Sound Talking

Sound Talking logo

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Sound Talking is a one-day event at the London Science Museum that seeks to explore the complex relationships between language and sound, both historically and in the present day. It aims to identify the perspectives and methodologies of current research in the ever-widening field of sound studies, and to locate productive interactions between disciplines.

Bringing together audio-engineers, psychiatrists, linguists, musicologists, and historians of literature and medicine, we will be asking questions about sound as a point of linguistic engagement. We will consider the terminology used to discuss sound, the invention of words that capture sonic experience, and the use and manipulation of sound to emulate linguistic descriptions. Papers will address singing voice research, the history of onomatopoeias, new music production tools, auditory neuroscience, sounds in literature, and the sounds of the insane asylum.


9.00 – 9.20 Arrival and Registration
9.20 – 9.30 Welcome and Introduction
9.30 – 10.15 Ian Rawes, London Sound Survey
10.15 – 11.00 Melissa Dickson, University of Oxford
11.00 – 11.30 COFFEE BREAK
11.30 – 12.15 Jonathan Andrews, Newcastle University
12.15 – 1.00 Maria Chait, UCL Ear Institute
1.00 – 1.45 LUNCH
1.45 – 2.15 Aleks Kolkowski, Recording Angels
2.15 – 3.00 David Howard, Royal Holloway University of London
3.00 – 3.45 Brecht De Man, Queen Mary University of London
3.45 – 4.00 BREAK
4.00 – 4.45 Mandy Parnell, Black Saloon Studios
4.45 – 5.30 Trevor Cox, Salford University
5.30 Closing Remarks and Wine Reception


Ian Rawes

Abstract and bio TBA

Jonathan Andrews

Abstract and bio TBA

Melissa Dickson

Abstract and bio TBA

Maria Chait

Abstract and bio TBA

David Howard

Abstract and bio TBA

Mandy Parnell

Abstract and bio TBA

Brecht De Man

Abstract and bio TBA

Trevor Cox

Abstract and bio TBA

Historic artifact display

Aleks Kolkowski

Abstract and bio TBA


The Science Museum, Exhibition Road, Kensington.



Sound Talking is a workshop organised by Dr Melissa Dickson, a postdoctoral researcher on the Diseases of Modern Life project based at St Anne’s College, Oxford, and Dr Brecht De Man, a postdoctoral researcher at Centre for Digital Music, Queen Mary University of London.

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