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The £800,000 grant by the Arts and Humanities Research Council is one of the largest to be awarded to the university’s Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

The research will explore how sound and music underpin activism and political agendas, as well as transform experiences of conflict.The Mitchell Institute will lead this innovative study into the role of sound, music and digital media in conflict and post-conflict regions around the world.  It will bring together an interdisciplinary team of researchers from Anthropology, Music, English and Politics. Pedro Rebelo, Professor of Sonic Arts at Queen’s is a co-investigator in the project led by Professor Fiona Magowan (Anthropology). This project will further develop research by the Sonic Arts Research Centre in the area of participatory and socially engaged arts. A practice-based project will take place in Derry and will result in a sound installation that will be showcased in a Rio de Janeiro favela leading to a reflection on the implications of conflict in the two cities. This builds on Professor Rebelo’s research in the area of sound as a way of articulating identity, memory and place. The project is due to begin in January 2017.

Click here for more information

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Sound Gardens for NI Hospice
Northern Ireland Hospice - new building, Somerton Rd
The Sonic Arts Research Centre has been commissioned to install and develop content for three sound gardens for the re-built Northern Ireland Hospice building on Somerton Road, Belfast.  
The project will help contribute to create a calm, yet uplifting atmosphere, engage patients and visitors through changing sound environments and create sensory garden spaces through soundscapes.
Director of Research, Professor Pedro Rebelo and SARC Technical Coordinator, Mr Craig Jackson will lead the project which began in August 2015 and will continue into the beginning of 2016 when building work is due for completion.
The audio in each of the three spaces will have different design treatments to reflect their architecture and use. The development of sonic materials will be based on a participative process with current patients and staff.  This will allow us to make use of sound in a reflective manner, triggering sonic memories or transporting listeners to another place.  For example the seaside, or birdcalls at dawn.
Multiple loudspeakers will be located in each of the gardens, carefully located to immerse each of the spaces in an ambient cloud of sound.  This might include loudspeakers hidden in planting or positioned at at height.    
Undergraduate and PhD students at SARC will be contributing to the creation of the sound environments.  They will also be undertaking research into the appropriate use of different soundscapes in this type of setting by performing several workshops with patients and staff.  
This project has developed from another SARC installation, The Soundscape Park Project. A permanent sound installation in Bridge Community Garden, East Belfast (  It is anticipated that SARC will continue to feed into these sonic garden installations and continue to develop new and immersive sounds to make pleasurable outdoor environments.
For more information about either project please contact either Prof Pedro Rebelo or Craig Jackson

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Patchblocks - A KickStarter Project by Sebastian Heinz

Sebastian Heinz, a PhD student at SARC will soon be releasing his KickStarter project, Patchblocks.  Sebastian, based on his research at SARC, has created fantastic user friendly programmable synth modules that can be used in all sorts of ways to create music and sound.  See the KickStarter video below for a demonstration.  

Sebastian hopes to hold a Patchblocks release event at SARC.  More details to follow.

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'Recomposing the City: Sonic Art & Urban Architectures'

Dr Gascia Ouzounian (School of Creative Arts) and Dr Sarah Lappin (SPACE: Architecture) are happy to announce their project 'Recomposing the City: Sonic Art & Urban Architectures', which will operate as a research group at the Institute for Collaborative Research at Queen's University Belfast this year. The group brings together over twenty artists, researchers and not-for-profit organisations including Forum for Alternative Belfast and PLACE Built Environment Centre in asking the question: how can sound artists and architects working together generate new ways of understanding, analysing, and transforming urban spaces? Activities in 2013-14 will include a seminar and events series, an international symposium, publications and conference presentations, and an interdisciplinary design studio for sound artists and architects. Please visit for more information on the project, and please come along to Recomposing the City events! All are very welcome. 
Web site:

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Scholarship Opportunity for PhD students - The Innovation Academy

 What is the Innovation Academy?

The Innovation Academy is a joint venture between Queen’s University Belfast, University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin. The Academy offers PhD students an opportunity to embrace new, innovative ways of thinking through the completion of a Postgraduate Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The purpose of this certificate is to transform some of the brightest scholars in these institutions into energetic and resourceful entrepreneurial thinkers.

The modules focus on problem-based learning within multi-disciplinary teams. We also encourage students to engage in a real-life challenge facing an organisation, for which they are asked to propose an innovative solution.

The certificate is comprised of several modules, covering topics such as Opportunity Generation and Recognition, Financing Your New Venture and Creative Thinking and Innovation.

Queen’s developed and hosted its first module of the Innovation Academy, entitled Leadership Development, in January 2013. The module took place in Riddel Hall and was facilitated by the Leadership Institute. You can find out more about the Leadership Development module in this Queen’s Now article.



