ACMESOCS: Auditory Cultures, Mediated Sounds and Constructed Spaces

The project researches urban auditory cultures in how they are experienced, articulated and reclaimed. Special attention is paid to the concepts of listener, place, and music and to different interests manifested sonically in shared sonic environment. The project is shedding light on social, legal, economic and technological factors having an effect on the historical development of the background and foreground music industry, on construction of contemporary sonic environments, and on the use of individual meaning-making in various public and commercial environments.

Research will be carried out in three different-sized cities (Joensuu, Tampere and Helsinki) and it is based on theories and methods of ethnomusicology, cultural musicology, social history and sound studies. It will have an impact on planning in the environmental administration of urban areas and on designing aesthetic quality of acoustic spaces, on individual and collective well- being, and defining urban sonic identity.

ACMESOCS pays special attention to the technology and music consumption conventions predominant in given times and generations. It divides the empirical research and research questions into three research strands:
- the historical development and effects of the background music industry,
- the construction of the contemporary sonic environment, and
- the use of individual meaning-making in the context of commercial sonic environments.

The main objective of Research Strand 1: Making of the Listener-consumer is to trace the development of the commercial sonic environment and its implied human object, the listener-consumer, referring to the target group of the background music industry – at whom its message has been and is currently aimed. The main objective of Research Strand 2: Constructed Urban Ambiances is to find out the economic, technological, legislative, organisational and cultural factors transforming urban acoustic environments in the context of ubiquitous music, including novel products like the generative software used in creating branded musical ambiances. The main objective of Research Strand 3: Experienced and Reclaimed Acoustic Environments is to understand people’s experiences, perceptions and actions in urban and commercial environments especially regarding ubiquitous music.

The project is funded by the Academy of Finland.

More information: Dr Heikki Uimonen (PI), heikki.uimonen(a)