BiographyPeter Cusack is a field recordist, musician, sound artist and researcher with a long interest in the sonic environment and how sound can used to explore wider environmental questions. He is a member of CRiSAP (Creative Research into Sound Art Practice) at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London.
In 1998 he initiated the long-running 'Favourite Sounds Project', to discover how people interact with the everyday sounds of the places where they live. It was carried out first in London and subsequently in Beijing, Birmingham, Manchester, Prague, Taranto, Hull and Berlin. His project ‘Sounds From Dangerous Places’ (described as sonic journalism) investigates soundscapes at places of major environmental damage such as the Caspian oil fields, the Chernobyl exclusion zone, open cast brown coal mines in Germany and the Czech Republic and the Bialowieza Forest in Poland. It asks the question, "What can we learn of dangerous places by listening to their sounds?"
He produced 'Vermilion Sounds' - the environmental sound program - for ResonanceFM Radio, London and, during 2011/12, was DAAD artist-in-residence in Berlin, where he instigated ‘Berlin Sonic Places’ a wide-ranging collaborative project that examines the relationship between urban soundscapes and city development.
As a musician he plays guitar and field recordings. He has worked with many international musicians worldwide, mostly in improvised and experimental musics.
CDs include Your Favourite London Sounds (Resonance); Baikal Ice (ReR PC2); Favourite Beijing Sounds (KwanYin 022); Sound from Dangerous Places (ReR PC3&4); Favourite Berlin Sounds (ReR PC5).
Cusack's research continues to explore specific environmental issues through sound. Current projects include Aral Sea Stories concerning the disappearance of the Aral Sea in Central Asia and the subsequent partial restoration of the North Aral in Kazakhstan.
Grants and awards
(Figures indicate amount awarded to UAL)
- Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, The Positive Soundscape Project: A re-evaluation of environmental sound
- Cusack P. Five Pankow Soundwalks (2019)
- Cusack P. Favourite Sounds of Hull (2017)
- Cusack P. Sound recording for Here Comes Everybody (2014)
- Cusack P. Favourite Berlin Sounds (2013)
- Cusack P. Favourite sounds: Southend (2010)
- Cusack P, Biemann U. 'Baku in 5 Quarters' and 'The Black Sea Files' (2005)
- Cusack P. 'Your Favourite Beijing Sounds' and 'Beijing Sonic Bicycle Ride' (2005)
- Cusack P. Baikal Ice: Recording and Interpreting the Sounds of the Environment (2004)
- Cusack P. Favourite Sounds Project (2001)
- Cusack P. The Favourite Sounds Project (2018)
- Cusack P. Coal and Petrochemical Soundscapes in North Bohemia: Some Personal Thoughts (2016)
- Cusack P. Svetlana Tsalko: Poems from Chernobyl (2014)
Conference, Symposium or Workshop item
- Cusack P, Poznanska M. There Will Be No Other Forest (2017)
- Cusack P. Baikal Ice: Springtime Melt (2017)
- Cusack P. Coal and Petrochemical Soundscapes: Some Personal Thoughts (2016)
- Cusack P. Daily Sounds All Around (2015)
- Cusack P. Soundscapes of Taranto (2014)
- Cusack P, Clouter I. Vermilion Sounds: monthly environmental sound program (2002)
Current research students
- Maria-Eftychia Papadomanolaki, In Search of London: Literary Texts as Catalysts for Sound-Based Urban Exploration and Composition. (Lead supervisor)
Animation, interactive, film and sound