Professor of Acoustic Ecology and Sound Art
Head of the Unit for Sound Practice Research (SPR)
+44 (0)20 7919 7652
Drever is Professor of Acoustic Ecology and Sound Art at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he leads the Unit for Sound Practice Research (SPR). He studied Music at the University of Wales, Bangor (1992-95), followed by an MMus study in Electroacoustic Music Composition at the University of East Anglia (1995-6). In 2001 he was awarded a PhD from Dartington College of Arts, for a programme of research titled 'Phonographies: Practical and Theoretical Explorations into Composing with Disembodied Sound'. Following his PhD, Drever co-ordinated ‘Sounding Dartmoor - a public soundscape study’, in collaboration with The Touring Exhibition of Sound Environments (TESE), Aune Head Arts, and the Digital Crowd, University of Plymouth. During 2003-04 he was an Arts Council of England & AHRB Arts and Science Research Fellow with Centre for Computational Creativity, City University exploring ‘electronic music performance interfaces that learn from their users’. He was awarded a Diploma in Acoustics and Noise Control from the Institute of Acoustics in 2012, with specialist modules in Building Acoustics and Environmental Noise, becoming a full member of the Institute of Acoustics in 2013.
Before taking up his post at Goldsmiths, Drever was an associate lecturer for City University (London), Dartington College of Arts, Exeter University and the University of Plymouth, lecturing in Music, Media Arts, Media Lab Arts and Visual Arts. During the autumn semester of 2007 he was a Visiting Scholar at the Critical Intermedia Laboratory, School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong.
An elected director of Sonic Arts Network since 2004, Drever became its final chair in 2008. He is also co-founder (1998) and currently chair of the UK and Ireland Soundscape Community (a regional affiliate of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology) for whom he chaired Sound Practice: the 1st UKISC Conference on sound, culture and environments in 2001 at Dartington and Sound Practice 2006 at Goldsmiths. With Aki Pasoulas he co-chaired The Symposium on Acoustic Ecology at the University of Kent in 2013 and in 2011 he co-chaired the Phonography Colloquium at Goldsmiths with Emmanuel Spinelli for SPR. In May 2014 he co-directed, Sound Art Curating Conference: Histories, Theories and Practices of Sound Art, at Goldsmiths, and The Courtauld Institute of Art in collaboration with Operational and Curatorial Research in Contemporary Art, Design, Science and Technology (OCR). He has also been actively involved in the Noise Futures Network (EPSRC) and COST Action TD0804 Soundscapes of European Cities and Landscapes.
Drever is a member of the AHRC Peer Review College (2009-16) and is a Visiting Research Fellow at Seian University of Art and Design, Japan. In 2013 he became an Academician of The Academy of Urbanism.
BMus (Hons), University of Wales, Bangor (1995)
MMus, University of East Anglia (1996)
PhD, Dartington College of Arts (2001)
Diploma in Acoustics and Noise Control (2012)
At Undergraduate John leads Sonic Art Practice and Phonography.
At Postgraduate level John is the Pathway Leader for the MMus in Sonic Arts and coordinates Sound Agendas and Studio Practice course options.
Tsai-Wei Chen (ORSAS): Sonic Constellations – sojourners' interconnected soundscapes – a case study of ten Taipei sojourners'
listening experiences in London (Completed, PhD, 2010, Goldsmiths)
Lucia, Hsiang-Ying-Chung: A Sound Encounter of En Creux: in-between Roni Horn, Robert Smithson and Alvin Lucier (Completed, PhD, 2014)
Ruth Hawkins: Interpenetrations of Recordings and the Real (completed, PhD, 2013, Goldsmiths)
Kathrine Sandys: I Thought I Grew An Ear in My Stomach - The Phenomenological Experience of the Art Event as a Sublime Encounter (Co-supervisor Prof. Janis Jeffries, Completed, PhD 2013, Goldsmiths)
Dawn Scarfe (AHRC): In the surround – sound and phenomenal experience (Co-supervisor Prof. Janis Jeffries, Completed, PhD, 2011, Goldsmiths)
John Wynne: Hearing Voices – Sound art practice in a cross-cultural context (Completed, PhD, 2007, Goldsmiths)
Antonis Antoniou: Aural Aura and Haunting Echoes: Sites with complex biographies
Janie Armour: Sonic scenography: an Exploration of Sound in the Performance Environment
Wayne Binitie: Aural Atmosphere
Tine Blom: Nature, wilderness and ecological awareness: Exploration, experience and the creation of audio-visual artworks of a mountain
James Bulley: Sound Art Trajectories and the Archival Impulse (Co-supervisor Prof. Janis Jeffries)
Gregorio Fontaine Correa: Why (and how to) make music after the experimental tradition?
