IYS 2020-2021 into the Future
With the arrival of 2022 came the end of International Year of Sound (IYS) 2020-2021. However the actions related to the IYS are not completed.
There are a couple of events that have been postponed a number of times due to the pandemic, but the enthusiasm of the organizers remains and these will be held in 2022 so remain on our calendar as IYS events.
The Student competition awards have been completed. The video showing the range of submissions related to the song “The sound of the world” has been prepared and will shortly be available on YouTube. The documentary including interviews with many involved with the IYS student competition is being assembled with the aim to have it available in time for International Noise Awareness Day 27 April 2022.
Planning is in process for the creation of a portfolio to provide a record of the events, activities, and resources created for the IYS to highlight the importance of sound in our world. The details of all these components will be archived on the website, in recognition of what has been achieved, despite the challenges of the international unusual situation mainly due to the pandemic. We intend that this report will be both a legacy and an inspiration over coming decades for all those involved with acoustics.
The sponsors and supporters have been essential in providing the funding to allow for the centrally organized activities such as the video on sound, the student competition and the opening ceremony. A certificate of appreciation is being created to acknowledge their support of the IYS.
While many major meetings are holding their own closing event to recognize what has been achieved, for example the Acoustical Society of America special session at the Nov 2021 conference, the official ICA closing ceremony will be during the ICA congress to be held in Korea, 24-28 October 2022.
The success of the IYS has been due to the support and enthusiasm of the member societies and International Affiliates of the ICA and like-minded organizations with an interest in some area of acoustics. The preparation for the closing ceremony will involve the members of the steering committee representing all the regions of the world to ensure that the involvement from all around the world will be properly recognized.
Although it has led to challenges, the pandemic of 2020-21 has provided a unique experience for everyone around the world to become personally aware of the importance of sound, in both the desired form and also in the undesired form of noise. After the closing of the International Year, the continued actions by the acoustic community will aim to ensure the achievements of the IYS in promoting the importance of sound in our world is not forgotten.
Marion Burgess and Michael Taroudakis
International Congress on Acoustics
This congress is being organised on behalf of the International Commission for Acoustics and will host the a session of review of the achievements of International Year of Sound 2020-21.
Approaching the close of the IYS 2020-2021
As the International Year of Sound 2020-2021 approaches the end, we begin to review and consolidate what has been achieved over this two year period. The activities and resources that have been compiled on the website truly reflect the support and enthusiasm from the member societies and other organisations to embrace the concept and in their own way endeavor to promote the importance of sound in our world.
The website has been pivotal to the success of the IYS. The number of visits to the site reached a high of 8,880 for March 2020 and has continued between 4,000 and 6,000 visits per month for both 2020 and 2021.
The central actions by the ICA involved the opening at the Sorbonne University in January 2020, the production of the film which is available in short and long version, and the international student competition. This student competition received over 650 entries for the primary school level and approaching 100 stanzas and videos for the high school level. There will be various closing events around the world with the final closing during the ICA congress in Korea, 24-28 October 2022.
The structure of the IYS relied on the local societies to organise activities. The majority of those were planned to occur soon after the opening in February 2020 and unfortunately had to be cancelled or postponed while developing alternative ways to hold the event. As the year unfolded and we all began to realise that we could continue to promote the message using modern technology, many novel and innovate activities were added to the program. Close to 200 events have been held in 31 countries.
In the resources category, there are almost 100 on-line and special projects that have been made available via the website. As well, the topic has been featured in many publications both within the scientific community (e.g., Acoustics Today) and the general media (i.e., newspapers and magasines). The co-organisers have also participated in a number of media interviews and podcasts.
A first summary of the objectives of the IYS and the activities and products associated with it, was presented during a special session devoted to the IYS organized by Michael Vorlander, Mark Hamilton and Keeta Jones during the ASA meeting that was held at the end of November 2021 in Seattle. While it has led to challenges, the pandemic of 2020-21 has provided a unique experience for everyone around the world to become personally aware of the importance of sound, in both the desired form and also in the undesired form of noise, in so many aspects of our life. After the closing of the International Year, the continued actions by the acoustic community will aim to ensure the achievements of the IYS in promoting the importance of sound in our world is not forgotten.
Marion Burgess and Michael Taroudakis
International Year of Sound 2020-2021: Acoustics for People
This is a joined zoom seminar between Asosiasi Akustik dan Vibrasi Indonesia and Society of Acoustics Singapore. There will be two speakers representing different association. Dr Linus Ang will give a speech entitle “Remote Work: The Importance of Predicting and Mitigating Aircraft Noise in the Built Environment” and Mr Iwan Yahya will give the speech entitle “Acoustic Metasurfaces: The Physics Principles, Inspirations Idea, and the Wide Range Applications”
This is a free event and we hope that this event will introduce the importance of acoustics in everyday situation especially for people in Singapore and Indonesia.
