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Artsoundscapes in Catalonia: Exploring its rock art

Artsoundscapes in Catalonia: Exploring its rock art

By Laura Fernández Macías, Junior Researcher

If this 2020 will be remembered for anything, it will be for this terrible pandemic of Covid-19, which has the whole world on tenterhooks. Since last March, all our plans, both personal and professional, have been affected in one way or another by the pandemic. Obviously, in Artsoundscapes we have not been oblivious to this situation; the main setback is that the quarantine forced us to cancel all the fieldwork scheduled for this year, especially the international projects. This work is essential for obtaining the data that gives meaning to our investigations and, also, on a personal level, it always provides us with unforgettable experiences. …
The place of acoustics in the process of rock art production

The place of acoustics in the process of rock art production

By Neemias Santos da Rosa, Postdoctoral Researcher

How does acoustics fit into the process of rock art production? Before answering this question, we need to clarify a fundamental matter: what is rock art made of? In her studies on rock art as a product of ideological and economic processes, archaeologist Danae Fiore considers that prehistoric visual representations comprise three essential parts: plastic composition, content and work process. …
How we take acoustical measurements in the Artsoundscapes project, and how we got there

How we take acoustical measurements in the Artsoundscapes project, and how we got there

By Adriano Farina, Acoustic Technician

The field of acoustics was first formalized at the end of the nineteenth century by American physicist Wallace Clement Sabine (Harvard University) and his research on what characterises the sound of a room. As a result of his work, he introduced the concept of Reverberation Time (T60 or RT60) which is the time it takes for sound energy to decay a million times (-60 dB) from the interruption of sound itself in a confined environment. In practice, it quantifies the duration of the “sound tail” as we perceive it “by ear” (for example, when we clap our hands in a room). …
Fieldwork in Catalonia… at a Time of Coronavirus

Fieldwork in Catalonia… at a Time of Coronavirus

By Tommaso Mattioli, Senior Researcher

I always take notes on everything during rock art surveys and today, as I was reading my own observations, questions and thoughts recorded during the last fieldwork season in Catalonia, I felt a little uneasy. On the one hand, I was enjoying them as they reignited my adventurous spirit and reminded me of what it is I love about being outdoors exploring, but on the other, they were hard to read because I perceived them as a sort of official notification that something had changed radically. …
Measuring emotions to understand ancient communities

Measuring emotions to understand ancient communities

By José Valenzuela, Doctoral Researcher

How can we understand the psychological response to sound in a prehistoric rock art landscape? The Artsoundscapes project seeks to analyse soundscapes to understand the role of sound and emotion in the engagement with the sacred in the rock art landscapes of premodern Holocene societies. This basically means trying to grasp how human minds worked several thousand years ago. The limitation is obvious: prehistoric people cannot come to a laboratory and participate in our experiments. This is a huge methodological challenge, but one that a multidisciplinary team is willing to face. …
From London with Sound

From London with Sound

By Mathieu Picas, Research Assistant

On the 22 and 23 of November 2019, a special two-day seminar on Music Archaeology in Latin America was held at the Senate House of the University of London. This event was the first meeting ever between the Latin American Music and the Latin American Archaeology seminars of the same university. My participation in the seminar was an enriching experience which allowed me to exchange exciting ideas with other researchers who have been working in these fields for years. …