Field Recording, Composition and Performance for Ecology Conservation in Patagonia, Chile

Shu Yu Lin

Project Overview

The purpose of this project was to field record in the Patagonia region of Chile, compose a piece of music that incorporate the these recordings and to perform it to the public. Field recording was carried out on Navarino Island, Chile with the assistance from the scientists who work for Sub-Antartic Biocultural Conservation Program. These recordings were edited at Stanford and used as main source of musical elements in the piece Coexistence. It was a multichannel 3rd order ambisonic piece for 3D surround system. Furthermore, the piece was specifically composed for the Stanford Bing Studio where its premire was held. The concert was a part of the course concert for MUSIC 222 Sound in Space and CCRMA's annual Spring Concert. Overall, the project was completed and the process of carrying out the project was rewarding.

Here is a detailed report of the project. The report included how I made this project happend from the start to the end.

project report

Field Recording Sound Files

There were in total of 120 raw recordings. Each varied in amplitude and duration. Here are 10 of them.

examples of raw recordings

Eventually, I picked 40 recordings out of 120 recordings to edit. Edits included remove environmental sound and rendering so they would be usable during the composing process of the piece Coexistence. Here are 10 of them.

examples of edited recordings

Composition Recordings

Binaural recording and mixed version of the piece is most effective when listening using headphones. These versions provide a 3D sensation when playing back. The sources of this mixed version for binaural listening were 16 channels that contained ambisonic encoded information.

binaural mix

The live recording was trimmed to 5 minutes and 38 seconds due to the noise present in the begining of the piece.

binaural live recording

For playing back through 3D surround systems, download all 16 channels and import them into a mixing software such as Ardour. Make sure that your system has an ambisonic decoder before you play otherwise you will not experience the movements of sounds in the piece.

ambisonic encoded 16 channels for 3D surround system


This is the draft of the score. At the time of composing Coexistence, numerous changes were made. Even though I pretty much worked based on this score, but a few changes were made after the completion of this one. Thus, the recordings and the score do not match exactly.

Coexistence score

Program Notes

This version of program notes was used for the course concert MUSIC 222 Sound in Space which was also a part of CCRMA's annual Spring Concert of 2015. The concert was held in Stanford Bing Concert Hall 7:30pm on May 20, 2015.

program notes

Presentation on the Project

This link contains the slides and examples of edited sound recordings that were presented to the CCRMA community during a rapid-fire talk, which is a part of CCRMA colloquium. It was held 5:15pm on April 22, 2015.

rapid fire talk

For more information about Shu Yu's work, please visit her at