Hildegard Westerkamp Talking Rain (1997) 16'
Rainsounds from the westcoast of British Columbia, Canada, are the basic compositional materials for Talking Rain. Through them I speak to you about this place. The raincoast. A lush and green place. Made that way by rain. Nourished by rain, life-giving rain. The ear travels into the sonic formations of rain, into the insides of that place of nourishment as well as outside to the watery, liquid language of animals, forests and human habitations. Talking Rain was commissioned by CBC Radio for West Coast Performance. It was realized in my studio, Inside the Soundscape.
Hildegard Westerkamp was born in Osnabrück, Germany in 1946, emigrated in 1968, and gave birth to her daughter in 1977. After completing her music studies, her ears were drawn to the acoustic environment as another cultural context or place for intense listening. As a composer, educator, and radio artist her work centres around environmental sound and acoustic ecology. Her compositions deal with aspects of the acoustic environment: with urban, rural or wilderness soundscapes, with the voices of children, men and women, with noise or silence, music and media sounds, or with the sounds of different cultures. She is a founding member of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE).
Hildegard Westerkamp Into the Labyrinth (2000) 15'
Into the Labyrinth is a sonic journey into aspects of India's culture. It occurs on the edge between dream and reality, in the same way in which many visitors, myself included, experience this country. Nothing ever happens according to pre-determined plans or expectations. Although travellers usually do reach their destination somehow, the journey itself, full of continuous surprises and unexpected turns, becomes the real place of experience.
In composing this piece, I was challenging my own compositional process as it has developed over the last 25 years: just as India has challenged many of my Western Eurocentric values and turned them upside-down, so has this piece challenged my preconceived notions of the creative process. From the start I had the image of entering a labyrinth of a multitude of sounds and sonic experiences. I had made no plans for the piece other than letting the recorded sounds move me through a compositional journey into an unknown sonic labyrinth. Obviously my experiences of travelling in India and of recording the sounds played a significant role in the formation of this piece. But I could never be sure of where I was going and where I would end up. I worked on it continuously as if on a 15-day journey, where the journey itself became the centre of experience. The composition simply is a result of that experience.
Into the Labyrinth was commissioned by "New Adventures in Sound" with the assistance of the Canada Council and was realized in the Electronic Music Studio of the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University. Many thanks to Darren Copeland for giving me this opportunity to explore composition for 8-channel diffusion. I would also like to thank Savinder Anand, Mona Madan, Arun Patak, Veena Sharma and her mother Mrs. Goyal, Situ Singh-Bühler and Virinder Singh for taking me to the places where the sounds and soundscapes for this composition were recorded. Without their help and local knowledge I would have had a difficult time gathering them on tape. Many thanks go to Max Mueller Bhavan (Goethe Institut Delhi) for inviting me to India in the first place and giving me the opportunity to meet and work with those who have become my Indian friends. Listening to India together has deepened our understanding of each other and our cultures' differences.
Into the Labyrinth is dedicated to my daughter Sonja, who courageously travelled through India by herself and emerged enriched from a labyrinth of new and complex experiences.
Voices and Musicians:
Group of Rajasthani musicians, camel fair, Pushkar
Kamal Kothari's group of Rajasthani musicians, Jodhpur
Sitar, played by Arun Patak in music shop, Old Delhi
Situ Singh-Bühler, mezzo soprano, Delhi
Snake Charmer, Lodi Gardens, Delhi
Sarangi player, Madore Park, Jodhpur
Vendor, Janak Puri, Delhi
Young boy singing, camel fair, Pushkar, Rajasthan
Bicycle Bell, Tilak Nagar, Delhi
Crickets, Palolem, Goa.
