Claudia Martinho

Main focus: sound art and architecture

Websites/blogs: ,

Languages: English, French, Portuguese, Spanish

City: Campo do Geres, Porto

Country: Portugal

Topics: bioacoustics, ecology, acoustics, field recording, soundscape, architecture, artistic research, art in public space, art & activism, environment, sonic art


I'm an architect and researcher (PhD in Music, Sonic Arts, Goldsmiths University of London). Since 16 years, I have been experimenting with environmental sound through a spatial approach, into the architectural design of ambiances in public space, as encounters between humans, non-humans and phenomena. My practice is site-oriented and involves field recording, soundscape design, installation, performance and workshops. Projects open up potentials of sites to transform its ambiance dynamics and affect multi-sensory variations. This is a way to engage ecological awareness of surrounding vital forces and symbiotic processes, which are usually neglected by the human being.

I’ve been presenting my work widely in diverse contexts, such as ‘Invisible Places: Sound, Urbanism and Sense of Place’ symposium (Azores, PT), ‘Lisboa Soa – environmental sound art festival’ (Lisbon, PT), ‘Archaeoacoustics III International Conference’ (Tomar, PT), ‘Architectones: Sound, Art and Architecture Seminar’ (Arc-Et-Sénans, FR), ‘Tuned City – between sound and space speculations’ (Berlin, DE).
I’m author of several publications, and was co-editor of the anthology ‘Site of Sound: of Architecture and the Ear – Vol. 2’ (2011, Errant Bodies Press). Among collaborative projects, I'm currently artistic director of the creative and environmental education project Rural Vivo and coordinator of the Architecture 3000 Research Network. I was co-curator of ‘evento 09 – public art and urban interventions’, Biennale of Bordeaux, France, and collaborator with Bureau des Mesarchitectures, Paris, France.

Examples of previous talks / appearances:

Performing Soundscapes: Sustainable Approaches to Intangible Heritage towards an Ecological Transition.

Paper presentation. In: Hidden Archives, Hidden Practices, Aveiro University, Portugal.

The paper presents a practice-based research on acoustic ecology, sound art and architecture. It addresses creative approaches to the experience and performance of soundscapes within interventions in public space. As the sound environment is an increasingly topic of concern, here it becomes valorised as an efective creative tool for the development of more sustainable ecosystems. This research questions what qualities should be enhanced in soundscapes, in order to create sustainable relationships in everyday public spaces, towards sensorial, environmental and territorial regenerations. The paper unfolds three practical case studies and its transdisciplinary approach, drawn around three axis: experience, creativity, participation. The methods integrate fieldwork, installation and workshops with communities. The innovation lies in addressing the heritage of soundscapes as creative resource to intervene in space and society, to enhance hidden qualities of everyday life, to promote well-being and sustainable uses of ecosystems.
Keywords: soundscapes, acoustic ecology, experience, participation

This talk is in: English
Soundscapes in Architecture Practice: Creative and Sustainable Approaches.

Communication. In: International Colloquium Soundscapes: Heritage, History, Artistic Territories and Sound Archeology, Braga, Portugal.

Soundscapes in Architecture Practice is a research that seeks to highlight the value of the experience of environmental sounds in spatial interventions. The sound environment, being an increasingly concerning topic, becomes valued here as a creative tool for the development of more sustainable urban and rural spaces. This research goes beyond sound insulation measures to noise pollution which, while very useful, tend to separate ecosystems and reduce our experience of natural and cultural diversity. Due to a lack of interventions that integrate environmental sounds into the architecture of everyday spaces, there is a need to experiment with innovative and ecological interconnections between soundscapes and public space.
This research experiments with a practice of public space architecture based on the modulation of the sensory experience of environmental sounds. It enquires on approaches to the intangible, to create sustainable and participatory spaces that can contribute to sensory, environmental and territorial regenerations. The objectives are to foster knowledge of the intangible heritage of soundscapes as a tool for creating spaces and environments; and encourage community participation in listening to the qualities of soundscapes, to realize their value in environmental health and well-being.
This paper presents practical case studies of research and its transdisciplinary creative processes, which cross the areas of architecture, sound art, acoustic ecology, bioacoustics and archaeoacoustics. The projects are site-specific, involving field recordings, soundscapes and architecture design, acoustic spatialization, installation, workshops. Projects open potentials of places, result in a diversity of soundscape experiences, transform the dynamics of environments, affect multisensory variations, and increase awareness of symbiotic processes that are often unnoticed in everyday life. Creative methodologies and the results of qualitative research are described.
Keywords: transdisciplinarity, architecture, soundscapes, field recordings, creative design, modulation, acoustic ecology, archaeoacoustics.

This talk is in: English
Exploring Aural Architecture: Experience, Resonance, Attunement.

Presentation in: Archaeoacoustics III International Conference, Tomar, Portugal.

