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Lecture highlights audio’s role in preserving our heritage

Posted on 1 March 2013

A major public lecture held at York’s historic Merchant Adventurers’ Hall will examine how audio and acoustics can help us investigate our past and design our future.

Dr Damian Murphy, from the University of York, will deliver the annual Merchant Adventurers’ Science Discovery Lecture on Tuesday, 5 March, when he will explain how we can gain a better understanding of our heritage and its preservation by considering the sounds associated with sites and landscapes.

Dr Murphy, from the University’s Department of Electronics, said: “Sound often takes second place to our more dominant visual sense, yet the acoustic preservation of our heritage and environment is as important as any other aspect. One thing we can be sure of is that the past was not a silent place. Through acoustic measurement and modelling, we can build a more complete understanding of our past.

Through acoustic measurement and modelling, we can build a more complete understanding of our past

Dr Damian Murphy

“Similar techniques are also key aspects of today’s architectural and environmental engineering design process. They enable all manner of proposed buildings and spaces, from concert halls and classrooms to major developments such as new roads and railway lines, to be tested for the acoustic impact they will have on our day-to-day and future lives.”

The annual lecture, held in the historic Fossgate hall since 1997, is a platform for the University to inform the local community about discoveries made by York scientists.

Jointly hosted by the University and the Merchant Adventurers of the City of York, it highlights an important contribution which has been made to academic knowledge in the pure and applied sciences, and demonstrates how this contribution can be applied for the benefit of mankind.

Dr Murphy’s research in the Department of Electronics Audio Lab focuses on virtual acoustics, spatial audio, physical modelling and audio signal processing. He is also an active sound artist, whose work has been presented in galleries nationally and at festivals and venues internationally. He has worked on a variety of collaborations with interactive digital and visual artists, photographers, poets and archaeologists.

The Department of Electronics is consistently ranked among the best electronic departments in the country for teaching quality, and has established world-leading research groups in Electromagnetic Compatibility, Biologically Inspired Computing, Music Technology, and Wireless Communications and Nanotechnology.

The lecture ‘Hearing the past, designing the future: Audio and acoustics in digital heritage research’ will take place at the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall, Fossgate, York, on Tuesday, 5 March at 6.30pm. Entrance is by free ticket. To book a place visit, email or phone 01904 324778.

Notes to editors:

Contact details

Caron Lett
Press Officer

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