Gascia Ouzounian is Associate Professor of Music at the University of Oxford, and Fellow and Tutor in Music at Lady Margaret Hall. She studies sound in relation to space, urbanism, and violence. She is the author of Stereophonica: Sound and Space in Science, Technology, and the Arts (MIT Press 2021), and has contributed articles to leading journals of music, visual art, and architecture, including Computer Music Journal, Organised Sound, Leonardo Music Journal, Journal of Visual Culture, Journal of Architecture & Culture and Journal of the Society for American Music, among others. She serves on the editorial board for the Journal of the Royal Musical Association and the Music and the City series at Cambridge University Press.
In 2013 Ouzounian co-founded the research group Recomposing the City, which brings together sound artists, architects, and urban planners in developing interdisciplinary approaches to urban sound studies and urban sonic practices. Recent projects include Scoring the City (2020-ongoing), which explores experimental notations for urban design, and Acoustic Cities: London and Beirut (2019), for which ten artists created works that responded to the sonic, social, and spatial conditions of London and Beirut.
Ouzounian is the recipient of a Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council for the project Sonorous Cities: Toward a Sonic Urbanism (SONCITIES) (2020-25). This project is formed at the intersection of sonic urbanism and critical spatial practices. Its aim is to better understand urban life through a critical investigation of the sonic conditions of cities; to make creative and critical interventions into urban sound environments; and to support architects, designers, and spatial practitioners in embracing sonic modes of urban analysis and design.
As a violinist Ouzounian has performed internationally in venues including Carnegie Hall, Issue Project Room, Diapason Gallery, Dream House (NYC), Modern Art Oxford, Metropolitan Arts Centre (Belfast), basso (Berlin), STEIM (Amsterdam), BEAM Festival (London), and Green Man Festival (Wales), among others. She has also composed several all-night works for sleeping audiences, including Music for Sleeping & Waking Minds, a composition that involves 4 sleeping performers who wear EEG sensors and generate music via their brainwave activity.
At the University of Oxford Ouzounian has taught courses on Sound Art and Environment, Acoustic Cities, Sound and Space, and History of Electronic Music. She holds degrees in music technology and violin performance from McGill University, and critical studies/experimental practices in music from the University of California, San Diego.
Ongoing Research Projects
• SONCITIES (ERC project on sonic urbanism)
• Scoring the City (workshop and exhibition series)
2021. Ouzounian, G. Stereophonica: Sound and Space in Science, Technology, and the Arts. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Edited Journal Issues
2017. Ouzounian, G. Guest editor, Evental Aeshtetics. Vol. 6, No. 1. Special Issue, ‘Sound Art and Environment’.
2016. Ouzounian, G. and Lappin, S. Guest editors, Journal of Sonic Studies. Vol. 11. Special Issue, ‘Recomposing the City’.
Peer-Reviewed Articles and Chapters in Edited Volumes
Forthcoming 2023. ‘Sound, Architecture, Resistance: Sonic Counterspaces.’ Architectural Review. Keynote Essay, Special Issue on Sound.
2023. Ouzounian, G. ‘Counterlistening’. English Studies in Canada. Special Forum on Interdisciplinary Listening. ESC 45.2-3: 53-59.
2023. Ouzounian, G. ‘“Our voices reached the sky”: Sonic Memories of the Armenian Genocide.’ In J. Smolicki, ed., Soundwalking Through History. Routledge.
2022. Ouzounian, G. ‘Becoming Air: On Sonic Spatial Metaphysics.’ In D. Diederichsen, A. Raffeiner, and J. St. Werner, eds. Sound – Space – Sense. Berlin: Haus der Kulturen Welt. Das neue Alphabet / The New Alphabet series.
2021. Ouzounian, G. ‘The Sonic Undercommons: Sound Art in Radical Black Arts Traditions’ in J. Grant, J. Matthias and D. Prior (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Sound Art. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
2020. Ouzounian, G. and De Visscher, E. ‘Resonant Bodies: A discussion about listening in museums’ in G. Kafka, ed., Sonic Urbanism: The Political Voice. London: Theatrum Mundi, pp. 39-45.
2020. Ouzounian, G. and Bingham-Hall, J. ‘The Acoustic City’. ELECTRA Magazine 9, pp. 201-207.
2018. Ouzounian, G. ‘Notes from the Underground: On Resonant Spaces at Dartmouth College.’ Exhibit Catalogue. Resonant Spaces Exhibit. Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth, USA.
2018. Lappin, S., Ouzounian, G. and O’Grady, R. The Sound-Considered City: A Guide for Decision-Makers. Illustrated guide and Advice Note for city planners. Illustrations by Ryan O’Reilly. 45 pages. Belfast: Recomposing the City.
