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Listening Underwater with Leah Barclay

Updated: Aug 29, 2019

Leah Barclay will be in residence for the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble's #Caravanserais project in 2020. This week she won the Queensland Award for Excellence in Experimental Music at the #ArtMusicAwards in Sydney, for her project Listening Underwater. Congratulations, Leah!

An Australian sound artist, composer and researcher, Leah works at the intersection of art, science and technology. Specialising in electroacoustic music, acoustic ecology and emerging fields of biology exploring environmental patterns and changes through sound - she is at forefront of explorations in sound with an ecological focus.

An obvious choice for our #SonicEcology project throughout 2020, we are currently discussing the content of her residency in Hong Kong throughout the year. Most probably it will involve sound walks and research into the health of Hong Kong's aquatic ecosystems through her unique use of hydrophones (underwater recording). Keep informed about the project through this blog!

Hong Kong may remember Leah's last project in Hong Kong in 2010 entitled Liquid Borders, a commissioned work for the HellHot! New Music Festival. This work was response to Hong Kong presented as an ephemeral performance with sounds collected from the city and processed live during the concert. The work was subsequently performed in a series of contrasting cities in the future exploring collaborations in an intercultural context. More

There is a great run-down about Leah's Listening Underwater project here. Below are also a couple of our favourite projects she's undertaken:


River Listening is an interdisciplinary collaboration designed to explore the creative possibilities of aquatic bioacoustics and the potential for new approaches in the conservation of global river systems. The project is directed by Leah Barclay and was developed in collaboration with The Australian Rivers Institute across four Queensland river systems, two of which flow through the Noosa Biosphere Reserve and the Great Sandy Biosphere Reserve. More


Biosphere Soundscapes is a large-scale interdisciplinary project underpinned by the creative possibilities of acoustic ecology, bioacoustics, and rapidly evolving fields of biology used to record environmental patterns and changes through sound. This project is designed to inspire communities across the world to listen to the environment and explore the value of sound as a measure for environmental health in UNESCO Biosphere Reserves. More

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