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John Levack Drever

John Levack Drever


SWS Advisory Board 2021
SWS Grand Jury 2022
SWS Grand Jury 2023
Operating at the intersection of acoustics, audiology, urban design, sound art, soundscape studies, and experimental music, Drever’s practice represents an ongoing inquiry into the perception, design and practice of everyday environmental sound. He has a special interest in soundscape methods, in particular field recording and soundwalking. Resulting from the findings of his study on the noise impact of high-speed hand dryers, Drever has been attempting to reconceptualize hearing in sound practice that diverges from a paradigm predicated on a singular, idealized, symmetrical model of hearing (i.e. the auraltypical) that has predominated.

Drever is Professor of Acoustic Ecology and Sound Art at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he co-leads the Unit for Sound Practice Research (SPR). He is Goldsmiths’ academic lead for the PhD consortium, CHASE.

In 1998 he co-founded and chaired the UK and Ireland Soundscape Community (a regional affiliate of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology) for whom he chaired Sound Practice: the 1st UKISC Conference on sound, culture and environments in 2001 at Dartington College of Arts.

Drever is an avid collaborator and has devised work in many different configurations and contexts. Commissions range from the Groupe de Recherches Musicales, France (1999), WDR Studio Akustische Kunst, Germany (2011), Shiga National Museum, Japan (2012). As a core member of arts collective Blind Ditch, he is currently working on the Common Line project (, Britain’s first linear forest.

Drever is an Academician of The Academy of Urbanism, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Member of the Institute of Acoustics and Audio Engineering Society and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He is a Visiting Research Fellow at Seian University of Art and Design, Japan. In the summer of 2017 he was a Guest Professor in The Department of Digital Design and Information Studies, Aarhus University, Denmark and in the autumn of 2007, he was a Visiting Scholar, at the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong. In June this year, Drever was a Visiting Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Studies, Loughborough University, contributing to their Sound Summit.


Back in the 1500s, nuddle had a few meanings that congregated low to the ground: To nuddle was to push something along with your nose or nudge forward in some other horizontal manner. By the 1800s, nuddle started referring to stooped walking, the kind of non-jaunty mosey in which someone’s head is hanging low. You can hear a touch of contempt in a phrase from an 1854 glossary by A. E. Baker: “How he goes nuddling along.” Credits to Mark Peters.

Added by Geert Vermeire

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