Leah Barclay

Leah Barclay
University of the Sunshine Coast | USC · School of Business and Creative Industries

PhD

About

39
Publications
10,540
Reads
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235
Citations
Citations since 2017
28 Research Items
230 Citations
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Introduction
Leah Barclay is currently a lecturer and researcher at USC Australia. She specialises in ecoacoustics, acoustic ecology and creative technologies for conservation and climate action.
Additional affiliations
January 2016 - present
Griffith University
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (39)
Article
Full-text available
Acoustic ecology is a dynamic interdisciplinary field that studies the social, cultural, and ecological aspects of our environment through sound. In the context of UNESCO biosphere reserves that seek to reconcile the conservation of cultural and biological diversity, acoustic ecology offers valuable tools to understand environmental and cultural ch...
Article
Full-text available
The key to this provocation is the spectrogram with its beautiful bands of colours. This image represents 44 days of recorded acoustic data which has been subject to false- colour imagery in the same way that satellite images are represented. The soundscape was captured to help ecologists understand the migration patterns of the endangered North At...
Article
Full-text available
Freshwater ecoacoustics is an emerging field that involves underwater audio recordings to detect the presence, location, and density of species in noninvasive and unbiased ways. Conducted long-term, ecoacoustics provides information on biophysical changes and environmental patterns that can advance freshwater conservation. River Listening is an int...
Article
Full-text available
Knowledge that can be gained from acoustic data collection in tropical ecosystems is low‐hanging fruit. There is every reason to record and with every day, there are fewer excuses not to do it. In recent years, the cost of acoustic recorders has decreased substantially (some can be purchased for under US$50, e.g., Hill et al. 2018) and the technolo...
Article
The catastrophic impacts of climate change, vanishing biodiversity, and the rapid deterioration of our global ecosystems require urgent attention and aggressive political action. This article explores a body of interdisciplinary research through a series of ecological sound projects designed to draw attention and awareness to changing ecosystems. T...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Beeyali is a research project exploring new methods for visualising the calls of wildlife on Kabi Kabi Country, the traditional lands, and waters of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. The project brings together Indigenous knowledge, environmental research, emerging technology, photography and sound to visualise wildlife calls using cymat...
Article
Full-text available
Listening to Country was an arts-led research project where, as an interdisciplinary team of practitioner-researchers, we worked with incarcerated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to produce a one-hour immersive audio work based on field recordings of natural environments. The project began with a pilot phase in Brisbane Women’s Correcti...
Article
Monitoring freshwater systems can prove difficult. Sampling regimes can influence outcomes by attracting or scaring target taxa and in extreme circumstances can injure the species. Ecoacoustics—an emerging discipline focusing on the ecological investigation of environmental sound—can overcome these difficulties and provide a continuous data stream...
Article
Research shows that prison programs addressing intergenerational trauma and grief, loss of culture and spiritual healing are necessary for incarcerated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Indigenous-led or culturally focused programs receive little attention and limited resourcing in Australia’s prison system compared with mainstream reh...
Article
Full-text available
Although UNESCO has a stated aim to incorporate culture into all development policies, culturally integrated approaches to realising the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are arguably yet to gain widespread traction. Focusing on cultural practices relating to music and sound, this article explores the role of culture and cul...
Chapter
'Site & Sound: Sonic art as ecological practice' invites audiences to consider the importance of listening as a means towards a better understanding of the urgent and complex environmental issues facing our planet. Whether it be the roar of bushfires; the creak of fragmenting glaciers; silence where there used to be bird song; or the hum of cicadas...
Chapter
The achilleas heel of restorative justice rests on a dominant narrative: “What’s said in Circle, stays in Circle”. While there is good reason for this mantra, at the same time, it limits the potential for restorative justice to create a social echo. This paper will draw on Indigenous practices in Canada and Australia that are creating new forms of...
Article
Full-text available
[Soundscape – The Journal of Acoustic Ecology, Volume 17, 2019]. Listening to Country is an arts-led research project exploring the value of acoustic ecology in promoting cultural connection, maintenance and wellbeing among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and groups who experience separation from family, culture and Country. The...
Article
Full-text available
Volume 17 of ‘Soundscape - The Journal of Acoustic Ecology’ celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Australian Forum for Acoustic Ecology and profiles the incredible diversity of acoustic ecology practice and research happening across Australia. The journal opens with an editorial from Dr Leah Barclay followed by three feature articles which showcas...
Chapter