This research project aimed to established connections between aural architecture and archaeoacoustics. It explored a methodology to create ancient acoustic effects nowadays, and to study the human affective experience of it. The project experimented the design of aural architecture as a communication channel through the language of vibration, to open up a gaping moment in spacetime and a resonant dialogue between inside and outside worlds, or what has been described as mind-body experiences. The methodology included techniques of sensory variation and resonant design based in energetic geometry. It addressed a qualitative study of the affective experience of acoustic phenomena, which is less developed than quantitative study and would benefit from further experimentation. The experiment created a public experience of resonance and attunement, to observe its results with a survey.
Keywords: aural architecture, mind body experiences, resonance frequencies

This talk is in: English
Counter tactics

Presentation in "Tuned City – between sound and space speculation", Berlin, Germany.
Participants: Pascal Amphoux, Mark Bain, Barry Blesser, Infrasound, Brandon LaBelle, Claudia Martinho, Max Neuhaus, Chris Watson, among others.

Urban public spaces are changing from being free places of social exchanges and expression into controlled territories.
In a critical approach to the cities’ economic strategies in space production, this presentation addresses on counter tactics and actions with sound as a tool to subvert systems and amplify perception of in-between realities.
The intersection of architectural acoustics and psychoacoustics, the sound dimension is approached in its potential to generate aural interstices, autonomous zones that offer to people momentary situations of sensory experiences and open perceptions.

This talk is in: English
Exploring Aural Architecture

Artists talks. In: Women In Sound Women On Sound: Sound Education Experience. Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom.

The topic was an exploration of sonic space as vibration. I have presented two artworks: Vibrational Fields (2011), a resonant soundscape installation; Sonores (2012), an acoustic space for a mobile radio and performances. The projects question how certain sounds and frequencies diffused in specific acoustic spaces may engage a vibrational experience of attunement, as a living dynamic relation with another being (Morton 2014). I will discuss on how these works explore an understanding of our environment (space, things, and living beings) as a field of molecules in constant vibration, of vibrant matter (Bennett 2011), as an unifying field of relationships. I will talk about the creative potential of frequencies in the design of different scales of spaces for the experience of vibration. Here, the phenomena of vibration is approached from the micro-scale of sound waves’ molecular movements in sound compositions, to the macro-scale of frequencies’ geometric patterns in the design of acoustic spaces. I will present the research methodology, which explores transdisciplinary ideas through frames of references, and tests the artworks in public events. I will briefly review the theoretical framework that sustains the practical explorations, which enquires on ideas such as: resonance of space and body as acoustic instruments; affective attunement; sound waves' materiality; geometry and frequencies’ patterns; ecology of vibration.

This talk is in: English
Space, Frequencies and Architecture

Presentation in: lost-in-space: interdisciplinary workshop, University College of London, with the Bartlett School of Architecture, the Institute of Behavioural Neuroscience and the University of East London, England.

This talk is in: English
Sound and Architecture: Space as Resonator

Presentation and workshop. In: Sound | Architekturen Seminar, Audiovisual research on materials / Art and Media studies, KHM – Academy for Media Arts Cologne, Germany.

Architecture becomes audible through specific sound waves, geometries, materials and proportions. We have explored how this transforms the acoustic space and our sensory experience of it.

This talk is in: English
Acoustic architecture interventios in public space

Architectones #1 – conference on sound, art and architecture. Presentation. In: La Saline Arc-et- Sénans, France.
Participants: Mark Bain, Yvan Etienne, Philippe Franck, Bernhard Leitner, Claudia Martinho, Julien Ottavi, Paul Panhuysen, Carsten Seiffarth, Atau Tanaka, among others.

This talk is in: English
Resonant Architecture

Presentation and workshop. In: Architecture 3000 and Universal Geometry, Sicily, Italy.
Participants included Claudio Lucchesi (Italy), Noemi Paymal (France/Bolivia), Claudia Martinho (Portugal), Chavi Gupta (India), Cosme Espinoza (Mexico), Michael Rice (Ireland) and Zana Zu (Slovakia), Prakash Nair (USA), Takaharu Tesuka (Japan).

This talk is in: English

Artist talk after artistic residency in Invisible places: Sound Urbanism and Sense of Place, São Miguel, Açores, Portugal.

This talk is in: English
Sound Art in Public Space

Talk at Faculdade de Letras, Universidade do Porto, Portugal.

This talk is in: Portuguese
Iannis Xenakis: Music-Architecture

Talk in Workshop on Graphic Partitures with Jonathan Uliel Saldanha, Faculdade de Belas Artes, Universidade do Porto, Portugal.

This talk is in: Portuguese
Sound Practice Research

Presentation in Research Le Sonic – Sound Art and Design, Le Quai Art School of Mulhouse, France.

This talk is in: French