections of London-Taipei
 2. An e-mail from an interviewee who decided to drop off
 3. The interview question for the interview session 2, 3, 4 and 5
 4. The informed Consent 1
 5. The informed Consent 2
 6. The form for enquiring the interviewee's personal information
 7. The instruction for listening to the CD London and Taipei
 8. The list of recorded sounds
 9. The results of the interview-- the obtained sounds of London and Taipei in tables
 10. The results of the interview-- the transcripts of the interviewees' reasons of nominations
 11. The report of the pilot interview
 12. Extracted transcripts of the interviewees' responses to the CD London and Taipei
 13. The interviewees' 'chosen places' in London
 14. Details of sounds included in the ten soundtracks of Extended Acoustic Horizons
 15. The postcards of The Inter-soundscapes
 Bibliographies 267
 1. Clapham Junction (DVD, 8 channels)
 2. London and Taipei (DVD, 5.1)
 3. The documentation of the field recordings (DVD, Stereo)
 4. The soundtracks for Moments of Recollection (CD, Stereo)
 5. The documentation of London-Taipei Sound Map (DVD, Stereo)
 6. The 33 sounds used in Sonic Constellations (CD, Mono)
 7. The soundtracks for Extended Acoustic Horizons (CD, Stereo)
 CD album
 1. London and Taipei (Stereo)
 Artist's book
 1. Listen with Ten Taipei Sojourners in London (with CD, Stereo)