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Queen’s and Belfast combine to boost city’s cultural engagement

A major new initiative to boost Belfast’s cultural engagement with the public has been launched through the combining of two existing programmes at Queen’s University and Belfast City Council.

The very popular Literary Belfast project and Belfast Soundwalks will combine to enhance cultural engagement with citizens and tourists alike. In a unique twist this new initiative will engage the public through novel ways of disseminating creative writing and sonic arts associated with the city.

The Literary Belfast project ( already showcases the city’s exciting literary scene through an interactive website and locative media app developed in association with the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s. While Belfast Soundwalks, led by Professor Pedro Rebelo from the Queen’s Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC), provides an open platform for communities and visitors to explore the city through sound. (

Lord Mayor Alderman Gavin Robinson said: "Belfast City Council is delighted to partner Queen's University in this important Creative Arts initiative. This is an exciting opportunity that will undoubtedly lead to a better visitor experience, not only for tourists to the city but also those who live in the city. This initiative builds upon past collaborations between the city council and Queen's and emphasises the importance of ‘town and gown’ working together for the common good of Belfast."

Commenting on the new collaboration Professor Rebelo said: “This is a major cultural boost for the city at a time when it needs it most and as we approach the beginning of the main tourist season. Through the appointment of Dr Sarah Bass, a recent SARC graduate, we will develop an effective strategy for delivering new content in association with the Belfast City Council’s Cultural Strategy and tourism priorities of building cultural tourism, developing tourism products, supporting the evening economy and delivering an authentic European city experience.”

This exciting new project has been supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the newly created Institute for Collaborative Research in the Humanities, at Queen’s, directed by Professor John Thompson alongside consortium partners for BGP2, Newcastle University (through Cultural and Heritage Studies) and Durham University (through Durham Book Festival).

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An Interview with Eric Lyon « Cycling 74

Dr Eric Lyon, a lecturer from the Sonic Arts Research Centre  talks to Cycling 74 about his new book, Designing Audio Objects for Max/MSP and Pd.  The book is a practical guide to implementing synthesis and signal processing techniques using the popular software Max and Pd.

Click here to view the interview on the Cycling 74 website

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Studentships available at the Sonic Arts Research Centre (2013/14) | 25-01-13


The Sonic Arts Research Centre is pleased to announce a number of funded postgraduate opportunities including one international award available within the School of Creative Arts at Queen's University Belfast. 

In addition to the projects listed, applicants wishing to pursue other research topics can apply to studentships available to UK, EU and international students (,364245,en.html).

Deadline 21st February 2013 (please note different deadline for opportunities listed below). For further information on research at SARC, including past PhD thesis please visit http//


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SARC hosts Net-Music 2013 | 15-02-13
SARC joins the the National University of Singapore, the John Hopkins University, Stanford University,  Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and McGill University and Humber College in a jointly organised conference addressing future research and creative activities involving the internet as a primary creative medium in music. 
The conference takes place 16-17 January 2013 and includes key note addresses by Chris Chafe and Pauline Oliveros. For full programme details visit

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SARC's Dr Eric Lyon announces new book, "Designing Audio Objects for Max/MSP and Pd"

Eric Lyon's book "Designing Audio Objects for Max/MSP and Pd" has just been released by A-R Editions. Max/MSP and Pure Data (Pd) are popular design languages for interactive media art, with an emphasis on audio processing. Eric's book describes the design and implementation of audio objects for both of these languages at the C-code level. Ordinarily, artists use Max/MSP and Pd by connecting existing objects. Learning how to design objects from scratch opens up an essentially unlimited range of new creative possibilities in audio processing and interactive media. Publication details may be found here:

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Laganside App - A Mobile Poetry Experience in Belfast

A new audio poetry app developed at Sonic Arts Research Centre


Laganside audio poetry app launching Summer 2012. A mobile sonic poetry experience at Belfast’s River Lagan. Featuring a selection of poems by Alan Gillis, Sinead Morrissey, Ben Maier and more. Click 'About' to find out more. 

'Laganside' is a mobile poetry experience at Belfast’s River Lagan. 

Walk along the River Lagan and listen to the poem 'Laganside' by Alan Gillis. Hear surreal sound-worlds accompany the poem at landmarks dotted throughout Titanic Quarter, East Belfast, Ormeau and Stranmillis Embankments, and the Towpath.

On your journey you will also discover new poems about the river by Sinead Morrissey, Ben 
Maier and Andrew Jamison.
Whether you are a local or a visitor to Belfast, this app will spark a new poetic discovery of the river. Place, sound and poetry converge in an interactive, non-directive and surprising personal experience.

