Sound maps serve as effective auditory archives of our environments, touching on political, artistic, anthropological, and technological facets.
Montreal sound artist Nimalan Yoganathan recently participated in an artist residency in Inukjuak, Nunavik during July and August 2009 (funded by Conseil des arts et des lettres du quebec). He was studying and recording the sonic environment to gain insight into the richness of Inuit culture. This included natural sounds such as the wind, Hudson Bay, mosquitoes, and huskies, as well as cultural sounds including carvers at work, youths building kayaks, and throat singing. The Inukjuak Sound Map aims to create an archival database of these recordings. Nimalan also led weekly sound art workshops for Inuit youths aged 13 to 16, during which they were taught outdoor field recording techniques. Each youth was given their own digital recorder to document their sound walks around the community. Their recordings have been included in the Inukjuak Sound Map.
The Inukjuak Sound Map will help raise international awareness about the natural and cultural diversity of Inukjuak, as well as the interesting but fragile sounds hidden throughout this Northern community. This project has the potential to be used by environmental researchers who study how soundscapes are being affected by technological development and global warming.