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In this CHI Salon, Visiting Scholar Miriam Kolar shares work on documenting and preserving "aural heritage": spatial acoustics as physically experienced by humans in specific cultural contexts. For the past fifteen years, Dr. Kolar has developed site-responsive archaeoacoustics and music archaeology fieldwork in places ranging from monumental gathering centers in the Peruvian highlands to Paleolithic decorated caves in southern France. With NEH-support, Kolar and colleagues are tackling the technics of aural heritage preservation for three case-study sites: Columbia Studio A recording studio on Nashville's Historic Music Row; the Byzantine-revival interior of the 1927 Rochester Savings Bank, listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP); and the 3,000-year-old UNESCO World Heritage Centre archaeological site at Chavín de Huántar, Perú. However technically precise, such documentation is incomplete –– and perhaps inaccurate –– if not informed by knowledge of past events and interactions that have occurred in these places.

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Darryl Harper
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