Sound and Sound experience

Our Mission

Established in 2021, The Pacific Forum for Acoustic Ecology (PFAE) is a collective with a shared mission of advancing studies in sound and sound experience through activism, art, education, environmentalism, field recording, and other practices. The PFAE is a group on the North American Pacific Coast that supports investigation into the soundscape through considerations including perceptual, environmental, and cultural topics. We acknowledge the broad range of potential inquiries into sound studies, including but not limited to explorations in human-made and natural sounds, sound in architecture, sound designed to influence behavior, and sound outside human perception. In addition, we create opportunities for scientific and artistic research, community engagement, and education via workshops, writing, and public exhibitions.

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PFAE Co-Founders & Directors

Alex Chechile

Alex Chechile is an artist and composer whose work develops in parallel with research in neuroscience, psychoacoustics, and the biomechanics of hearing.  His electroacoustic compositions and installations bring transparency to otherwise invisible processes in biology and technology.

Chechile holds a PhD from Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), an MFA in Electronic Art from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a BA in Music from Tufts University.  He studied with Chris Chafe, Jonathan Berger, Paul DeMarinis, Gerald Popelka, Brian Ferneyhough, Pauline Oliveros, Maryanne Amacher, Curtis Bahn, and John McDonald.

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Cathleen Grado

Cathleen Grado is an interdisciplinary artist whose work addresses sound, memory and absence/presence in real and imagined spaces.

Her work uses in-person field recordings and remote acoustic monitoring to inform the composition of spatial installations and virtual sound environments.

She holds a B.F.A in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design and an M.F.A in Media Study from the University at Buffalo SUNY.

Visit Cathleen's Website
PFAE Artists and collaborators

Bonnie Kwong

Bonnie Wai-Lee Kwong is a poet, multidisciplinary artist, engineer, and mother of two children.  Her work in poetry and fiction has garnered six Pushcart nominations, and appeared in journals such as The California Quarterly, The Columbia Review, Crab Orchard Review, The Pedestal, Nimrod, and Taos Journal of International Poetry and Art.  Her first book of poetry, ravel, was a finalist for prizes by White Pine Press and New Rivers Press.  Liriope, her first play, was staged at Stanford University's Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve.  Her second play, There's No Stopping to My Thoughts, was staged at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center with a grant from the California Arts Council (CAC).

Nick Virzi

Nick Virzi is a composer whose work explores the mystical nature of music through imagistic representation, orchestration of complex numerical systems, and use of original natural sound recordings. In addition to composing, Nick is a field recording artist, electric guitarist, conductor,
researcher, and educator. Dr. Virzi is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Music and H&S Dean’s Fellow at Stanford University. His research is based at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics(CCRMA) and Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. He completed his D.M.A. in Music Composition at Stanford University, where he studied with Mark Applebaum and Brian Ferneyhough.

Visit Nick's Website