The Project

SONOTOMIA – Sound Anatomy of Unique Places is a 32-month-long project supported under the Creative Europe programme, Culture sub-programme promoted by the Education, Audiovisual and Cultural Executive Agency (EACEA).

The project aims at making an analogy between the concepts of sound and cultural heritage as the values and unique characteristics of shared cultural heritage can be captured and transmitted through shared sounds; and sound can link the past with future, just as cultural heritage does. SONOTOMIA partners believe that heritage can be preserved and promoted through captured and manipulated sounds that can aspire future generations to value and cherish more the environment and culture around them. This will be achieved by raising awareness of the (un)conscious sounds from the surroundings that shape the specificities of culture in local spaces and in urban, rural, coastal, and industrial areas.

Consequently, the intention is to reflect on the presence of sound and how its consumption tailors the way human beings sense and communicate daily events. More concretely, in this project the diverse cultural values can be mirrored and established in multidimensional soundscapes that get overlapped and synchronised, which may produce an effect of pluralistic comprehensions and impressions depending on the listeners’ identities. The identity of culture is perceived according to the identity of a listener, while in this case the listener’s identity changes through time and space by interpreting listened soundscapes.

As sounds are widespread and accessible to anyone, promoting and disseminating cultural aspects through captured and modified sound elements will be the core of this project.

Therefore, the project calls upon cultural and creative professionals in order to increase their awareness, interest and competencies in coproducing and exploiting cultural outputs/products with digital core elements that apply sounds for the promotion of tangible and intangible cultural heritage. Due to the project scope and context, cultural and creative professionals denote primarily musicians and sound engineers, as well as art historians, curators and biologists, etc. linked professionally to the cultural and creative fields, especially to cultural heritage. The diversity and levels of experiences and backgrounds of cultural and creative professionals are an added value that the project will profoundly capitalise on, by promoting interdisciplinarity and exploitation of project results.


Build capacity of cultural and creative professionals in digitisation

Build capacity of cultural and creative professionals in exploiting locally and internationally cultural programmes and outputs applying ICT technologies and digitisation

Promote long-term national and transnational collaborations between cultural and creative professionals via virtual (SONOTOMIA Digital Hub; social media tools) and physical (SONOTOMIA public events) spaces

Foster the exploitation of the cultural outputs (programmes, works of art) co-created in SONOTOMIA residencies via coaching and networking

Raise general awareness and interest of wider groups of cultural and creative professionals, and the society as a whole about the connections between sounds (soundscapes, spatial sound) and cultural heritage, as well as of the use of digitisation and ICT technologies for exploring such connections. 

Expected Impact

Short-term impacts attained within the project will primarily be the following:

  • Increased competences of 30 – 50 professionals through the residencies and follow-up coaching activities.

  • Enrichment of cultural and creative offers with innovative outputs and new/alternative channels identified/explored in the labour market (min. 12 co-created cultural outputs within the residencies and at least 4 explored based on the business models).

  • Enhanced transnational collaborations stemming from the project (min. 4 collaborations between SONOTOMIA residents and/or with non-residents as a result of networking).

  • Cultural and creative professionals sensitised towards digitisation of cultural and creative works via communication, dissemination and events.

In addition, on the mid/long-term it is also expected that some of the short-term impacts are amplified. For instance, the cultural and creative offers will be further enriched with innovative outputs related to the project (e.g. by SONOTOMIA residents or other professionals that were inspired by the project outcomes), and further transnational collaborations will be initiated as a result of the project. This is also true for future collaborations between project partners. As it was referred previously, spatial sound is a yet unexplored cultural field, and a long-term impact of this project will also be placed on enhancing this field of study by the newly discovered insights, approaches and methodologies. Partners expect that through the extensive communication and dissemination activities, they will be able to bring together a larger community of professionals in Europe around the yet-to-be-examined sphere of knowledge that the project tackles. In the long term, this project contributes to inspiring others to move towards the pathway of digitisation.


Pedra Angular – associação amigos do património da diocese de beja, is a Portuguese non-profit cultural and scientific organisation established in 1996 and located in Alentejo (Southern Portugal)

Pedra Angular’s objective is to study, preserve and enhance the cultural and natural heritage of Europe, namely Iberian.

Its main areas of activity are the protection of monuments, museums and sites, making them more accessible to a broader audience, as privileged spaces for: music and other artistic activities; building audiences; increase awareness of heritage values in the community; safeguarding of traditional materials, skills, trades and techniques in the different areas of cultural heritage; cultural decentralization; intercultural dialogue; and dissemination of best practices in artistic and heritage management.

The leading project developed by the organization so far is the Festival Terras sem Sombra (in English “Lands without Shade”, an expression from a very well-known Portuguese folk song) which connects, in a low-density region, music, heritage and biodiversity.