Climate change is no longer just a scientific issue—the world’s leading scientists have clearly outlined the facts and necessary actions for decades. This is a cultural crisis that requires interdisciplinary action to mobilise communities and inspire collective action. This chapter seeks to examine two creative works resulting from the author’s res...
Chapter
Listening to our surrounding acoustic environment reveals the social, cultural and ecological layers of a place and time. Our soundscape is constant, immersive and dynamic – it reveals embodied information impossible to discover with other senses. The act of environmental field recording in the wilderness has been a long fasciation of both artists...
Chapter
Climate change is arguably the most critical issue of the 21st century. The evidence is clear, with 97% of scientists agreeing that human influence is the dominant cause of global warming (Cook et al. 2013). However climate change is not simply a scientific concern, it is a cultural crisis that requires interdisciplinary action and integration with...
Book
Full-text available
This book is about music here in the world and now at this time. It is a lively and informative pleasure, a diversity of wonderful ideas and observations, a pointer to the ways that sound and music let us interact with the world. It is required reading for every composer, every student, everyone who is interested in music today. It is not a single...
Article
Full-text available
As locative media and augmented reality swell into mainstream culture, this article traces my creative explorations with locative sound, stretching across a decade of practice. The featured projects are all embedded into larger research initiatives, which are designed to explore the value of acoustic ecology as a socially engaged, accessible and in...
Article
Biosphere Soundscapes is a large-scale interdisciplinary project working with local communities to explore the value of acoustic ecology in understanding rapidly changing environments. The project is delivered through immersive residencies with artists and scientists, research laboratories, and a diversity of creative projects spanning four contine...
Article
Full-text available
This article is an intergenerational dialogue between two Australian sound artists, Ros Bandt and Leah Barclay. Bandt and Barclay have collaborated in various capacities over the last decade. Bandt mentored Barclay through her early work in acoustic ecology and the pair have since conceived and developed multiple projects ranging from large-scale o...
Article
The recent emergence of the interdisciplinary fields of ecoacoustics and sound studies has resulted in a dramatic increase in both artists and scientists engaged in the practice of audio field recording for a diversity of purposes. The recording techniques used vary substantially reflecting differing loci of interest. We argue that both fields coul...
Article
River Listening is an interdisciplinary research project exploring the cultural and biological diversity of global river systems through sound. The project examines the creative possibilities of accessible and noninvasive recording technologies to monitor river health and engage local communities in the conservation of global river systems. River L...
Chapter
Zameen is a Hindi word meaning ‘land’. It is a word that has become synonymous with the damming of the Narmada River in North India. To date over 30 million people have been internally displaced, and the resulting Indigenous activist movement – the Narmada Bachao Andolan – has become one of the most successful and sophisticated in contemporary hist...
Chapter
Environmental Sound Artists: In Their Own Words is an incisive and imaginative look at the international environmental sound art movement, which emerged in the late 1960s. The term environmental sound art is generally applied to the work of sound artists who incorporate processes in which the artist actively engages with the environment. While the...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Listen n project 1 is an interdisciplinary media arts project, investigating the pristine acoustic ecologies of Southwest deserts of America. Establishing the largest database of ambisonic and stereo field recordings of the Southwestern landscapes of the United States, the Listen n project is designed to not only archive sound, but to explore h...
Article
Full-text available
Biosphere Soundscapes (BioScapes) is a large-scale interdisciplinary art project underpinned by the creative possibilities of soundscape ecology, a rapidly evolving field of biology used to record environmental patterns and changes. This project is designed to inspire communities across the world to listen to the environment and re-imagine the pote...
Article
Full-text available
The hosting of the Balance-Unbalance 2013 International Conference in a UNESCO designated Biosphere Reserve was seen as a strategic opportunity to align the objectives and activities of Biosphere Reserves to the aspirations of Balance-Unbalance.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
River Listening is a practice-led research collaboration between independent artist Dr. Leah Barclay and the Australian Rivers Institute to explore new methods for acoustically monitoring three Queensland river systems: the Brisbane River, the Mary River and the Noosa River. The project involves the establishment of site-specific listening labs to...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Listen(n) Project explores remote embodied experiences of natural environments through sound. It focuses on community awareness, and sustainability, studying how rich digital media environments and acoustic ecology practices can be used to broaden discussion about the value of precious, yet fragile environments. It explores how virtual ecologic...
Conference Paper
Biosphere Soundscapes is a new interdisciplinary research project based in Australia underpinned by the creative possibilities of acoustic ecology. Acoustic ecology is concerned with the ecological, social and cultural contexts of our sonic environments. This project is designed to inspire communities across the world to listen to the environment a...