The December Meeting of Technical Committee of Architectural Acoustics
The audience will listen to various sounds recorded in laboratories and buildings, and generate simple sound sources to measure reverberation time. The lecture would be easy enough to be understood by even high school students.
La qualità dell’ascolto in ambienti storici e monumentali molto riverberanti – Materiali e tecniche di diffusione sonora / The quality of listening in historic and monumental monumental environments – Materials and sound diffusion techniques
Many historic or monumental environments, often used for seminars, conventions, assemblies or other initiatives in which the quality of listening is of primary importance, are characterized by acoustic conditions not suitable for such destinations, as a result of high reverberation noise, and their use is therefore strongly penalized.
The improvement and adaptation of the acoustic response of these environments through passive techniques of surface coating or addition of sound-absorbing materials are often made difficult by the presence of historical, artistic or structural constraints.
In the seminar both traditional solutions, with little impact on the forms and on the appearance of these environments, both advanced techniques of “sound” through sound diffusion systems characterized by power and directivity specifically calibrated for the case in question will be described. The seminar runs from h 9.00 CET to h 12.30 CET.
The seminar is organized within the framework of the single-cycle degree course in Architecture.
The participation of external auditors is subject to verification of the limits of capacity of the classroom according to the COVID emergency distancing rules and to the possession of the Green Pass.
An interview on Tag gegen Lärm (Noise Awareness Day)
What may be the legacy of changing soundscapes during IYS 2020-2021
As the International Year of Sound 2020-2021 approaches the end, it is worthwhile to reflect just a little on this two-year period. When the year of 2020 was selected by the ICA for the IYS, there was not even a hint of the turmoil that the entire world would endure starting in this very year. At the time of the opening ceremony in January 2020, there was great enthusiasm for the opportunity that the declaration of the year created to host events and activities that would highlight the importance of sound in all parts of our life and culture. That soon changed as the Covid-19 virus took hold. While intense work was being undertaken to develop a vaccine, restriction on movement became an important management strategy along with sanitizing and, later, mask wearing. In most countries, these restrictions have continued with different levels of severity until mid/late 2021. So IYS event organisers and all the national and associated organisations have had to provide alternative means to continue to host activities that would be in alignment with the motto of the IYS.
At the same time, acoustics researchers realized that the restrictions on movements introduced to minimize the effects of the pandemic would have a great effect on the soundscapes on land and in the water. This presented an opportunity to measure and analyse those changes. Many cities have distributed sensor arrays that would continue to collect data. Many researchers and organisations had noise loggers on location which could be left in position to continue to collect noise level data. Other loggers which no longer had a task could be deployed to obtain more data. The importance of analysing and documenting these changes in noise level was quickly realized. In addition to individual articles, some journals promoted special issues on noise levels during the pandemic (for example the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America and the journal Noise Mapping). The bulk of these papers demonstrate the change in soundscape due to minimal transportation and the increase in other residential activities (such as construction and general neighborhood noise).
As so many transitioned to working from home (“WFH” has become a new acronym), individuals became aware of the acoustics of their internal spaces, particularly important when participating in on-line meetings. They also became more aware of how sound transmits within and into their home from their neighbourhood. At times this noise had a positive effect giving reassurance that they were not alone, but at other times the noise could quickly become distracting during WFH, especially for construction/home maintenance noise.
We have all learnt to appreciate what life has to offer in and around the home and the importance of sound when communicating with family, friends and colleagues. While talking continued as an important means of contact, collaborating via music (group singing from balconies) and sound (mass clapping to appreciate frontline workers) also provided some form of cohesion for communities.
In the underwater domain, the mobility restrictions due to Covid-19 had a considerable effect on marine soundscapes as well. The part of the ambient noise chart that corresponds to frequencies between 50 and 1000 Hz is dominated by marine traffic noise. Systematic measurements are performed to monitor the levels of anthropogenic noise in the marine environment due to the necessity for reducing their levels in order to achieve a good environmental status and preserve the biodiversity — marine mammals and several other species living in the ocean are vulnerable to excess noise levels. According to reports recently published showing differences between noise levels in this frequency region before the confinement (lockdown) periods and during these periods, considerable differences have been observed. For coastal waters which are the regions where passengers and recreation ships are sailing more frequently, differences can be up to 7-10 dB in the low frequency range (50-100 Ηz). Similar observations have been made following predictions of noise levels based on modeling that takes into account the actual marine traffic (location and type of ships) as a result of reduced traffic density. It is clear that marine creatures, which are affected by the noise, especially at low frequencies, experienced a much quieter period during lockdown.