---Discover Laganside---

Read and listen to Laganside - the contemporary Belfast epic by Alan Gillis. This poem, read by 
Patrick FitzSymons, charts the shifting terrain of Belfast’s physical and cultural landscape in the 21st Century. The significance of the poem is explained in the Foreword to the app by renowned Belfast poet Sinead Morrissey.

---Experience new sound worlds---

Immerse yourself in augmented real and surreal soundscapes that are triggered by your location along the River Lagan. Listen to these musical backdrops as accompaniment to the reading of Laganside to experience the poem in new ways.

---Find hidden poems---

Unlock additional Belfast poems by Alan Gillis, Sinead Morrisey, Andrew Jamison and Ben Maier, all hidden along the River Lagan. Some poems include sonic manipulations by John D’Arcy, while others are enhanced with video.

---Rediscover the river---

Use the built-in map to track your location while you search for sound worlds and hidden poems along the Lagan. Explore places at the riverside you haven’t visited before and see well-known spots in a new light.
General information
Available for free on iPhone and Android...



Created by John D'Arcy

Design elements by Gerard Carson

For support e-mail

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Citizens asked to put Belfast’s sounds on the map

Citizens asked to put Belfast’s sounds on the map
Professor Pedro Rebelo
Professor Pedro Rebelo

Queen’s University researchers are calling on the people of Belfast to help develop a new map of the city based on its sounds.

The Belfast Sound Map is an online resource where people can upload sound recordings from their favourite parts of the city for others to hear. It is part of theSounds of the City project involving community groups in north and east Belfast, and led by a team from the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC) at Queen’s School of Creative Arts. 

Professor Pedro Rebelo is leading the project. He said: “We are all familiar with Belfast’s landscape, from well-known sites like Cavehill, to iconic structures such as the Harland and Wolff cranes, and new landmarks like Titanic Belfast. We know how our city looks, but do we really pay attention to how it sounds?

“The Belfast Sound Map is a constantly evolving collection of sound recordings that characterise the city and its communities. We are encouraging everyone in Belfast to record the everyday sounds of the city and upload them to the Map. Choose a location – it may be a place that means something special to you, or somewhere that forms part of your daily routine – like your kitchen at breakfast time or your journey to work. There is no need for fancy technology – most mobile phones have sound recorders and will allow you to upload your recording directly to the Map at

“The Belfast Sound Map is an open resource for the whole community, and I would invite everyone to log-on and listen.”

The Map forms part of the Sounds of the City exhibition, which is currently running at the Mac in Belfast. The exhibition takes people on a journey of the sounds of Belfast’s past and present, from its industrial history to the modern family home.

The sound installations featured in the exhibition were developed by the SARC team at Queen’s, involving PhD students Rui Chaves, Matilde Meireles and Aonghus McEvoy, along with members of Dee Street Community Centre in East Belfast and Tar Isteach in North Belfast.

Professor Rebelo continued: “Sounds can be very powerful in terms of their association with events in people’s lives. They can evoke strong memories and emotions. Older members of the community told us that one of their most powerful sound memories was that of horns from the shipyard, factories and mills across Belfast calling tens of thousands of people to work each morning. Younger members of the community groups involved in the project helped recreate these sounds for the Sounds of the Cityexhibition.

“Similarly, the sound of the footsteps of thousands of shipyard workers returning home through the streets of Belfast evokes strong memories of the city’s industrial heritage. This has also been recreated for the exhibition, and as you walk through the MAC, your own footsteps become part of that iconic aspect of Belfast’s identity.
Community engagement played a central role in the Sounds of the City project. Without community participation, the exhibition and the development of the Belfast Sound Map would not be possible.”

The Belfast Sound Map is available online at The Sounds of the City exhibition will run at the MAC until 30 July. For more information visit

Media inquiries to the Communications Office Tel: 00 44 (0)28 9097 5320 email:

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BLISS joins the Federation of Laptop Orchestras!

SARC'S BLISS (Belfast Legion for Improvised Sights and Sounds) will join 6 laptops ensembles and orchestras for a concert for the first Symposium on Laptop Ensembles and Orchestras (SLEO) at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.Roger Dannenberg, associate research professor of computer science, music and art at Carnegie Mellon, will direct FLO’s multi-city “collective improvisation” from Baton Rouge.

FLO will include live performances by laptop orchestras in Baton Rouge and at Carnegie Mellon, Stanford University, Texas A&M University, the University of Colorado, the University of Huddersfield in West Yorkshire, England, and Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The performances will be streamed online; information will be available prior to the performances on the SLEO website,

Belfast Legion for Improvised Sights and Sounds
The Legion does not prescribe its sights or sounds; they are the product of digital and contra-digital networks of gates, tables, switches, speaker objects, cabling and data... The Legion is not a band, we don't play at weddings, BUT we like playing in the network.