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
The aim of ‘Listening to Country’ is to explore the value of acoustic ecology in promoting cultural connection, maintenance and wellbeing among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in prison. Acoustic ecology is the study of the relationship, mediated through sound, between human beings and their environment. In early 2019, an interdisciplinary team of researchers worked with women in Brisbane Women’s Correctional Centre (BWCC) to produce a 1-hour immersive audio work based on field recordings of natural environments (of country) for the purpose of stress relief and relaxation. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are overrepresented in Australian prisons. The majority are mothers, experiencing the trauma associated with separation from family, community and country. ‘Listening to Country’ represents an innovative and creative approach to promoting cultural maintenance and wellbeing among mothers, daughters, sisters, aunties and grandmothers in prison. The research uses principles and processes from acoustic ecology, Indigenous storywork, dadirri (deep active listening), and arts-led inquiry to explore notions of cultural connection and maintenance for the participants, and the effects of the project on their wellbeing. This project responds to a direct request from a group of Aboriginal women at BWCC to create a culturally appropriate sound recording for the purpose of reducing stress and connecting to natural environments and to country. It has been built on a strong foundation of previous creative engagement and consultation with women incarcerated in Queensland. The project team consists of two Aboriginal and two non-Aboriginal researchers working in collaboration. Dr Vicki Saunders (Gunggari) is an emerging scholar who works using arts-led and poetic enquiry in the field of child protection and family wellbeing. Dr Bianca Beetson (Gubbi Gubbi/Kabi Kabi) is a visual artist and curator, and Director of the Contemporary Indigenous Art Program at Griffith University. Dr Sarah Woodland has been developing creative arts-based approaches to wellbeing in Brisbane Women’s Correctional Centre (BWCC) for the past seven years, recently finding radio drama, audio recording and soundscape to be highly effective in engaging the women. Dr Leah Barclay is a sound artist whose work investigates the value of acoustic ecology as a socially engaged, accessible, interdisciplinary field that can inspire communities across the world to listen to the environment. This team is supported by an advisory group that includes members of the Brisbane Council of Elders, Dr Claire Walker, (Director of the Murri Dhagun cultural unit of Queensland Corrective Services) and criminology expert Professor Andrew Day from James Cook University. The pilot project in BWCC has enabled the researchers to develop and hone this approach to wellbeing among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in prison. It is anticipated that the ‘Listening to Country’ model might be transferable into a number of different wellbeing contexts, including with at-risk youth, Elders/seniors in care or off-country, women transitioning from prison to the community and more. The pilot will inform further development of the approach with additional groups in the community, with capacity development and knowledge translation activities occurring in Mitchell, Sunshine Coast and Cherbourg, Queensland to explore these possibilities in 2019.
Project
Project Summary: This project focuses on supporting people in Cerro Pelón, Mexico, to build a sustainable local economy through preservation of the Monarch butterfly and its roosting grounds. Working with our partners UNESCO Biosphere Soundscapes and SoundCamp, we will use live-streaming sound equipment to help monitor the butterflies’ flight behaviour and threats to their habitat, as well as creating engaging sound art, which allows people worldwide to listen to the sounds of the Monarchs and the forest where they live. Our partner Dr Pablo Jaramillo López (UNAM) and his team have been working with 'Monarchs and Their People', an NGO which trains and employs people in the region as arborists, reducing the need to turn to unsustainable illegal logging for income. These arborists will use the sound equipment we install to help monitor the biodiversity of the forest and protect the Monarchs’ habitat. Through direct collaboration with local researchers and development partners, this project supports sustainable economic development and the conservation of this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Project
River Listening is an interdisciplinary research project exploring the cultural and biological diversity of global river systems through the emerging field of freshwater ecoacoustics. The project examines the possibilities of accessible and noninvasive recording technologies to monitor river health and engage local communities in the conservation of global river systems. River Listening combines emerging fields of science with acoustic ecology, conservation technology and participatory action research to further our understanding of aquatic biodiversity and inspire action at a time when the conservation and management of freshwater ecosystems is a critical priority. The project is currently focused around developing accessible hydrophone recording kits for remote installations, real-time listening networks, sound maps and acoustic databases.