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"One Hundred Finnish Soundscapes" compiled for publication

"One Hundred Finnish Soundscapes" has been published as a book and on CD - a representative selection of meaningful Finnish soundscapes. These help community and environmental planners to cater for sound phenomena when creating the preconditions for people's physical and mental well-being in an environment in touch with nature.

Heikki Uimonen (left) and Ari Koivumäki, two of the editors, recording silence at Puolanka.
High resolution image (845 Kb)
Photo: Meri Kytö

The main organisers of the compiling and researching of soundscapes are the Finnish Society for Acoustic Ecology, Tampere Polytechnic - University of Applied Sciences (TAMK), the Finnish Literature Society (SKS), several universities and YLE, the Finnish broadcasting company. The publishers of the book are SKS and TAMK.

The data compiled constitute a comprehensive overview of Finnish soundscapes. The collection is practically unique in the world and has aroused considerable international interest. No fewer than 800 stories about soundscapes considered important by those hearing them were offered for inclusion. All these stories were duly archived. One hundred were selected for publication in the book and 30 were recorded for inclusion in the CD.

Soundscape and its significance is fairly new as a field of research. In Japan, for example, a similar project has been carried out to compile and conserve soundscapes. The soundscapes in the book to be published are arranged by theme: soundmarks and signals, working in the fields and earning a living, stories of childhood and youth, social soundscapes, in cottage and forest, at home and at peace. The book also includes articles on soundscapes.

The focus of acoustic ecology is in the experiences of sound, the acoustic environment and what they mean for interaction between human and nature. Soundscape as a concept is composed of sounds of humans and other natural sounds, the sounds of society and of silence. Soundscapes change over time, thus conserving them is part of conserving cultural heritage.

Students of the university of applied sciences took a prominent part in recording the soundscapes and assisting in the research project. Representatives of the project management have been invited to various parts of the work to report results. The data collected is an apt subject for further research, and one objective is the protection of soundscapes of importance to the people.

Helmi Järviluoma, Ari Koivumäki, Meri Kytö and Heikki Uimonen (eds.) 2006. Sata Suomalaista äänimaisemaa. SKS toimituksia 1100, SKS. 251 pages and CD. ISBN 951-746-856-3.

Further information:

Finnish Society for Acoustic Ecology
Meri Kytö, Project Secretary
Tel. +358 40 720 6278

University of Joensuu
Helmi Järviluoma-Mäkelä, Professor, head of project
Tel. +358 13 251 4364

Tampere Polytechnic - University of Applied Sciences
Perttu Heino, Research Director
Tel. +358 20 714 7613

Feel free to use all news. Photographs copyright Kalle Heiska.
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