Marcus Leadley: In Situ Listening: Soundscape, Site and Transphonia
Sam Murray: Composers, Players, and Clients: Facilitating Collaborative Musical Creativity and Consumption in a Virtual World
Tommaso Perego: Towards a Sonic Choreosophia An investigation on the Movement of Sound Sources for creating musical works
Claudia Martinho: Sound Waves' Architecture — for an Ecology of Vibration
Emmanuel Spinelli: Acoustic Phenotypology – The territory of the disembodied voice in electro-acoustic music and the perception of Acousmatic Identities
2008: Ochlophonic Study: Hong Kong - soundscape composition
2009: NAMELY for Peter Manson, collaboration with Lawrence Upton; text, pre-recorded voice, projections and live voice; studio treatment of and composition with recorded voice, and live treatment of voice and sound. Commissioned by Contemporary Poetics Research Centre, Birkbeck College, London.
Performances and Presentations:
2012: Shizengaku [Biwa/Biwako] - Surround sound installation in collaboration with painter Shuji Okada.
2012: Sanitary Tones: Ayre #1 - 60 minute long based on anechoic chamber recording of a Dyson Airbalde.
2013: This City’s Centre – 1. Window - Views from 40 city centre windows and the residents that live with, video/sound installation Blind Ditch project.video and interviews by Volkhardt Müller, sound edited and composed by Drever
2013: Breaking News - live and pre-recorded voice + graphic score and projection Lawrence Upton; studio recording, pre-recorded sound treatment and composition Drever
2014: Sublime-sound-of-the-one-hand [Ryōan-ji] – soundscape and image installation, It Sounds Like Art, curated by Lanfranco Aceti, Kasa Gallery, Istanbul, (2 April – 26 April 2014)
Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts (FSRA)
Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) (FRGS)
Member of the Institute of Acoustics (MIOA)
Academician of The Academy of Urbanism (AoU)
Recent Invited Presentations and Keynotes:
2010: Round Table Discussion, on Lost Sound by John Smith in collaboration with Graeme Miller (1998-2001), organised by the Royal College of Art, Curating Contemporary Art Ma Programme, Cafe Oto, London
2010: Keynote presentation on recent soundscape composition and workshop leader, Field Studies, MUSARC, Department of Architecture and Spatial Design, London Metropolitan University, Sept. 2010
2010: ‘Acoustic and Topological Space’ with Julian Henrqiues, Performing Topology, Presented by Goldsmiths Screenschool, Sound Practice Research and A Topological Approach to Cultural Dynamics (ATACD)
2011: ‘Creation Power’, Public talk for the Noise Abatement Society’s SOUNDING BRIGHTON, Innovative Sonic Experiments at Brighton & Hove's White Night, 31st Oct 2011
2011: 'The Half Shut Door: A Discussion', with Dryden Goodwin, chaired by Nicolas de Oliveira, SE8 Gallery, London
2012: ‘Sanitary Ambiance: the noise effects of high speed hand dryers’, COST Soundscape Workshop COST Action TD0804, Brighton and Hove City Council and the Noise Abatement Society
2013: ‘Positive side effects of designing out cars – quiet zones Speaker’, East Midlands Councils low cost CPD programme for Planners
2013: Keynote speech: ‘Sounding Space & Public Space’, Sounding Space Symposium - BE OPEN, Chelsea College of Art & Design
2013: ‘Shizengaku [Biwa/Biwako]: Sonic Complement, Counterpoint Or Interpenetration?’, Shizengaku Nature, Material And Aspects Of Identity And Creation, The International Symposium, Goldsmiths, University Of London
2013: ‘Sanitary Soundscapes: the noise effects of high-speed hand dryers’, Smart City Talks: Sound City’, Close and Remote & SPR, Goldsmiths, University London
2013: ‘Sanitary Soundscapes: the noise effects of high-speed hand dryers’, APO33, Nantes
2009: ‘The vagaries of Sound fx: Supposed sounding and listening through the history of recorded sound’, Theatre Noise, Central School of Speech and Drama.
