(Laval University, Quebec, Canada)

Keywords: soundscape, immersion, spatialization, augmented reality

In discussions of cultural heritage, the focus is often on the visual and the material. The important role of sound in cultural heritage—even tangible cultural heritage—is therefore often overlooked or underrepresented. In this presentation, I will discuss two projects that use and adapt field recordings to both promote and preserve the cultural heritage of sites. These recordings are composed into soundscapes that may be modified according to artistic or other goals. In the first project, various recordings of Quebec City were altered to simulate physiological hearing patterns in order to raise awareness of hearing loss, thus drawing in social elements to the visitor experience. For the second project, field recordings of bird calls taken at a historic site valued for its diverse bird population enable the archiving and transposition of the sonic experience of the site to both online as well as other geographic locations, in order to promote the site and its heritage through “real”, “augmented”, and “virtual” recreations of its soundscape. Once the sounds of a site are recorded, there are thus many modalities for their preservation and promotion, and for designing interactions with visitors. I will discuss these modalities as they pertain to these two cases.

Relevance conference | Relevance session:
This paper addresses how to treat and present digital information—in this case, soundfiles—of cultural and scientific value, which is one of the conference’s stated goals.

The innovative aspect of this paper is the integration of immersive sound as a complement to the visual appreciation of tangible cultural heritage.

Professeur Alain VIAU
Département des sciences géomatiques
Université Laval

Chargé de recherche, rayonnement scientifique
Direction des expositions
Musée de la civilisation, Québec