Overview

Current Work

Dr Leah Barclay specialises in electroacoustic music, acoustic ecology and emerging fields of biology exploring environmental patterns and changes through sound. She creates complex sonic environments that draw attention to changing climates and endangered ecosystems. These works are realised through live performances and interactive installations drawing on environmental field recordings, data sonification and immersive sound diffusion. Leah’s work is multi-platform in nature and involves long-term engagement with communities in locations ranging from the centre of the Amazon Rainforest to remote river systems in South India.

Leah is the President of the Australian Forum for Acoustic Ecology, the Vice President of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology and the founder and artistic director of Biosphere Soundscapes, a large-scale interdisciplinary project exploring the changing soundscapes of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves across the world. She is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre where she is leading a portfolio of research exploring the value of acoustic ecology as a socially engaged, accessible, interdisciplinary field that can inspire communities across the world to listen to the environment.
 

Related Media Items

News

Expertise Keywords

  • Acoustic Ecology
  • Ecoacoustics
  • Electroacoustic Music
  • Music Technology
  • Sound Art
  • Sound Studies

Subject Area Codes

  • ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
  • Ecological Impacts of Climate Change
  • Electronic Media Art
  • Music Composition

Country Affiliations

  • Brazil
  • India
  • Mexico
  • Peru
  • United States
  • Vanuatu

Research Publications and Outputs

Recent Publications

Publications: 29 (Other: 29)

Funded Griffith Research

Engagement and Impact

Invitations

  • Keynote Address
    Sound + Environment International Conference (World Forum for Acoustic Ecology and International Society of Ecoacoustics),   University of Hull, UK,   2017,  
    “The Transdisciplinary Possibilities of Acoustic Ecology in Local and Global Communities”
  • Plenary
    2017 Smithsonian Earth Optimism Summit,   Smithsonian Museum, Washington, DC, USA,   2017,  
    “Listening Underwater” (Invited plenary address and opening performance)
  • Keynote Address
    The 4th World Congress of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, Lima, Peru,   UNESCO,   2016,  
    “Inspiring Resilient Communities through Creativity – Case studies from the Pacific”
  • Keynote Address
    Disseminations: Media Cultural Practices for the Digital Age International Symposium,   Museum Schloss Fechenbach, Dieburg, Großer Saal, Germany,   2016,  
    “Acoustic Ecology in Action: Climate Change, Cultural Change and Media Aesthetic Education”
  • Plenary
    Huangshan Dialogue for UNESCO Sites, Climate Change and Sustainable Development, Anhui Province, China,   UNESCO,   2016,  
    “Interdisciplinary Creativity and Mobile Technologies in Changing Climates: Acoustic Ecology and Remote Sensing”
  • Keynote Address
    Ecomusicologies International Conference, Asheville,   University of North Carolina, USA,   2014,  
    “Sound-Centered Being, Knowing, and Acting to Empower Communities”

Learning and Teaching

Current and Past Courses

  • Creative Audio (2993QCM)
    Teacher, In Person, Gold Coast Campus, Semester 1, 2018.
  • Creative Audio (2993QCM)
    Teacher, In Person, South Bank Campus, Semester 1, 2018.
  • Music in Contemporary Contexts (1102QCM)
    Teacher, In Person, South Bank Campus, Semester 2, 2016.
  • Music and Society (2100QCM)
    Teacher, In Person, South Bank Campus, Semester 2, 2016.

Research by Higher Degree Supervision or Scholarship

Background

Bio

Dr Leah Barclay is an Australian sound artist, composer and researcher working at the intersection of art, science and technology. She specialises in electroacoustic music, acoustic ecology and emerging fields of biology exploring environmental patterns and changes through sound. Her work has been commissioned, performed and exhibited to wide acclaim across Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, Peru, Colombia, Europe, India, South Africa, China and Korea by organisations including UNESCO, Ear to the Earth, Streaming Museum, Al Gore’s Climate Reality and the IUCN. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and has directed and curated interdisciplinary projects across the Asia-Pacific and USA.

Leah composes complex sonic environments that draw attention to changing climates and fragile ecosystems. These works are realised through live performances, interactive installations and site-specific interventions drawing on environmental field recordings, data sonification, live streams and immersive sound diffusion. Recent examples include augmented reality sound walks exploring the cultural and biological diversity of river systems and Rainforest Listening, a virtual canopy that transforms iconic urban locations into the Amazon Rainforest. Rainforest Listening launched in Times Square for Climate Week NYC 2015 and was a featured cultural event for COP21 in Paris where each observatory platform of the Eiffel Tower was transformed into the four distinct layers of tropical rainforest vegetation through immersive soundscapes accessed through mobile phones.

Leah’s work is multi-platform in nature and involves long-term engagement with communities across the globe ranging from remote river systems in South India to pacific island communities in Vanuatu. She leads several large-scale research projects including Biosphere Soundscapes, an interdisciplinary venture exploring the changing soundscapes of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves across the world and River Listening, which examines the creative possibilities of aquatic bioacoustics in collaboration with the Australian Rivers Institute.

Leah’s diverse creative practice has resulted in a career where she works as a researcher, artist, consultant and educator with various organisations and institutions. These include designing immersive education programs for UNESCO, directing large-scale interdisciplinary research projects for major universities across Australia and the USA and facilitating partnerships between communities, NGOs and government to explore creative approaches to climate action. She regularly guest lectures for international universities including NYU, Brown University andThe Art Institute of Chicago.

Leah is the president of the Australian Forum for Acoustic Ecology, the vice-president of the World Forum of Acoustic Ecology and serves on the board of a range of arts and environmental organisations. She is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre where she is leading a portfolio of research exploring the value of acoustic ecology as a socially engaged, accessible, interdisciplinary field that can inspire communities across the world to listen to the environment.
 

Internal service roles

  • Co-Chair, Sonic Environment Conference 2016 -
  • Conference Committee, NIME 2016 (New Interfaces for Musical Expression) -

Visiting appointments

  • Visiting Scholar, Arizona State University 2014 - 2016
  • Visiting Scholar, New York University 2015 - 2015
  • Visiting Scholar, Art Institute of Chicago 2015 - 2015

Professional memberships

  • President, Australian Forum for Acoustic Ecology 2014 -
  • Vice President, World Forum for Acoustic Ecology 2015 -
  • Climate Reality Leader, Al Gore's Climate Reality Leadership Corps 2014 -
  • Board Member, World Listening Project 2015 -
  • Board Member, Rainforest Partnership 2015 -
  • Vice President, Ear to the Earth (New York City) 2014 -
  • Represented Composer, Australian Music Centre 2012 -
  • Writer Member, Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) 2006 -
  • Member, Australian Computer Music Association 2008 -