TSP (Texas Soundmap Project)

Screen Shot 2016-08-20 at 12.49.55 PM.png

The central idea of this project (still in the works) is to map out Texas’ acoustic history and diversity.

Materials presented here come from three main sources:

1: Recordings from sound archives.

Cushing Memorial Library & Archives, Texas A&M University

Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Alan Lomax Collection, Association for Cultural Equity

East Texas History, Sam Houston State University


John, Ruby, and Alan Lomax recordings [1933-1948]

William A. Owens Recordings [1938-1942]

Oral Histories 

2: Recordings from personal collections.


Leonardo Cardoso Collection

3: Collaborative work with Texas A&M undergraduate students.

Students are organized into groups and work together to learn about the performance from different angles. The tasks each group has to complete include:

  1. Field recording: students should register a representative excerpt  of the performance.
  2. History of the performance: when and how did the performance start? What groups were involved? Has it changed through the years? If so, how?
  3. Participant observation: students have to attend the performances and describe their experience.
  4. Performance analysis: how is the event structured? Is there a narrative? Who are the performers?
  5. Spatial elements: where does the performance take place? How does the space help to shape the performance?
  6. Interview: students have to talk with someone directly involved with the performance.


Fall 2015 Group projects (Texas A&M students)

Spring 2016 Group projects (Texas A&M students)


Greg Bailey, Archivist and Clements Curator — Cushing Memorial Library & Archives, Texas A&M University

John Bondurant, Digital Archivist — Cushing Memorial Library & Archives, Texas A&M University

Leonardo Cardoso, Assistant Professor — Department of Performance Studies, Texas A&M University

William Page, Librarian — University Libraries, Texas A&M University

Sally Ann Schutz, PhD student — English Department, Texas A&M University


Department of Performance Studies, Texas A&M University

Texas A&M University Libraries

Cushing Memorial Library & Archives, Texas A&M University

Initiative for Digital Humanities, Media, and Culture, Texas A&M University


Click on the image below to visit the TSP:

Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 12.30.43 PM

Sound and urban change: “sounds of nature” and upscale life in Austin, Texas

Austin's "Triangle" in north campus (2003)

Austin, Texas. North campus, in 2003

Screen Shot 2013-04-21 at 3.49.54 PM

“The Triangle”  in 2011, when I made the recording.

“Male frogs call to attract females for mating and to defend territories from rival males. Female frogs of some species prefer lower-pitched calls, which indicate larger, more experienced males. Acoustic interference occurs when background noise reduces the active distance or the distance over which an acoustic signal can be detected. Birds are known to call at a higher pitch or frequency in urban noise, decreasing acoustic interference from low-frequency noise. Using Bayesian linear regression, we investigated the effect of traffic noise on the pitch of advertisement calls in two species of frogs, the southern brown tree frog (Litoria ewingii) and the common eastern froglet (Crinia signifera). We found evidence that L. ewingii calls at a higher pitch in traffic noise, with an average increase in dominant frequency of 4.1 Hz/dB of traffic noise, and a total effect size of 123 Hz. (more…)

Soundwalk at the University of Texas

soundwalk map

The route taken

On March 27 2013 the Sound Studies class conducted a soundwalk across the UT campus. The point of departure was our classroom at the School of Music. The point of arrival was the Plaza of the Radio-Television-Film Department, where we would meet Prof. Andrew Garrison (who would guide us inside the RTF building and talk about film sound).

Each student received a small notebook to write what they were hearing as we walked. I was particularly interested in hearing focusing and the amount of detail included in the hearing — writing process. You can see the results of this experiment below.

Inside the School of Music