2009: ‘Soundwalking as compositional practice?’, paper in ‘Sensewalking: sensory walking methods for social scientists’, Royal Geographical Society with the IBG Annual Conference, University of Manchester
2010: '-scape [Goodwins] - making horizontal’, paper presentation by Drever and Thatcher, ‘Sonic methods in human geography’, Royal Geographical Society - Institute of British Geographers, Annual International Conference
2010: ‘What would you like your city to sound like?: ideological and ethical musings on urban soundscape design in 2010’, paper presentation, ‘Ideologies and Ethics in the Uses and Abuses of Sound’, Koli, Finland, organized by University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finnish Society for Acoustic Ecology and The World Forum for Acoustic Ecology
2011: ‘Soundwalking as Spatiotemporal Compositional Practice?’, paper presented at The 5th International Symposium on Temporal Design, in Sheffield University in July, and published in the proceedings
2011: ‘Ochlophonia Hong Kong SAR: audition, speech and feedback from within the crowded soundscape’, Phonography Colloquium, Unit for Sound Practice Research, Goldsmiths
2011: ‘Sanitary Ambiance: a study of current auditory ambiances of public toilets in England.’ Conference presentation at Urban Design and Urban Society, The Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, 3rd International Ambiance Network Conference.
2012: Sanitary Noise, paper, sound installation and poster, COST Action TD0804, Brighton and Hove City Council and the Noise Abatement Society, Brighton Town Hall, June 2012.
2013: 'Sanitary Soundscapes: the noise effects from ultra-rapid ’ecological’ hand dryers on vulnerable subgroups in publicly accessible toilets', AIA-DAGA 2013, the joint Conference on Acoustics, European Acoustics Association Euroregio, 39th annual congress of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Akustik and the 40th annual congress of the Associazione Italiana di Acustica, March 2013.
2013: 'Silent Soundwalking: an urban pedestrian soundscape methodology', AIA-DAGA 2013, the joint Conference on Acoustics, European Acoustics Association Euroregio, 39th annual congress of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Akustik and the 40th annual congress of the Associazione Italiana di Acustica, March 2013.
2013: ‘Sanitary Soundscapes: the noise effects of high-speed hand dryers’, Sound Diaries Symposium 2013, SARU, Oxford Brookes.
2013: ‘Sanitary Soundscapes: the noise effects from ultra-rapid energy-efficient hand dryers on vulnerable subgroups – a listening approach’, The Symposium on Acoustic Ecology, The School of Music and Fine Art, University of Kent Partners: SIS & DICE, University of Kent, SPR (Goldsmiths), UKISC. Endorsed by the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology.
2014: ‘Sensitive Hearers and Particular Hearing Requirements within the Urban Soundscape’, Urban Soundscapes and Critical Citizenship: an interdisciplinary conference, University of Limerick.
2014: ‘Sound Art Curator as de facto Acoustician’, Sound Art Curating Conference: Histories, Theories and Practices of Sound Art, Goldsmiths and The Courtauld Institute of Art in collaboration with Operational and Curatorial Research in Contemporary Art, Design, Science and Technology (OCR)
Drever has discussed his research on BBC Radio 3’s Hear and Now, BBC Radio 4's Today and BBC World Service’s Discovery.
2002: Sounding Dartmoor, SpaceX & Liquid Press, i-dat.
2003: Phonographies: Glasgow, Frankfurt, Exeter, Sound-Marked (SM03-01CD).
2006: Cattle Grids of Dartmoor, Pataphonic (SM06-05CD).
Operating at the intersection of sonic arts, sound design, soundscape studies, experimental music and acoustics, Drever’s research represents an ongoing inquiry into the affect, perception, design and practice of everyday environmental sound and human utterance. Projects are often derived from extensive fieldwork, such as the exploration of the crowding and the crowded soundscape of Hong Kong in 'Ochlophonics Hong Kong' (2001-2010) and 'Sounding Dartmoor', a participative soundscape study of Dartmoor National Park (2000-2) for the Digital Crowd (University of Plymouth) in collaboration with Aune Head Arts. His current project is concerned with the noise effects of ultra-fast hand dryers on users with sensitive hearing and special auditory needs, such as children and hyperacusis sufferers.
In addition to Drever’s independent practice, collaboration and cross-art form dialogue have been crucial. Collaborators have included performance artist Rachel Gomme, poets Alice Oswald and Alaric Sumner, choreographer Tony Thatcher, ornithologist Tony Whitehead, visual artist Louise K. Wilson, painter Suiji Okada and comedian Mark Kelly. He regularly collaborates and performs with pioneering sound poet Lawrence Upton. Drever is a member of art collective Blind Ditch and the Morpheme Theatre Company. Commissions range from the Groupe de Recherches Musicales, Paris (1999), Arts Council England (2002, 2007, 2013), WDR Studio Akustische Kunst (2011) to the RSPB (2002). His work has twice been awarded a prize in the annual Musica Nova competition, Prague (1997 & 1998).
Content last modified: 26 Sep 2014
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