2017. Ouzounian, G. ‘Rethinking Acoustic Ecology’. Editorial. Evental Aesthetics 6 (1): 4-23.
2017. Ouzounian, G., Haworth C. and Bennett, P. ‘Speculative Designs: Towards a Social Music’. Proceedings of the 43rdInternational Computer Music Conference (ICMC 2017). 15-20 October 2017. Shanghai, China.
2017. Ouzounian, G. ‘“The world of matter has become a Great Nerve’: Feedback in Experimental Music and Sound Art.’ Exhibit Catalogue. singuhr hoergalerie, Berlin, Germany.
2017. Ouzounian, G. ‘Timescapes: Reflections on The Present Instant’. Exhibit Catalogue. The Present Instant. Platform Arts, Belfast.
2016. Ouzounian, G, Knapp R. B., Lyon E., DuBois, R. L. ‘To be inside someone else's dream: On Music for Sleeping & Waking Minds’ in Alexander R. Jensenius and Michael Lyons (eds.), A NIME Reader. New York: Springer, pp. 405-417.
2016. Ouzounian, G. and Lappin, S. ‘New Directions in Urban Sound Art’. Editorial. Journal of Sonic Studies 11. Special Issue, ‘Recomposing the City’. Online.
2014. Ouzounian, G. and Lappin, S. ‘Soundspace: A Manifesto’. Journal of Architecture and Culture 2(1): 305-316.
2014. Lyon, E., Knapp, R. B., and Ouzounian, G. ‘Compositional and Performance Mapping in Computer Chamber Music: A Case Study’. Computer Music Journal 38(3): 64-75.
2014. Ouzounian, G. ‘Sound Art’ in Michael Kelly, ed. Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, 2nd Ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 27-31.
2014. Ouzounian, G. ‘Acoustic Mapping’ in The Acoustic City (eds. Matthew Gandy and Benny Nilsen). Berlin: Jovis: 165-174.
2014. Ouzounian G. ‘Poème électronique’. Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism.
2014. Ouzounian, G and Papalexandri-Alexandri, M. ‘Correspondences’. Current Musicology 95: 33-54.
2013. Ouzounian, G. ‘Recomposing the City: A Survey of Recent Sound Art in Belfast’. Leonardo Music Journal. LMJ 23: 47-54.
2013. Ouzounian, G. ‘Sound Installation Art: From Spatial Poetics to Politics, Aesthetics to Ethics’ in Georgina Born (ed.), Music, Sound and Space: Transformations of Public and Private Experience. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 73-89.
2011. Ouzounian, G. ‘The Uncertainty of Experience: On George Brecht's Event Scores’. Journal of Visual Culture 10(2): 198-211.
2011. Ouzounian, G. ‘The Luminous Ear: An Introduction to the Sounding Visions of Paul DeMarinis’ (English with German translation) in I. Beirer, S. Himmelsbach, and C. Seiffarth (eds.), Paul DeMarinis: Buried in Noise. Heidelberg and Berlin: Kehrer Verlag Heidelberg: 9-21.
2009. Ouzounian, G. ‘Impure Thinking Practices and Clinical Acts: The Sonorous Becomings of Heidi Fast’. Organised Sound 14(1): 75-81.
2008. Ouzounian, G. ‘History, an Exit Strategy: The RetroFuture Fabulations of kara lynch’. Journal of the Society for American Music 2(2): 177-201.
2008. Ouzounian, G. ‘Contemporary Radio Art and Spatial Politics: The Critical Radio Utopias of Anna Friz’. RADIO Journal 5(2&3): 129-142.
2007. Ouzounian, G. ‘Visualizing Acoustic Space: The Story of Poème électronique’. Revue Circuit 17(3): 45-56.
2006. Ouzounian, G. ‘Embodied Sound: Aural Architectures and the Body’. Contemporary Music Review 25(1-2): 69-79.
Forthcoming 2023. Ouzounian, G. ‘Urgent Listening: A Conversation with Hardi Kurda.’ Openwork Journal.
2022. Ouzounian, G. ‘Aftersound: A Conversation with Mhamad Safa.’ London: The Showroom.
2022. Ouzounian, G. and Meireles, M. ‘Lockdown Sonics: A Conversation’. In G. Kafka, ed. Crafting a Sonic Urbanism: Listening to Non-Human Life. London: Theatrum Mundi.
2020. Ouzounian, G. ‘Hearing Power: A Conversation with Haig Aivazian.’ Flash Art, Listening In column, ed. B. Piekut.
2016. Lappin, S. and Ouzounian, G. ‘Sonic Places: In Conversation with Peter Cusack’. Journal of Sonic Studies 11. Special Issue, ‘Recomposing the City’. Online.
2010. Ouzounian, G. ‘An Interview with Paul DeMarinis’. Computer Music Journal 34(4): 10-21.
2009. Ouzounian, G. ‘Bay Area Women in Creative Music’. [Review]. Women & Music: A Journal of Gender and Culture (13): 106-108.