Film music from loudspeaker near vegetable market, Tilak Nagar, Delhi
Footsteps, Shivananda Ashram, Rishikesh
Gate, Shivananda Ashram, Rishikesh
Stone cutters working on restaurations, Jodhpur Fort, Rajasthan
Toy vendor's trumpet, Delhi
Traffic, Connaught Place, Delhi
Traffic near vegetable market, Tilak Nagar, Delhi
Train with trainhorn as it is approaching Delhi
Trainhorn as heard from the elevated grounds of the Bahai temple, Delhi
Daniel Colyer Kacho-Fugetsu (2000) 9'
Kacho-fugestu in Japanese means "to appreciate the beauties of nature". It consists of four Japanese kanji symbols: Flower, Bird, Wind, and Moon. This octophonic piece also shares four elements working in unity. They are African Jimbe drums, Javanese Gamelan, Japanese Shakuhachi, and the Marimba. Explorations of rhythms, timbres, and morphs between these four elements are central to this work.
Yume No Nakani (Into The Dream), an octophonic piece, is a continuation of an earlier work <Lullaby (1999)> and explores a dream sequence by developing and processing motivic elements from Lullaby. "All dreams begin here...."
Recently completing his degree in music at Simon Fraser University, Daniel Colyer's main interest has been electroacoustic composition. Studying with Barry Truax, Colyer has made such compositions as Whispers to Paradise (1995) (which won the Socan Hugh LeCaine Award for Electroacoustic that year), Lullaby (1998), and the recent octophonic works Yume No Nakani (1999) and Kacho-Fugetsu (2000).
Peter Manning (U.K.) In Memoriam CPR (2000) 12'
In Memoriam CPR was composed during June 2000 at SFU using sound material drawn from the World Soundscape Project tape archive, and spatialized with Richmond Sound Design's AudioBox. The Canadian Pacific Railway was established in 1880, specifically to develop a railway linking British Columbia with the eastern provinces. For almost 50 years the CPR provided the primary mode of long distance transport across Canada. In 1992 this transcontinental passenger service was discontinued and the CPR became a freight-only enterprise.
Barry Truax Island (2000) 19'
Island is a 16-track soundscape composition that blends natural acoustic environmental sounds with processed versions of the same sounds. The result is a visit to an imaginary island embued with magical realism, beginning at the shoreline, proceeding up a rapidly flowing stream, visiting a resonant cistern, climbing to the windy peak of a mountain lake, descending again through a nightime forest of crickets, and ending at a different shoreline.
Original sound recordings by the World Soundscape Project, Robert MacNevin, David Monacchi and the composer.
Barry Truax Temple (2002) 15'
Temple is a 16-track soundscape composition composed of choral voices that takes place in the reverberant cathedral of San Bartolomeo, in Busetto, Italy. However, lacking any specific Christian reference, the work can be heard as a spiritual voyage in an imaginary temple whose acoustic properties not only reverberate the choral voices but reflect them back as ghostly after-images that suggest an inner space of vast dimensions.
Original voice recordings by counter-tenor David Garfinkle, alto Sue McGowan, and bass Derrick Christian.
Barry Truax Pendlerdrøm (1997) 12'
Pendlerdrøm (or "Commuterdream") is a soundscape composition that recreates a commuter's trip home from the Central Train Station in Copenhagen. At two points, one in the station and the other on the train, the commuter lapses into a daydream in which the sounds that were only half heard in the station return to reveal their musical qualities. It is hoped that the next day the commuter will hear the musicality of the station's soundscape in a different manner as a result of the dream; the rest of us may discover the very same aspects the second time we hear the work.
Barry Truax Prospero's Voyage (2004) 16'
Prospero's Voyage returns to the mythical island of the piece Island (2000), except that this time it is Prospero's island from Shakespeare's The Tempest. The work begins with a Shakespearean actor, Christopher Gaze, intoning Prospero's final speech from the play, "Now are my charms all o'erthrown …", which culminates with the phrase "Let your indulgence set me free." Hence the premise of the piece is what happens when Prospero leaves the island? Before he leaves, however, there is a rainstorm and a scene where Prospero is circling the listener intoning a fragment of the speech from the play. In the next scene, he walks towards the beach, and with a final incantation enters the water and is submerged by it. His underwater voyage is interrupted by several "surfacings", but eventually this underwater dreamworld leads to a very distant place where the piece concludes with Macbeth's speech that ends with "to the last syllable of recorded time."
