This was disappointing, I had a paper proposal accepted for last years Archaeoacoustics II conference in Istanbul and due to various pressures and commitments that converged had to pull out. However here is the abstract that was accepted for presentation:
Second International Archaeoacoustics Conference
Observations on Inner and Outer Space Through Acoustic Analysis
Perth College University of the Highlands and Islands
Advances in Fast Fourier Transformer (FFT) and Digital Signal Processing (DSP) technologies in last ten to fifteen years have made the practice of recording impulse responses (IR) much more accessible and accurate. Readily available, battery powered portable recorders can accurately capture the sound of balloons being ‘popped’ within an acoustic space and de-convolved into a reverb algorithm that accurately represents the space sampled (Emusician.com, 2015). Various field recording trips capturing the acoustic characteristics of significant historic buildings throughout Scotland have contributed to a growing digital archive.
There are many well preserved Medieval Abbeys, Cathedrals and Castles that exhibit various qualities of reverberation. Pre-Christian and Roman architecture is hard to come by, there is evidence of Neolithic style citadels at key sites in Perthshire and Angus, but no structure exists above ground. However below ground there are two particularly well-preserved sub-terrainian Pictish Souterrains, dry stone tunnels that have left most archaeologists puzzling over their intended use (Clarkson, 2012).
There is one specific site, Airlie Souterrain in North East Perthshire (Canmore.org.uk, 2015) that suggests another more spiritual use. The dry stone, horse shoe shaped tunnel at the halfway point features roof-stone carvings depicting a serpent flanked by two rods, symbols found on pre-Christian carved standing stones found throughout the area. These Pictish symbols, when considered alongside the reverberant qualities found within may suggest a sanctuary for communing with the ancestors or a place to discover a deeper self-awareness. Through analysing the relatively anechoic nature of the Airlie Souterrian and comparison to overt use of reverberation in Medieval worship, the Airlie Souterrain makes one aware of the bodies internal sound, blood flow in the ears, the heartbeat and a complete absence of external noise pollution.
These observations will presented along with recordings taken at both Airlie Souterrain and Arbroath Abbey’s Sacristy for comparison purposes.
Canmore.org.uk,. (2015). Airlie | Canmore. Retrieved 26 May 2015, from http://canmore.org.uk/site/32376/airlie
Clarkson, T. (2012). The Picts. Edinburgh: Birlinn.
Emusician.com,. (2015). Acting on Impulse. Retrieved 26 May 2015, from http://www.emusician.com/gear/1332/acting-on-impulse/36638
The rambling thoughts and musings of an audio engineer/sound designer turned archaeoacoustician