Peter Cusack is a field recordist, sound artist and musician and with a long interest in environmental sound and acoustic ecology. Projects include community arts, researches into sound and our sense of place and documentary recordings in areas of special sonic interest such as Lake Baikal, Siberia, and Xinjang, China’s most western province. He was involved in 'Sound & the City' the British Council sound art project in Beijing 2005. His project ‘Sounds From Dangerous Places’ examines the soundscapes of sites of major environmental damage, such as the Chernobyl exclusion zone, the Azerbaijan oil fields, controversial dams on the Tigris and Euphrates river systems in southeast Turkey. Using sound as a way of investigating documentary issues he now calls ‘sonic journalism’. This project continues and is currently researching the regeneration of the North Aral Sea, Kazakhstan.
In 1998 he initiated the 'Your Favourite London Sound' project that aims to discover what Londoners find positive in their city's soundscape, an idea that has been repeated in other world cities including Beijing, Chicago, Prague, Manchester, Birmingham and Berlin. The favouritesounds.org website has been developed for listening to recordings linked to the Google map.
He produced 'Vermilion Sounds' a monthly environmental sound program on ResonanceFM radio, London, and is a Research Fellow in ‘Sound Arts & Design’ at the London College of Communication. He took part in the multi-university multidisciplinary ‘Positive Soundscapes Project’ funded by the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council from 2006 to 2009.
During 2011/12 he was a DAAD artist in residence in Berlin working on the collaborative (with Sam Auinger, Universität der Künste students, Valeria Merlini, Berlin Tuned City) project Berlin Sonic Spaces that considers the relationship between city development and soundscapes.
Musicially he has worked with Clive Bell, Nic Collins, Alterations, Chris Cutler, Max Eastley, Annette Krebs and Viv Corringham. Recorded releases include "Where is the Green Parrot?" (ReR PC1 - solo CD); "A Host of Golden Daffodils" (Platelunch) with Nic Collins; "Your Favourite London Sounds" (Resonance); “Operet” (Rere121) with Viv Corringham; “Day For Night” (Paradigm) with Max Eastley; “Baikal Ice”(ReR PC2); “Favourite Beijing Sounds” (KwanYin 022); Sound from Dangerous Places (ReR PC3&4); Favourite Berlin Sounds (ReR PC5).
Activity and Publications
- Research Fellowship, The Positive Soundscapes Project- 3 year multidisciplinary, multiuniversity (UAL, Warwick, Lancaster, Salford, NMU) project funded by the EPSRC.
- Favourite London Sounds: Arts Council - Installation for the foyer of the Arts Council's building at Pear Tree Court, London.
- Paper, Beyond Text Symposium, Manchester University, July 2007.
- Paper, EMS07 Languages of Electroacoustic Music conference, De Montfort University, Leicester, June 2007.
- Paper, Sounder Spaces Symposium, London Zoo, March 2007.
- "Field Recording" concerts and workshop tour - Quebec State, Canada; Organised by Daimon Arts and visiting Montreal, Quebec City, Gatineau, Saguenay.
- Concert at Roulette, New York City, USA - with Nic Collins.
- Residency at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago - March.
- Beijing Soundscapes - installation commissioned by the Capital Museum, Beijing in collaboration with David Toop - supported by British Council.
- Paper, Sound and Anthropology conference, St Andrew's University, June 2006
- Sound and the City, Beijing, China - commission by the British Council - 2 visits to Beijing to create pieces 'Beijing Bike Ride and ' Favourite Beijing Sounds'. Also concerts and workshops.
- Vermilion Sounds - continuing radio series for ResonanceFM, London, on phonography and acoustic ecology. Over 50 shows. Produced and presented in collaboration with Isobel Clouter. Supported by Awards for All Lottery grant.
- Soundtrack for 'The Black Sea Files' - video installation and DVD by Swiss artist Ursula Biemann. Shown Kunst Werke Gallery, Berlin.
- Musique Quotidien Sonor Festival, Albi, France - concert performance.