In other words, the work may be interpreted as a theatre piece that takes place in the future where such magical effects could be possible, e.g. a perfect recreation of a soundscape that interacts with the performer and transforms his sounds. Or, it can be understood as a voyage of the imagination where Prospero, symbolizing the creative powers of the artist, leads us through the depths of the imagination to its furthest point.
Barry Truax The Shaman Ascending (2004-2005) 16'
The Shaman Ascending evokes the imagery of a traditional shaman figure chanting in the quest for spiritual ecstasy. However, in this case, the listener is placed inside of a circle of loudspeakers with the vocal utterances swirling around at high rates of speed and timbral development. The work proceeds in increasing stages of complexity as the shaman ascends towards a higher spiritual state.
The work and its title are inspired by a pair of Canadian Inuit sculptures by John Terriak with collectively the same name, as well as Inuit throat singing. All of the vocal material heard in the piece is derived from recording of the Vancouver bass singer Derrick Christian.
The Shaman Ascending was commissioned by the ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany and premiered there in February 2005.
Darren Copeland Memory (1998) 7'
Memory allows one to be at two places at the same time. It allows one to compare and contrast, to leave one world and grab hold of another. In a soundscape composition, spaces dissolve into other spaces the way the present dissolves into a recollection of the past. For example, one takes the apartment elevator to emerge not from the foyer of an apartment building, but rather, from a quiet seaside dock. The composition Memory by Darren Copeland operates by such subjectivity. One image chases another at will. Often they collide, interfere, overlap, or else, merge into one.
The soundscapes of Memory were all recorded in Stockholm (and vicinity) during a visit in November 1997. The memory in this case is that of Stockholm, and with a few exceptions, during the time of August Strindberg's lifetime, approximately a century ago. Featured among the sounds evoking this period is the elevator Strindberg used in his last apartment. There is also the changing of the guard cer emony in the Royal Palace; Strindberg once worked in the library located there. He was also familiar with the bells quoted in this work. The first from a pair of churches located in Gamla Stan. The second from the Stadhuset, evoking battle songs of centuries past. The past is an individual matter, divided among many intertwining roads, which as a Canadian of mixed European ancestry explains my attraction to the historical sound treasures that frequent this composition. Beyond the richness of a multi-cultural heritage linger many untold stories and vanished bridges.
Jonathan Herring ... to sing the love of danger ... (2000) 8:15
The title of this work is from an English translation of F. T. Marinetti's The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism, written in 1909. Experimenting with, and being influenced by the ideas of Futurism, I sought to create music using the sonic byproducts of modern, technical inventions and their surroundings. The sound materials for this piece were collected in and around the factories at the port of Vancouver. An orchestra of "noise intoners", extracted from this ambience, invites the listener into an abstract industrial world.We thus approach nearer and nearer to the music of noise. Russolo, 1913
Jonathan Herring is a student of electroacoustic composition in the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University. ... to sing the love of danger ... placed first in the Times Play competition of the Canadian Electroacoustic Community in 2001.
Jonathan Herring: Moonlight On Flowing Water (2005)
In my studies at SFU I have developed a passion for the beautiful sound and music of the Javanese gamelan. Being from and living in Vancouver I have come to enjoy the soothing sound of rain. In the quote that follows I found the inspiration to combine these sounds. "Gamelan is comparable only to two things: moonlight and flowing water. It is pure and mysterious like moonlight, it is always the same and always changing like flowing water. It forms for our ears no song, this music, it is a state of being, such as moonlight itself which lies poured out over the land. It flows murmuring, tinkling and gurgling like water in a mountain stream. Yet it is never monotonous. Sometimes the sounds flow faster and louder, just as water also sometimes speaks more loudly in the night only to sink back again quietly." Leonhard Huizinga (Dutch writer 1906-1980)
Jonathan Herring: Didg (2005) 6'
Didg is inspired by the Australian didgeridoo, even though it was realized with the sounds produced by a common PVC pipe.