Website: https://terrassemsombra.pt/pedra-angular/

4DSOUND is an Amsterdam-based development studio exploring spatial sound as a medium. Since 2007, the organisation has participated in more than 150 international projects and developed integrated hardware and software systems that provide a fully omnidirectional sound environment. This type of environment can enable vivid sonic experiences that blur the boundaries between the real and the imagined: the world of sound we know, and a world beyond.

Building on more than a decade of research, development and experimentation, 4DSOUND has been at the forefront of some of the most creatively challenging and technically complex projects using spatial sound, ranging from symphonic experiences to bio-wearable instruments, from interactive theatre to kinetic architecture.

In 2015, 4DSOUND founded the Spatial Sound Institute in Budapest.

Website: https://4dsound.net

Spatial Sound Institute (SSI) is a permanent non-profit facility dedicated to spatial sound as an emerging field of study with increasing influence on a range of scientific, socio-cultural and artistic areas.

Over the years, spatial sound has steadily been gaining recognition as a new medium that opens up ways of expression and communication with sound that were not possible before, allowing listeners to further their understanding of space and to develop more subtle, complex and intensive levels of awareness within their surroundings.

Located in Budapest’s Art Quarter, SSI offers an on-going artist residency programme, large-scale 4DSOUND studio, open-access library, various public events and a learning curriculum consisting of workshops, masterclasses and lectures.

Website: https://spatialsoundinstitute.com

Santa Maria de Albarracín Foundation was founded in 1996, it operates in the UNESCO cultural heritage city of Albarracín (Teruel) a unique cultural, civil and religious heritage, which has become the most important monumental attraction in the area, thanks to a constant effort of heritage recovery and cultural and tourist activation.

Since its foundation its mission is the socio-cultural and economic development of the area (mountain sparsely populated area in southern Europe), the Restoration, the conservation and the management of cultural heritage of Albarrain city, the dynamization and the projection of the cultural and historical legacy and promoting diverse cultural and training activities.

Nowadays the Foundation manages twelve cultural infrastructures located in the recovered buildings and with varied tourist-cultural uses: Diocesan Museum, Conference Centre, Visitor Information Centre, Albarracín Museum, Various exhibition centres, Auditorium and accommodation for creative tourism, and it dynamizes the cultural scope of the city by organizing several activities that annually reach the hundred and the 5,000 national and international participants.

Website: https://fundacionsantamariadealbarracin.com

The Team

José António FalcãoPresident of Association Pedra Angular
José António Falcão (Lisbon, 1961) in a Portuguese art historian and museum curator.

Advisor of the Directorate General of Cultural Heritage (Ministry of Culture), he worked as Senior Technician at Évora Museum, Curator of Alpiarça Municipal Museums, Advisor of the Directorate of Calouste Gulbenkian Museum and Director of Casa dos Patudos – Alpiarça Museum. He has two service praises.

His activity has been specially oriented to the study of cultural heritage, for which he has contributed with the Commissariat of Exhibitions, in Portugal and abroad, e.g. “Between Heaven and Earth” (Prof. Reynaldo dos Santos Award for Best Exhibition), “The Forms of the Spirit” (APOM Award for Best Catalog), “Invention of the World”, ” Loci Iacobi – Lieux de Saint Jacques, Santiago Places”, “Ultreia” and “On the Road Under the Stars – Santiago and the Pilgrimage to Compostela”, among others. As a lecturer, he joined and worked at Universidade Católica Portuguesa and other Portuguese, Spanish and American. He directed, between 1984 and 2017, the Department of Historical and Artistic Heritage of the Diocese of Beja.

He has held positions as President of the Portuguese Association of Friends of Religious Monuments, the Royal Lusitanian Archaeological Society and the Portuguese Association of Museums of the Catholic Church. He was also General Secretary of the National Commission of Sacred Art and Cultural Heritage of the Church and Deputy Director of the National Secretariat of Cultural Assets of the Church. He is nowadays Vice-President of Europae Thesauri, the European association of ecclesiastical museums and treasures, based in Liège.

General Manager of Festival Terras Sem Sombra [“Lands without shadows”, from the lyrics of a very well-known Portuguese song (2003-present), he founded in 2016 the UNESCO Center of Architecture and Art.

He is a member of the National Academy of Fine Arts and of the Portuguese Academy of History and similar institutions in various countries.

He has made 187 publications, among books, scientific articles and participations in congresses, most of them linked to the history of art, architecture and music.

He is Grande-Oficial of the Ordem do Mérito (Portugal); Orden Civil de Alfonso X, el Sabio (Spain); Médaille de la Jeunesse et des Sports (France); Medalha Barão de Studart and Medalha Martim Soares Moreno, Brasil. He is an honorary member of the Archaeological Society of Athens and was awarded with the Municipal Medal of Merit of Santiago do Cacém.

