geographic site which holds in varying levels memories, security, sustenance,culture and a sense of place for its inhabitants and users. Relating to Londonspecifically, locality can perhaps be defined by the ‘town’ or ‘village’ centres thathave become encompassed by the sprawl. Schools, colleges or universities maycome to be at the centre of an imagined sphere of locality or the boundaries of music and fashion subcultures such as those of Camden, Notting Hill andShoreditch may actually come to delineate a geographical area. Historically, forexample in traditional Chinese culture as described by Lucie Rault, bells werechimed so that their sphere of acoustic influence could demarcate a sociallycoherent zone (Rault 2000: 140). Whilst in London the ‘Bells of Bow’ haveceased to be used as the benchmark for a true Londoner the Mayor of London’sNoise Team still propose using the audibility of Big Ben’s chiming to assess noisepollution. However, with such high levels and variety of noise in London we mustwork harder to sonically define local cohesion. Another concept then, that of acoustic ecology or soundscape study, is invoked in order to study, highlight andwork with ‘a specificity of sound in which location and listening intersect’ (LaBelle197). LaBelle has provided a comprehensive description of academic and artisticapproaches in this wide field:
‘Locality of sound is of paramount concern for the study of environmental sound, or what acoustic ecology has deemed the “soundscape.” It promotes active listening,environmental awareness and cultural practice sensitive to questions of place, and location-oriented musical education. While pinpointing local sound as a powerful presence affecting the human condition…………acoustic ecology, in turn, expandslocality to global proportions. Whereas sound installation……works with locational sound….acoustic ecology situates local sound in relation to…the entire field of sound’ (LaBelle 2006: 197).
Page 3 of 28