Mark Ferguson is a wildlife sound recordist and audio artist, whose work explores the unique and intricate sonic detail of the natural world.
He is currently a full-time doctoral researcher at the University of Birmingham, focusing on acousmatic composition. All of his works are composed using natural source sounds, drawn exclusively from an ever-growing, personal recording library of species, soundscapes and abiotic phenomena.
A substantial component of his research explores the relationship between sound recording and electroacoustic composition: in particular, how the inherent methodologies of wildlife sound recording inform creative work in the studio, and how intensive, studio-based sonic manipulation influences subsequent work in the field.
Other areas of interest include the broader practice of field recording (and its associated technologies, methodologies, pedagogy and community), approaches to wildlife sound cataloguing and curation, the historical development of wildlife sound recording, and cross-disciplinary conservation projects.
Mark’s recordings have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4, mentioned by the Guardian and promoted worldwide by conservation organisations such as the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Woodland Trust and WWT. His work has also featured locally on the Exmoor Radio Show, Tone FM, West Somerset Radio and The Voice.
Over the last few years, he has embarked on a number of conservation-focused projects exploring the narrative potential of wildlife sound recording. The most recent, Bumble, is being promoted by BBCT as part of an ongoing series of location-based entries, following his long-term search for UK bumblebee sounds.
In his spare time, Mark also creates short environmental films using open-source software and modified microcomputers. Plastic — a film exploring oceanic plastic pollution — was selected for screening during the opening ceremony of the 2016 NaturVision Film Festival in Ludwigsberg, Germany, and received widespread praise from environmental groups such as WWF, IUCN and ORCA.
Prior to studying at the University of Birmingham, Mark was employed as Product Engineer and Technical Support Advisor at Rycote: an industry-leading manufacturer of microphone windshielding and vibration reduction technologies.
Reporting directly to the CTO, his role focused on new product development and testing within purpose-built audio facilities. He also coordinated the majority of the company's technical support channels, advising leading sound professionals (many of whom work on internationally renowned documentaries, dramas, films and video games) on audio equipment selection and maintenance.
In support of the company's Marketing Team, he conducted several, high-profile interviews with prominent sound recordists and designers, working with the CMO and Marketing Executive on various elements of the Rycote website.
Freelance work before this employment involved various elements of production and post-production audio, including sound design and editing for several environmental films promoting the work of the Uganda Wildlife Authority, a short documentary on the conservation of Brazil's Atlantic Forest (narrated by Michael Palin), and an interview with environmental activist and writer George Monbiot.
Mark holds a MusM (distinction) in Electroacoustic Music Composition from the University of Manchester, and a BMus (first-class honours) in Music from Queen's University Belfast.
During his time at Queen's, he received two consecutive scholarships for academic excellence, a travel scholarship for binaural field recording research, a Degree Plus award for extensive contribution to musical ensembles and an AHRC BGP Studentship for Postgraduate Research.