Taking the term soundscape as a starting point, this essay by José Manuel Berenguer addresses a number of concerns relevant to understanding the listening experience within art and everyday life. Tackling questions such as phenomenology, cognition, new media, aesthetics and the overlap between art and science, Berenguer engages in a critical analysis of recent sound art practices, using both significant historical examples and his own experience.
Intermedia artist, composer, teacher, curator… The many labels that can be applied to the career of José Manuel Berenguer (Barcelona, 1955) reflect the multidisciplinary drive that has always guided his professional activities. Aside from producing his own body of work, the dissemination of electroacoustic music and sound art have also led Berenguer to work closely with numerous cultural institutions, festivals and organisations. He co-founded the Orquestra del Caos and Côclea, with Clara Garí, and he directs the Música13 Festival at Nau Côclea. Berenguer collaborates with the Institut International de Musique Electroacoustique in Bourges, France, and he conceived and was the founding director of the Sound and Music Lab run by the CIEJ, Caixa de Pensions. As a teacher, he has imparted classes at the Conservatoire de Bourges and the Master’s Degree in Sound Art at the University of Barcelona. He is also a former President of the Spanish Association of Electroacoustic Music and current Honorary President of the IMC-UNESCO International Conference of Electroacoustic Music, as well as a member of the Academie Internationale de Musique Electroacoustique/Bourges, the ICM-UNESCO National Council of Music Academy, and the MISAME Experts Committee.