Leah Barclay | TEMPORAL ENCOUNTERS (2016)
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Temporal Encounters is a multi-channel electroacoustic performance created for ‘Atmospheres‘ at Brown University in Providence.  

Each year, the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society sponsors an interdisciplinary program under the title of “Earth, Itself,” designed to stimulate conversations and collaborations across the natural and social sciences, humanities and the arts. On April 28-30, 2016, Atmospheres, explores air, climate and the environment. The event explores such topics as atmospheric circulation and weather; air as habitat—insects and birds; air pollution and quality of air; and legislating, governing and controlling air.

Temporal Encounters explores a series of in situ field recordings from UNESCO biosphere reserves across the world. Biosphere reserves are sites recognised under UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Program (MAB) to reconcile the conservation of biological and cultural diversity and act as learning laboratories for sustainability. There are currently 669 biosphere reserves in 120 countries comprising terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems. This piece draws on the inherently interdisciplinary nature of sound to explore the art and science of listening and the role of sound in biosphere reserves. Temporal Encounters traverses multiple ecosystems bringing ordinarily inaudible voices to the surface and delving deeper into unheard acoustic ecologies. In the words of bioacoustician Christopher Clark “the whole world is signing, but we’ve stopped listening”






The featured UNESCO Biosphere Reserves include:

  • Noosa Biosphere Reserve, Australia 
  • Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, Mexico 
  • Great Sandy Biosphere Reserve, Australia 
  • Central Amazon Biosphere Reserve, Brazil
  • Hawaiian Islands Biosphere Reserve, USA