Now You're Talking
Join Trevor, as he explores the most exquisite acoustic source: the human voice. Your voice is integral to your personal identity. We judge others not just by their words, but also by the way they talk: their intonation, their pitch, their accent. This was first scientifically examined in a remarkable mass psychoacoustic experiment in the 1920s. Hear about the project to recreate this experiment for the BBC. Talking comes naturally to most of us so it is easy to overlook how truly remarkable the voice is. Mixing scientific analysis with musical interludes, the talk will explore the workings of the voice and how it adapts to different styles. The voice is always in flux, and in recent years changes have been accelerated by technology. Rich in sound examples, the talk will draw on Trevor’s latest popular science book, Now You’re Talking.
About the speaker
Trevor Cox is professor of acoustic engineering at the University of Salford. He has presented numerous science documentaries on BBC Radio and written feature articles for New Scientist, Sound on Sound and The Guardian. He is author of Sonic Wonderland for which he won an ASA science writing award. His new book is Now You’re Talking, which appears in paperback in May 2018.
"A David Attenborough of the acoustic realm, whose knowledge is unimpeachable yet worn lightly, whose language is vivid yet without indulgence" (David Hendy Observer)
He is fascinated by room acoustics and how places can be designed for intelligible speech (for example, classrooms) and beautiful music (for example, auditoria). His acoustic designs can be found in rooms worldwide. He is currently working on two major research projects. Making Sense of Sound is a big data project examining everyday sounds combing psychoacoustics and machine learning. The other project is investigating future technologies for spatial audio in the home, for which he is leading the perceptual work. The project is funded by a multi-university grant and includes BBC R&D as a partner.
He currently holds the Guinness World record for producing the Longest Echo in one of the Inchindown Oil Tanks.
He blogs at https://acousticengineering.wordpress.com/ and he is @trevor_cox on Twitter.
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