Sound Art competition explores rising sea levels, response to eco-crisis

The 2014 Development & Climate Days Story and Sound Art competition invited entrants to produce sound compositions that depict rising sea levels

(Rising sea levels can be illustrated in a number of artistic ways (Photo: Andrea Della Adriano via Creative Commons)

The winners of the Development and Climate Days 2014 competition – Sound Art category evoke rising sea levels and the challenge of tackling extreme poverty and greenhouse gas emissions.

Born in Buenos Aires, Daniel Quaranta has lived in Brazil since 1995. He holds a doctorate in Musicology, and is now a professor at Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora where he researches and teaches composition.

His work is called "Resignificamar" and it "combines the sounds of different waves: from the Pacific Ocean (México, Chile), and Atlantic ocean (Brasil y Argentina), together with the noise of flotsam and jetsam from various beaches," says Daniel. "The composition intends to reconnect us with our natural environment."

The second Sound Art category invited entrants to produce compositions on the theme of ‘zero poverty, zero emissions’. Here, the selected entry is Jaime Reis of Portugal, a PhD candidate (Musicology) – which is titled "Omniscience is a collective".

Jaime explains: "Omniscience is a Collective" (2009-13) is a piece divided into multiple parts. The first part is an electroacoustic work that was premiered in November 2009 for more than 3,000 people in a concert with Portuguese famous rock band Blasted Mechanism and sculptor Pedro Carvalho, in Lisbon.

The piece makes use of recordings with voices from young leaders from 43 Asian and European countries, recorded in the woods of Solvalla, Finland in 2009, and Mount Fuji, Japan in 2010. In more than 15 different languages, they are heard expressing concerns about world problems. The main concept of the piece is that omniscience is a state that can only be achieved by collective humanity, and that humans must create and share knowledge.

The use of different languages has both musical and conceptual meanings. The musical developments evolve both in the use of multiple languages, their phonetic idiosyncrasies and the musical textures in the instruments. This creates textures and semantic levels that can only be understood by the audience as a communicative group that discusses and reflects the different elements and meanings.

The 2014 Development & Climate Days Story and Sound Art competition was run by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) in partnership with the Electronic Arts Research and Experimentation Centre (CEIArtE-UNTREF) of the National University of Tres de Febrero, Argentinaand support from the Music Department and the Hexagram Network for Research-Creation in Media Arts, Design and Digital Culture of Concordia University, Canada. The judges were Ricardo Dal Farra, Fabián Luna, Raúl Minsburg and  Marcelo Santorelli.