The Sonic Histories of Cork City (SHOCC) Project is an interdisciplinary research project between members of the library’s Special Collections and the Department of Music, University College Cork, Ireland. The SHOCC Project explores relationships between sound, space and history. By using archival and historical sources the team investigates what locations in Cork City might have sounded like in the city’s past creating audio and virtual reality soundscapes. We explore how a city’s particular experiences contribute to that city’s sonic fingerprint: Cork’s history is intrinsically linked to its waterscapes and landscapes as ‘Cork’ is from the Irish ‘corcaigh’ meaning ‘marsh’.
However, capturing a city’s sonic fingerprint is best completed as part of a community, therefore The SHOCC Project developed SoundCatcher, an online collection tool, so anyone may contribute to the city’s contemporary sonic histories. Through SoundCatcher and soundscape engagement we aim for people to learn about Cork City’s fascinating past and present, and also to encourage people to think critically about changing docklands, streets and buildings. In this presentation we will explore immersive environments considering cultural, social, economic, political, and historical factors to show how Cork City and its soundscapes have been altered in significant ways.