So, it is interesting to speculate what may happen when the world cautiously returns to the pre-2020 life. Will the awareness of the positive and negative aspects of suburban soundscapes during the pandemic continue? Will the realisation of the importance of controlling sound within homes continue with attention to achieving improved sound control within the home and in particular the ‘home office’? When transportation and the associated noise increases, will there be an increase in pressure from the community for greater control? Will the importance of controlling sound underwater for the ongoing benefit for marine life be fully understood and applied?
As the end of IYS 2020-21 approaches, there is on the one hand a little disappointment of the lost opportunities to raise awareness of the importance of sound in our world. However, the pandemic of 2020-21 has provided a unique experience to the majority of the community around the world to become personally aware of the importance of sound and soundscapes in so many aspects of our life. Let us all work towards ensuring that this is not quickly forgotten.
Detroit Orchestra Hall Centennial and Sound Lab — public demonstration
On October 23, 1919 the Detroit Orchestra Hall was opened. It enters its Centennial Year October 23, 2019, celebrated through October 23, 2020. The first official event will be an acoustic measurement and listening evaluation using five binaural head measurement systems throughout the hall, with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra playing the 4th Symphony of Brahms. After analysis, two public presentations will be made in the Hall, including a panel discussion and a binaural listening session with ability to “jump” synchronously from seat to seat. Measurements, analysis and presentation will be by HEAD acoustics, Inc. in collaboration with Jaffe Holden Acoustics, the Hall’s acousticians.
A public presentation will be held in Detroit Orchestra Hall the evening of September 14, 2019, a panel discussion. Tickets can be obtained by ordering online, but there is no charge. Acousticians present will include Wade Bray (HEAD acoustics) and Russell Cooper, Principal of Jaffe Holden Acoustics, the Orchestra Hall acousticians. Paul Ganson, the assistant principal bassoonist emeritus who led the rescue of Orchestra Hall, two Symphony musicians, and members of the press fill out the panel participant list.
Evaluation of IYS Student Competition entries
A great many interesting and creative entries were received for the International Year of Sound (IYS) Student Competition.
The students of primary schools were asked to produce drawings inspired by the motto of IYS 2020 “Importance of Sound for Society and the World” and, possibly, by melody and refrain of the song “The Sound of The World”. Students of high schools were asked to write a stanza of 4 verses (lines) in their mother tongue and/or in English, inspired by the melody and the refrain of the song “The Sound of The World” as well as by the motto of IYS 2020 “Importance of Sound for Society and the World”.
Determining the top entries was not easy and a careful process of evaluation was essential to ensure a fair outcome. This process is described here.
Until 30 April, participants sent their contributions to the national representatives for their country. These representatives selected the three best items for each competition category and forwarded the three national finalists (awarded as national winners) to the IYS Competition Office by 31 May.
Between 15 June and 15 July, the evaluation of the finalist items was carried out by both an expert jury (composed of the IYS steering committee) and an online web jury.
For each item of each category, experts assigned a score between 1 and 5 on each of the following three questions:
- Is the material relevant to the theme of the IYS Competition (The sound of the world)?
- Is the material original?
- Does the material inspire any emotion, feeling, awareness?
The average score given by each expert, answering the three questions (score 1-5 points each), was calculated. The experts were excluded from giving a score to any entries from their home country.
For the voting of the web jury, all items were collected in two different facebook albums uploaded on the official IYS facebook page and users were invited to ‘like’ their favorite items.
Regarding the overall calculation procedure:
- For each category (I and II) and for each jury (expert and web) items were sorted from the most preferred to the least preferred, from the highest (1st) to the lowest (39th for drawings, 33rd for stanzas)
- A decreasing sequential score from 39 (33) points to 1 point was assigned to each item in each category
- A weighting (70% expert jury votes and 30% web jury votes) was applied
- Final Scores were calculated as a weighted combination of expert and web jury scores
- On the basis of the final scores, the Steering Committee will make the decision and assign awards and special mentions
Winners will be officially announced by 15 September.
In the meantime, the IYS Competition Office is also working to realize a short movie (video of the song) and a long one which will summarize the story of the International Year of Sound and its global initiatives, particularly focusing on the Student Competition.