Universities are uniquely resourced to produce cultural events audiences wouldn’t otherwise experience. This paper describes one such project – the establishment and development of the RMIT Sonic Arts Collection (SAC) and a series of public engagement events on a speaker orchestra.
Most Australian universities maintain cultural collections, which offer specialised forms of engagement to support teaching, learning and research, and offer a means for piloting cross-disciplinary projects. The integration of cultural collections into pedagogical models can disseminate specific and interdisciplinary knowledge, encourage peer discourse, and support training of practical skills for students.
This paper reports on the development, components and projects undertaken with the SAC and SIAL Sound Studios since 2012. We describe specific engagement activities with undergraduates, post-graduates and industry partners through exhibitions, national and international performances. The SAC is made present in the life of the university through events on the speaker orchestra, as teaching materials, opportunities for HDRs to work on pieces and for unique listening experiences in three dedicated spatial sound spaces around the University. Together these form an ecology of teaching, research and engagement represented and discussed at the end of the paper.
Acknowledgment: The authors warmly acknowledge the support and leadership of Suzanne Davies in establishing and championing the collection during her time at RMIT University.