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Lecturer creates sound arts project

Date posted: Thursday 15 Dec 2011

Swinburne film and television lecturer Gerald Mair is the brains behind Melbourne’s newest innovative sound arts project, Docklands SoundWalk.

The first of its kind in Australia, the SoundWalk uses quick response (QR) codes to explore the history of the Docklands. Using only a Smart Phone and headphones, listeners are immersed into a snapshot of the time, through narration, actors’ voices and specialised soundscapes. 

“What makes this SoundWalk different from other walking or audio tours is that it integrates conventional narration with evocative, impressionistic and in some cases abstract soundscapes,” Mair said.

The audio episodes provide a broad history of the area such as the early settlement of Melbourne and the rapid globalisation and changes in the shipping industry during the Seventies.

“Sound offers the interesting potential of providing a way to establish a new relationship with the Docklands and encourages listeners to appreciate the area in a new way,” he said.

The experience is designed to be straightforward, user friendly and easily accessed, with the whole SoundWalk only containing approximately 5MB of data. The starting point is the Docklands Hub on Harbor Esplanade, where an information panel gives instructions about the walk and how to scan the QR codes to listen to the audio episodes.

Walkers need a Smart Phone with a scanning application to scan the QR code, which directs the phone to the Docklands SoundWalk mobile website. There are 10 episodes in total and the whole tour takes approximately one hour. 

The Docklands SoundWalk is supported by the City of Melbourne, through the Arts Grants Program and will be live until 12 March 2012



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