Marc Bjorknas: Jamaican Sound System (2002) 7:15
The cool and restrained Reggae style of the late 60s-mid 70s was the perfect vehicle for electronic experimentation. "Sound systems" would manipulate "dubs" or instrumental versions of popular songs, leading their patrons into new acoustical dimensions, transforming the everyday into mystical experience.
Eric Paul: Lenny (2001) 11'
Lenny is an 8 speaker diffusion piece created with short excerpts of the stand-up comedy of Lenny Bruce. These materials were lengthened using the technique of interlocking phase loops as pioneered by John Oswald at SFU in the 1970s in his unreleased composition The Burroughs Tapes. By transferring the work-intensive process, originally done with tape, into the digital world using Max/MSP, I was able to explore further the possibilities of this technique. Lenny Bruce's voice was chosen for its richness in sonic and rhythmic variety as well as for the place that he holds for his pursuit of freedom of speech.
Craig Noble: Aerosol (2002) 8:40
A soundscape documentary on and around Z-Lok, a Vancouver graffiti artist. 15 channels of dialog, ambient and transformed sounds diffused through 8 speakers.
Adis Husejnagic: Neptune (2002) 13'
Neptune is he eighth planet from the Sun and its winds are the fastest in the solar system. The magnetosphere of Neptune seems to be activated by motions in the icy layers inside the planet and it produces aurora but very faint ones, as well as radio emissions and other waves, such as whistler waves, chorus and hiss.
Adis Husejnagic: Thanon Khaosan (2004) 9:45
Thanon in Thai means road. Bang Lamphu and Khao San Road is an old area with a history dating back over two centuries and it is one the most popular tourist attractions in Bangkok. The composition explores the relationship between Thailand's contemporary soundscape and Chinese, as well as Indian musical influences.
Adis Husejnagic: Hyperalgesia (2006) 11.5'
Hyperalgesia is an extreme sensitivity to pain. Hammered, beaten, prepared and abused, piano is the source material, in addition to its natural acoustic voice. Programmable software synthesis environment extends the range of timbral expression. New pathways inside the piano are created via octophonic diffusion. One piano was destroyed completely.
Ben Wilson: Sediment (2003) 8:20
The use of layering plays a key role in defining the ideas behind Sediment. Multiple levels of strata exist within sedimentary formations and Sediment uses this analogy in both a vertical and linear implementation. This could be heard as descending (or ascending depending on your perspective) through a rock formation, passing through each level of strata. The "journey" either ends on the surface or in the centre of the earth.
The presence of non-geological sounds can refer to historical or archeological discoveries. While digging, the listener encounters blurred remnants of complex events that reveal little information to the average person. The experienced listener/archeologist observes evidence of ancient or recent civilizations in addition to other paleontological theories. We are moving either forward or backward through time depending on the vertical direction of travel.
The majority of sound sources for Sediment were derived from rock, sand, dirt, gravel and boulders in various states of activity. There is some use of FM synthesis in Csound as well as orchestral strings, kalimba (thumb piano), chisel, paper and scissors sounds that were granulated or pitch shifted and layered.
Ben Wilson: Googolplex (2003) 10:43
Googol: The number 10 raised to the power 100 (10100), written out as the numeral 1 followed by 100 zeros.
Googolplex: The number 10 raised to the power googol, written out as the numeral 1 followed by 10100 zeros.