For more information visit

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SARC PhD composers win top prizes at the SHUT UP AND LISTEN! AWARD 2011

Cormac Crawley and Christopher Haworth, two composers working in electroacoustic music at the Sonic Arts Research Centre secured two out of the three prizes in this international competition. The selection process was anonymous and the jury was composed of Belma Bešlic-Gál (Composer/Pianist. Co-Curator of shut up and listen! 2011), Wolfgang Seierl (Composer/Visual Artist. Founder of the Mittersill Composers' Forum, and of ein klang records, Austria) and   Germán Toro-Pérez (Composer. Head of the Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology, Zurich University of the Arts).

Cormac Crawley (IE):  'Port of Call' 

Port of Call: The port, as an interface, offers access from land to water, from water to land, north to south and east to west. It is the beating heart of many cities, towns and villages. With a broad band of sound such as the roaring of the ocean our ears often play tricks with us. We may imagine sounds; plucked from its vast spectrum of frequencies.The piece offers a chronological description of how the port has had an ongoing effect on the lives around it. Also presented is the effect that those around the port have had on this once tranquil soundscape; previously only disturbed by nature itself. A montage of sounds emerge from the ocean and develop from natural and harmonious to unnatural and sometimes dissonant depicting human interference and pollution of the soundscape. The struggle between human and environment is portrayed as a sway of events throughout the piece; natural and unnatural.

Christopher Haworth (UK): 'Correlation Number One'

Christopher Haworth's work explores psychoacoustic phenomena and perceptual idiosyncrasies to call into question common assumptions and received ideas about listening and sonic experience. His recent piece, entitled 'Correlation Number One', uses high frequency tones to generate 'distortion-product otoacoustic emissions' (DPOAEs) in the listener's ears. This means that, in effect, the ear itself becomes an instrument, which the tones coming out of the speakers 'perform' in certain ways to produce sound. What you hear is thus totally subjective, creating a paradoxical situation in which the listener listens to himself listening. 

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LIVESHOUT - Mobile Broadcast Application

Available from the App Store

Share your sound world live!

Liveshout is a mobile streaming app that allows for single orsimultaneous multiple user broadcast. Liveshout works with Icecast streaming technology which allows for flexibility both in terms of access and usage. The app is designed for locative media, sound and transmission art practitioners as well as amateur broadcasters.

Stream live soundwalks with high quality audio, collect multiple audio live streams for concert presentation or recording, use it as a baby monitor and much more… Try it and let us know about your projects using Liveshout!

List of Features :

  • High quality mono one-way stream
  • Ogg encoding
  • Based on Icecast streaming server technology
  • Single or simultaneous multiple user broadcast architecture.
  • Streams accessible though embedded web player, pure data or VLC
  • Works with wifi or 3G networks
  • Compatible built in or external iPhone microphones for high quality audio capturing

Liveshout was commissioned by CO-ME-DIA, a Culture 2007 European Union project, developed by Ecliptic Labs and based on research currently being carried out at the Sonic Arts Research Centre, Queen’s University Belfast.


Get it here:


For more information on Liveshout including a how to guide and examples of projects using the application please visit

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Researchers at Queens University Belfast Conduct a Study on User Experience During Puzzle Games.

Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast are conducting a study to investigate user experience during puzzle games. To this end they have developed an iPhone / iPod Touch application named 'Brain Jog'. It’s the first step in a larger study which will investigate how effective so called ‘brain training’ apps can be in preventing cognitive decline / dementia and is designed for those aged 50+.

Brain Jog consists of 4 mini games designed to test 4 main areas of cognition: Spatial ability, working memory, arithmetic ability and verbal fluency. Games for seniors have steadily been gaining in popularity. Now research is being conducted to identify exactly what it is that seniors want. Brain Jog’s design is unique in that it is the result of one and a half year’s research and collaboration with those over the age of 50. To participate, simply download the application for free (link below). Start it, answer a few questions, then play the games. It’s as easy as that. There are no obligations, play as frequently as you like and stop whenever you choose.

Researcher, Donal O’Brien says; “Your participation will help us create a fantastic game experience for those over 50 and bring us one step closer to finding out whether or not ‘brain training’ can act in preventing cognitive decline / dementia”.

Donal O’Brien
Re: Brain Jog App
Tel: +44 (0) 754 299 1371

Brain Jog can be downloaded from here for free:

A video of Brain Jog can be found here:

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