Rua do Pedregal | 3660-645 Sul | Portugal
An educational project developed by Binaural/Nodar
Coordinated by Luís Costa with the technical assistance of Manuela Barile
The Portuguese rural world is experiencing a critical period of transition. Many villages are getting deserted which leads to the gradual disappearance of an ancestral traditional culture and a particular connection with both the landscape and its uses. Like in other European countries, the Portuguese countryside is entering in a post-rural era with implications in several domains: economical, psychological, social, and cultural.
These transformations form a complex and overlapping set of realities. There isn’t a before and an after. The ancestral forms of living the rural still coexist with new uses of the landscape, with new activities and priorities, many of which are connected with a leisure dimension.
With this scenario in mind, it is of utmost importance to protect and document the rural landscape realities and go beyond a strict environmental perspective. The landscape as an overlapping of natural elements (fauna, flora, geology, etc.), but that also includes human intervention elements (architecture, agriculture, tools, folklore, etc.).
There is a reality that connects all the landscape dimensions: the acoustical reality. Which sounds are present in our rural landscape? How many of which have already disappeared? We are used to look at the surrounding world, but how long we dedicate ourselves to listen to the landscape’s “music”? What we can learn about the rural communities through the sound dimension?
There is today a growing conscience to the necessity of defending, studying and documenting the sound heritage; in such a way that there are sound ecology studies and some geographical regions (like the Spanish region of Galicia) include the sound dimension in their own immaterial landmarks.
It is with this context in mind that we launch the “Aldeias Sonoras” project.
“Aldeias Sonoras” (“Sound Villages”) is an educational project that consists on the recording, editing and mapping of the acoustical heritage from Portuguese rural areas, along with the study of their geographical, historical and socio-cultural specific contexts.
The Project is developed in Primary and Secondary schools around rural Portugal areas, having started in 2008. The first module was developed in the S. Pedro do Sul municipilaty, and other sessions were organized in the municipalities of Castro Daire, Arouca and VIla Nova de Paiva.
“Aldeias Sonoras” is a project that encourages students from rural areas to “open their ears” to the surrounding acoustical world, involving them in an analytical and collaborative process of capturing, editing and web posting of specific sound environments from each village or rural landscape.
The projects seeks to put in evidence the sound richness of the Portuguese rural world and the necessity of recording it, involving young people in that process, promoting in parallel a sense of identity and self-esteem towards the countryside life.
“Aldeias Sonoras” will include several theoretical and practical learning modules, to provide students with the appropriate knowledge in sound recording and editing technologies, the use of Internet for the publishing and distribution of information. Each learning module will be associated with several curricular disciplines (history, geography, ecology, citizenship, information technologies, etc.).
The most visible element of the Project will be a blog where all collected sounds and additional information on the visited rural villages will be published through a collaborative process. It will be possible to access these sounds through a Google map that points the several geographical coordinates where each one was recorded.