Paul OomenHead of Development and Curation of the Spatial Sound Institute
Born in 1983 in Amsterdam, Paul Oomen is a composer, curator and inventor. Oomen holds an MA with Honours in Music Composition from the Conservatory of Amsterdam and Universität der Künste Berlin. Initially, he specialised himself as a composer for theatre and opera, however, over the last ten years Paul has turned to work on the investigation of space, sound and perception as well as the crossover of these notions.

Oomen has led over seventy spatial sound projects to date, working with numerous internationally acclaimed artists and festivals and continuously propagating new forms of experiencing sound, such as sound exhibitions, immersive sonic meditation, participative sound theatre or collective sonic sleep-ins. His curatorial practice explores spatial sound as a medium with significant impact on a variety of fields in society, such as music and performing arts, architecture and public space, consciousness studies and augmented and virtual reality.

Paul currently lives and works in Budapest, Hungary. As Head of Development and Curation at SSI, he guides artists and students from all over the world on working with spatial sound and advances it as a medium.

Rebecca KristófProject Manager at the Spatial Sound Institute
Based in Budapest, Rebecca Kristóf serves as Finance Manager and Project Manager of SONOTOMIA at the Spatial Sound Institute.

After graduating with a master’s degree from Budapest University of Technology and Economics and before joining the SSI’s team, Rebecca worked as a project manager at X-Laboratories, a cultural hotspot for multimedia design, where she oversaw a diverse array of creative projects.

She currently divides her time between The Works Research Institute and Spatial Sound Institute, assisting the respective teams with research and management tasks.

Tessa NijdamManaging Director at 4DSOUND
Tessa Nijdam holds the role of Managing Director at 4DSOUND Technologies and works from the Amsterdam headquarters. Her focus lies on ensuring a smooth run of the company and supervising more than 50 international projects.

Tessa studied Art & Economics at University of the Arts Utrecht (HKU). Thereafter, she worked as a curator and artist development lead for Red Bull Music Academy as well as a consultant for many international projects and activities ranging from documentary series to marketing strategies.

Arina ErmakovaProject Manager at 4DSOUND
At present, Arina works as SONOTOMIA Project Manager at 4DSOUND Technologies and, in parallel, concentrates on research of stimulation and promotion of cultural participation in the Netherlands and internationally.

Describing herself as an academic nomad, Arina holds a cum laude MA in Cultural Sociology from Erasmus University Rotterdam and specialises in the intersection of topics of cultural heritage, social media discourse, social movements and cultural management.

Antonio Jiménez MartínezDirector Manager of Fundación Santa María de Albarracín
Degree in Philosophy and Letters from the University of Zaragoza in the specialty of Geography. He is currently Managing Director of the Santa María de Albarracín Foundation, of which he was also a promoter along with some of his employers. Previously he has been director of the training and employment programs developed in Albarracín, promoter of numerous business initiatives for young people, and cultural promoter of this city with programs of great social and cultural demand. He has participated in different conferences, congresses and seminars on heritage management, restoration, and rural development, at national and European level. He has been a member of different heritage and tourism organizations (member of the Hispania Nostra Association and Director of the public company Turismo de Aragón) and is currently a member of the Provincial Heritage Commission of Teruel, and of the Europae Thesauri Association.

It has different awards and recognitions, both personal and institutional, among which we can highlight: Europa Nostra Award for the restoration of the Episcopal Palace of Albarracín (1996), DGA Tourism Merit Badge (1997), “Best Initiative Award” “of the magazine Actualidad Económica (1998), Prize to the Program of Restoration Applied in the historical set of Albarracín granted by DGA, and Prize to” the work of recovery and activation of the historical heritage of Albarracín “(2002), Prize to the Professional excellence of the Rotary Club of Zaragoza and Gold Medal of the Spanish Association of Castles (2005), National Honor Award of AR & Pa and Social Award of Aragonés (2008), Personal Award for Tourist Merit (2011), Medal of Tourist Merit of the Government of Aragón and Special Mention of “Teruel original version” awarded by the Diputación de Teruel (2013), and finally, Prize to the Project of ges of the patrimony granted by the magazine “Ejecutivos”, and Prize to the work of Conservation of the patrimony like factor of economic and social development, granted by Hispania Nostra (2014), appointment like Aragonés of Merit by the Association of Aragoneses in the outside ( 2017), this year has just been awarded the “Encomienda de Alfonso X el Sabio”, by the Ministry of Culture, Education and Sports. 

Monica Busquets RomagosaEuropean project manager
European project manager in charge for SONOTOMIA communication and dissemination activities