Googolplex is an 8-channel composition using as the only sound source a list of approximately 1017 spoken English words performed separately by a female and male voice. The words are organized in various ways in order to accentuate the sonic qualities of their respective phonemes and generate large, layered densities. The only processing that occurred was time based editing such as shuffling with various windows to generate streams of phonemes and extensive manual editing of single words placed in varying contexts or cut up to generate different textures. There are 24 tracks of audio bounced to an 8 channel mix with moderate use of computer controlled diffusion.
The piece begins by exploring the sounds of whole words spoken separately and in groups of varying densities by both performers. The words break down into single consonant sounds and proceed to investigate different types of more animated gestural events. The pivot point focuses on a single word of quirky interest and then quickly departs to a section of vowel sounds. Whole words emerge again out of the broken vowels ending the piece in a loose palindromic form.
The words were chosen primarily for their aural qualities (interesting consonant clusters etc.) as opposed to their meanings which were a secondary consideration. The "text" can be listened to for phonetic qualities or for the images that their meanings invoke. The organization of the words in relation to one another was generally determined with no specific purpose in mind, although there are some sparser sections where words were grouped together for a vague attempt of poetic purpose. Several of the words (including the title which does not actually appear in the piece) hold personal significance for me. The performers are the composer's parents.
Andrew Czink: Strike Slip (2005) 9:43
Strike Slip resulted from a conversation with a geologist friend a number of years ago. A "strike slip fault" is a particular kind of fault line which can result in an earthquake. His description of how geological strata shift and slip or scrape over one another left a compelling image. I made numerous recordings of large flat stones scraping over one another, having gravel pushed and crushed over their surfaces and using large metal implements to scrape them. The variety of sounds resulting from the close miking was quite astonishing: ranging from large overwhelming blocks to tiny delicate grains of sound. The rhythmic scraping gestures often resulted in a very "organic" sound; like the breathing (sometimes calm, sometimes with a feeling of panic or fear) of a creature or person. I used particle based formant synthesis, convolution and ring modulation to elaborate and develop the gestural and textural nature of the recordings and focus on their more poetic aspects. Particle synthesis allowed me to isolate many of the "grains" inherent in the recordings and work with them rhythmically and explore the continuum between the micro level of sound and the middle ground of "notes", as well as to amplify and exaggerate some of the gestural implications of the sounds. The octophonic spatial diffusion of the sounds in the mix was accomplished using the Richmond Sound AudioBox hardware routing matrix and ABControl software.
sylvi macCormac: De Constructing Abuse (2004) 12:30
I hope De Constructing Abuse sheds some light on the effects of words & sounds in abusive situations. We do not need to be hit to be hurt. A look, touch, a gesture can say a thousand words. When someone constantly berates or scares you with loud noises it breaks one's spirit. When one is caught in the web of mixed messages one becomes confused. One lives in fear of what is to come next - desperate for moments of joy or at least relief or release. There are various shades of colour and grey areas in abuse and communication. The timbre of sounds and abruptness of attack leave no doubt as to th chains of command and control.
Abusive voices become internalized. i used my own voice to convey that voices become loops playing in our heads and pitch shifted my voice to be androgynous so th abuser could be male or female. i wanted this composition to speak for and to women & men who experience abuse at the hands and voices of others. i used the sounds of breaking glass to represent the shards that enter th heart and soul and the soundscape of th seaside to represent solace and freedom from abuse. i included a song called Ringing in Our Ears, from the album Coastal Chants (1992), and the Soundscape recorded in 2004 which speaks to where i've been and where i am.
De Constructing Abuse was commissioned by NAISA (new adventures in sound art) and CBC's "Out Front" for Deep Wireless: Radio Art without Boundaries, a month long celebration of Radio Art with spatialized version presented as part of the "Radio Theatre" performances at the Latvian House, Toronto.
