Lia Mazzari profile

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Lia Mazzari

Royal Holloway University of London (2023)


Sasha Engelmann


Auditioning the Sonosphere: Live Audio Streaming as Expanded Geo-Practice


The story of environmental sound is the story of capture: the search for sonic ‘treasures’ in places deemed ‘untouched’ and ‘wild’. In this model, environmental sounds are treated as pristine artefacts devoid of human intervention, even as they are the product of laborious field recording practices. However, the last fifteen years have seen the rise of another model of listening to environments. In ‘live audio streaming’, microphones are embedded in places semi-permanently; they transmit sound continuously from one location to many possible listeners over the internet. Through these ‘streamers’, it is possible to tune-in to the dawn chorus in Kolkata or a thunderous storm in the Dolomite Mountains in real-time. For some, live audio streaming is a symptom of the digital shift toward streaming everything. For others, it transforms the act of ‘listening to’ into ‘listening with’ environments, furthering an ethical reorientation to more-than-human life on a shared planet, and expanding geographic borders. Despite the ‘sonic turn’ in the environmental and geohumanities, this shift in listening is vastly underexplored, yet it holds significant and urgent potential for our capacities to attune to a planet in an era of climate crisis.

From my position as a professional sound artist and organiser of eight international live audio streaming networks, this PhD project will be the first to examine live audio streaming from both scholarly and creative perspectives, and will propose a critical framework for ‘listening with’ environments.

The research will unfold through:

  • desk-based research on ‘listening with’ environments in sonic arts and geography
  • interviews with producers of five major live audio streaming projects
  • creative practice-based experiments with live audio streaming

My aim is to develop a scholarly framework and transdisciplinary creative practice that employs live audio streaming as a unique platform for alternative models of listening and responding to environments.