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The art of sound explored in Conservatorium musical residency

Doug Quin - Antarctica

An internationally acclaimed composer and sound designer is spending time in the State to share the art and science behind recording natural sounds.  

The University of Tasmania is hosting Associate Professor Douglas Quin for a Visiting Fellow opportunity at the Conservatorium of Music in Hobart.

Over the last 30 years, Associate Professor Quin’s passion has taken him across the globe to places including the Arctic, Antarctic, African savannah and Amazon rainforest. 

These travels have produced a rare, extensive catalogue of original recordings that feature the sounds of endangered animals and threatened habitats.

His work includes collaborations with scientists studying animal communication and his recordings have been featured in zoos and natural history museums around the world in addition to contributing to the sound design of significant films, including Jurassic Park 111 and Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Associate Professor Quin is an Associate Professor in the Television, Radio and Film Department at the Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University, New York. 

Since arriving in Tasmania, he has been teaching into the Conservatorium’s curriculum, delivering presentations and leading community outreach initiatives including a Field Recording and Listening Workshop at Cradle Mountain.

He is also capturing sounds in various locations around Tasmania, including the East Coast.

“The fellowship came about following conversations with Dr Carolyn Philpott and Professor Elizabeth Leane from the University of Tasmania who I have previously worked with,” Associate Professor Quin said.

“There are several factors that made coming here appealing: from the natural wonders of the island to the unique cultural identity of Tasmanians. 

“My hope is that through engaging with University staff, students and the broader community I might share some of my journey across cultures and help to inspire and foster ongoing international dialogue.

“I live for these opportunities and have had the very good fortune of weaving together a life dedicated to the arts and to work with people committed to community-based environmental conservation awareness and advocacy.

“Connecting with people and place is both its own reward professionally and personally. I look at my time here as continuing conversations and growing new opportunities not only for me but for students at this University and Syracuse University.

“I am deeply grateful to all who have made this very special opportunity possible.”

Dr Carolyn Philpott, Senior Lecturer in Musicology at the Conservatorium of Music, said Associate Professor Quin’s visit presented an exciting opportunity for the University and State. 

“Associate Professor Quin is a world expert in his field and we are delighted to be hosting him here at the University,” Dr Philpott said. 

“He is incredibly generous with his knowledge and is making significant contributions to our learning and teaching programs, as well as research during his visit.

“This has been an exciting opportunity for many reasons and we are looking forward to ongoing conversations and collaborations beyond the duration of the fellowship.”

Photo credit: Jim Barker
Douglas Quin recording Weddell seals in Antarctica

Published on: 16 May 2019 1:17pm