The Portland Soundtrail

Project: Research

Project Details


This is a major creative documentary locative audio storytelling work (NTRO output) connected to the PhD project of the candidate Hamish Sewell, supervised by Dr Madsen. This creative practice-based research project is examining ways mobile location-based applications (locative apps) deploy crafted audio, and can deepen meaning making and engagement with places, spaces and history. The Portland ‘Soundtrail’ (designed using the "Sound Trails" pre-existing audio app and platform) to be based in Portland, NSW, has been commissioned by The Foundations Portland and is to be completed by December 2022. This will be the result of working closely with that community and the 'Portlands Foundations organization team (based in the town, around 120 kilometers from Sydney), as well as with the company, Soundtrails. The Portland Soundtrail will explore the town’s role in the building of Sydney from the early 1900s to the 1990s after which the extensive cement works and quarries were closed down. The Portlands Foundations organization was set up to rebuild and rebrand the former cement works precinct and to create new cultural directions for the town. The final work will use GPS mapping to trigger audio fields to create an integrated site-specific listening experience designed for the public as they explore and walk the site. Material (eg memories, stories, recounting of events by actors or community) will be drawn from archival sources and oral history styled interviews and extensive research and interaction with community. The CI Madsen will co-author this creative documentary work, researching historical materials, recording and sound designing, producing, script writing and directing. The completed performative audio experience, also understood as a 'landscape documentary' for in situ appreciation or as accessible work via online platform, will also deliver a set of oral history interviews to that community and to wider publics and researchers. The creative ‘artefact’ as part of the larger project being conducted, forms a vital part in new understandings of this emerging and interdisciplinary field. Here creative practice research and more traditional historical and media research will come together to generate new knowledge and practices within digital media storytelling and its applications.
Effective start/end date1/05/2228/02/23