Visiting scholar: Ann Warde

Visiting Fulbright Scholar 2015-16

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Composer and researcher Ann Warde is a 2015-16 Fulbright Scholar at York. She recently completed ten years as an analyst and computer programmer at Cornell University’s Bioacoustics Research Program, part of the Lab of Ornithology. At York she will develop software for listening spatially to multi-channel recordings of whales, elephants, and chimpanzees. She will also build tools for exploring characteristic changes in sound as it travels through water and air. These tools will facilitate collaborative scientific projects in animal acoustic communication, with colleagues at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in the U.S., and at Cambridge and other institutions in the U.K. A goal of this work is to develop ways to perceive spatial patterns in animal vocalization behavior that we might not otherwise be able to discern.

The tools will also inform compositions that engage the voices of these animals and explore the interconnections — and the great differences — among the perceptual worlds through which we experience our shared surroundings. Overall, the project provides an opportunity to elucidate clear distinctions between scientific research and musical experiment—a viewpoint that could reveal novel insights into how we might think about and undertake cross-disciplinary investigation.

Ann has degrees in electro-acoustic music composition and ethnomusicology from the University of Michigan, Wesleyan University, and the University of Illinois. A former Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell, where she co-directed the Indonesian gamelan ensemble, she is also a pianist. Her compositions and presentations have been heard throughout the United States, in Canada, Germany, Spain, and the Czech Republic.