Author: Danny Hagan
Organisation/Affiliation: University of Glamorgan / Green Man Festival
With the growth in outdoor festivals, music that was often recorded and produced for individual consumption in the home or to mediate the urban landscape, is taken to new situations of collectivity and acoustic space. This has led to new ways for listeners to experience sound, both as individuals and as part of new, temporal communities. For the sound waves to enter the cognitive part of the brain and create meaning, they must pass through a series of interventions, from the generating instrument to the amplification, from the mixing desk to the loudspeakers, from the acoustic space to be the body.
This paper investigates those processes, with a particular focus on the human intervention offered by the sound engineers responsible for translating the generated sounds into a balanced reflection of the performer’s intentions. Through qualitative data it examines the skills, experience and aesthetic judgment of the sound engineer, with a particular focus on their role as mediators for the festival audience.