Galen Elfert: Nebulae (2005) 9:00
The sounds for this piece are taken from various instruments of domestic life. Their treatment, however, is acousmatic. The composition is guided by the perceptual qualities of the disembodied sounds themselves, rather than any conceptual relationship between their sources. The emphasis is on timbre, and the piece moves through numerous sections, each with its own distinct textures. In addition, a kind of tonal centre emerges from the 60Hz hum of alternating current that runs through our electrified world. Most of the transformation and diffusion of the sounds was realized with software created by the composer using MAX/Msp.
Galen Elfert: Biblio (2005) 6:15
A soundscape composition, based entirely on sounds gathered at the central branch of the Vancouver Public Library. It presents the library soundscape as a series of layers of descending quiet, and deals in part with the intrusion of technology and noise into what has traditionally been a space of almost sacred silence.
Jeffrey Mettlewsky: POST (2005) 9:20
POST is an 8-channel soundscape composition using field recordings of the Vancouver Mail Processing Plant. The unaltered sounds of individual machines sorting letters provides a curious atmosphere and counterpoint, while the materials are eventually processed to create an aural impression of the workplace.
Jeffrey Mettlewsky: Unanswered? (2006), 6'
Unanswered? A studio rendition of Charles Ives' chamber work, The Unanswered Question (1906-1934). String quartet and trumpet are replaced by alternative instruments that could not have otherwise been achieved without the studio for editing and processing of the recordings. A graphic score abstracts the previous arrangement for four flutes and is performed by flautist Robert Aitken at the Orford Arts Centre in Quebec. The characteristic spatial element of the original is captured by realizing the new version in 8 channels. With many thanks to Yves Daoust and Robert Aitken for their contributions to this project.
Andrew Douglas: The Lament for the Children (2005) 8:20
The concept for "The Lament for the Children" was inspired by the Ancient Bagpipe tune of the same name. It was written roughly 400 years ago by a man named Patrick Mor MacCrimmon, who lost seven of his eight sons to smallpox in the span of a single winter.
Andrew Douglas: Continuum (2006) 5.5'
Using small computer-generated "grains," Continuum explores the relationship of rhythm and pitch. While usually presumed to be independent of each other, the precision and synchronicity that the computer can offer illustrates the clear unity of these two musical concepts.
Sylvia DeTar: Footsteps (2005) 10:45
Walking (hiking, wandering) for long periods of time is one of the most meditative of pastimes - simple countless footsteps add up in rhythm until nothing inhabits the experience except individual thoughts and endorphin-induced, blissful fatigue. Visual and aural scenery changes along with perception. Footsteps are so basic to (most) humans, a sound we inevitably, and with limited impact, contribute to the sonic environment. The sound of footsteps is intoxicating; symbolizing journey, it's retrospective of past wayward adventures, and it's relaxing - a time of self-reflection and mind meandering.
Sylvia DeTar: Homecoming (2006) 7'
Homecoming is a piece based on a poem by the composer's talented sister, Lena DeTar. Growing up, they were lucky enough to work and play with their archaeologist mother in the redrock wilderness of the American Southwest. Lena wrote the poem to express the unsettling feeling of returning to civilization after immersing ourselves in the passionately harsh beauty of the canyons.I watch the last sand swirlnear the drain of the tub -
my feet are clean for the first timein weeks.
I step on the cool linoleum,slip in a fresh shirt, brush my wet hair.
All of this -
my hands -smells so civilized.
But that's ok -for now.
Because in the steamy mirror,
(the first I've been insince leaving home)
I see the Desert remainsin my sun burned eyes.
James O’Callaghan: Casino (2007) 8’
A soundscape work which explores the hyper-reality of the casino experience and relates it to personal anxiety and agoraphobia. Created from sounds of casino ambience and sounds of bodily discomfort.
Adam Basanta: is the Medium is the Message (2007) 11’
Harsh, abrasive, agitated, obsessed with celebrity culture, overtly sexual, absurd, spreading misinformation and nationalistic clichés; these are all aspects of the television soundscape to which we are exposed. I chose to work solely with materials derived from this soundscape, and through this process highlight and critique the themes and syntax of television, specifically the manner in which an onslaught of information, ranging from the meaningful to the banal, creates a de-sensitization and ultimately a triviality of the very information presented.
