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Seminar by Rob Mackay - Following the Flight of the Monarchs

November 11, 2020
13:00 - 14:00

Virtual Music Events at Queen's returns with a seminar from Dr. Rob Mackay, Simply sign up via Eventbrite to receive an email invitation.

Rob Mackay is a composer, sound artist and performer. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in Composition at Newcastle University.

Recent projects have moved towards a cross-disciplinary approach, soundscape ecology, audiovisual installation work, and human-computer interaction. His work has been performed in 18 countries (including broadcasts on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 1 and Radio France), and a number of his pieces have received international awards (Bourges, Hungarian Radio, La Muse en Circuit). He has held composer residencies at Slovak Radio (Bratislava), La Muse en Circuit (Paris), the Tyrone Guthrie Arts Centre (Ireland), Habitación del Ruido (Mexico City), CMMAS (Morelia), and the University of Virginia.

He was director of HEARO (Hull Electroacoustic Resonance Orchestra) and is editor for Interference, a journal of audio cultures. He is currently Chair of UKISC (UK and Ireland Soundscape Community). Several CDs and Vinyl are available including Rob’s Work.

‘Following the Flight of the Monarchs’, is an interdisciplinary acoustic ecology project bringing together artists and scientists, connecting with ecosystems and communities along the migration routes of monarch butterflies as they travel the 3,000 mile journey between Mexico and Canada each year. The project, led by Rob Mackay at Newcastle University, connects with the international BIOM project led by Leah Barclay at Griffith University ( and SoundCamp ( to map the changing soundscapes of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves through art, science and technology.

Streamboxes are being installed along the monarch butterfly migration routes between Canada and Mexico. These will livestream the soundscapes of these different ecosystems 24/7 via the Locus Sonus Soundmap ( The first of the boxes was successfully installed in the Cerro Pelón UNESCO monarch butterfly reserve in Mexico in 2018. The streams are being used for ecosystem monitoring as well as integrating into artworks which are raising awareness of the issues the monarchs face, who’s numbers have declined by nearly 90% over the past two decades.

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Event Organiser Details
Name Amanda Kirkpatrick