Aural Diversity

Aural Diversity recognises that everybody hears differently. The project has three main aims:

  • to create a platform and a set of conventions for staging concerts in which aurally diverse musicians perform to an aurally diverse audience
  • to offer people new ways of approaching the listening experience that shows awareness of different needs and opens up rich experiences for diverse listening profiles
  • to undertake research into aural diversity that will influence policy and future work in fields such as music, audiology, sound studies, environmental design, and hearing aid manufacture
The projectís founder, Andrew Hugill, explains how he came to the idea of aural diversity:

Society typically assumes that everybody hears the same. The sound and music industries are mostly built on an assumption that everybody has the ears of a healthy 18 year old (BS ISO 226:2003).

The truth is, of course, very different. Our hearing changes all the time. We all experience varying amounts of hearing loss as we age (presbycusis). Millions of people of all ages suffer from a range of more severe hearing losses related to various conditions and disorders, traumas and shocks. And changes in hearing need not necessarily mean loss: some hearing may actually become more acute. This is all in a state of constant flux. Even a simple thing such as having a cold on a given day can affect the way we listen!

Aural Diversity seeks to address this complex picture by exploring and researching the differences in hearing between individuals. It is an inclusive and wide-ranging project that is not restricted solely to disability or deafness.

Aural Diversity consists of a series of concerts and academic conferences that will lead on to published research and various social and community initiatives.

The directors are Andrew Hugill and John Levack Drever.

The project is funded by GNResound Ltd.