Adam Basanta: Transients and Resonances (2008) 8.5'
I have long wanted to compose a piece using instrumental extended technique, which is then further extended into the electroacoustic realm; in this composition, prepared guitar is used as the source material. Within the electroacoustic compositional realm, I used several spectro-morphological archetypes, classifying them using the amount of “energy” they contained, and using the idea of “energy transfer” between the archetypes as an organizing principle. In my mind, this organization resulted in a relationship between Resonances (slow, evolving, energy building gesture), Transients (hard attacks and struck sounds, exuding energy), as well as the resulting Particles (remnants of Transient collisions), leading to the sound events’ perception as a cohesive, though state changing, material entity.
Eric Powell: A Low and Distant Roar (2007) 10:30, for trombone and 8-ch. tape
With a low and distant roar, I explore the musicality within the 'noisy' sounds of airplanes - sounds that are most noticeable only in their absence (I am thinking here of New York City immediately following the air-traffic ban post-9/11). By combining these musicalized noises with more traditional, musical sounds from the trombone, the ear has to listen with some dedication and attention to discern which sound is coming from where. My intent with this work was to use airplanes as instruments and instruments as noise generators. This is accomplished by electronically processing the trombone live in performance. Thus, the musical becomes noise and the noise musical. These sounds do not represent a specific airstrip or flightpath, but exist as remembrances to any experience of flight, travel and the new possibility that a voyage can bring.
Sammy Chien: Landing, Immanent Particles in the Air, Recollecting… (2007) 10:30
If we understand the body to be the apparatus that mediates us between the inside and outside world, then its sounds provide the necessary aural paths to bridge the two. Though breathing is largely non-cognitive in nature — we are unaware of it, as it were — I understand it as an incessantly corporeal embodiment with the outside world. In this piece I sought to explore an embodied aurality in order to unfold what is immanent within us. It is my hope that this universal and bodily form of language will permit the listener to take in the imaginative journey of another. As we listen closely to how our body whispers, we can begin to conceive in ever-vivid ways, human embodiment in all its bewildering yet subtle facets.
Nathan Clarkson: Ephemeral Memories of Somewhere (2008), 9'
The title refers to the practice of digital signal processing. Elements of the original sounds are removed or brought forth and expanded upon much like the memories we contain of our past.
Wynde Priddy: A Whole Bunch of Sounds (2008), 4'
Working with local artist and beatboxer Britt Neufeld, this piece was created to showcase one modern paradigm within the long tradition of extended vocal technique in electroacoustic music.
Peter Bowles: Outside the Innermost Squall (2008), 12.5'
For me, this piece is an abstract journey to the inside of someone's mind and soul. Instead of the journey being limited by the physical boundaries of their body, they shrink to the micro level and escape into an infinite playground (or battleground) that is theirs to discover or overcome. On this micro level, they realize that their very being is subject to the all too powerful and uncontrollable elements of nature. So whether we're sailing upwind in a light breeze of introspection, falling into a refreshing pool of epiphany, or suddenly caught in a storm of regret, with any luck this journey will help put us in our little place and evoke a new sense of harmony with nature. The source material for the piece is a Tibetan singing bowl.
Elizabeth Knudson: Recipe (2003) 11'
As is the case with composers or individuals in any creative field, there are those who like to "do things by the book", and those who prefer to improvise. But what happens when a spontaneous thespian-turned-chef with a flair for the absurd meets his match in a classic cookbook's recipe for a vegetable stew? A duel of saxophones and kitchen sounds tells the tale...
The recipe quotations in this piece were all taken from a veritable vintage cookbook, The Joy of Cooking. The chef's rants, however, were completely ad lib, courtesy of Clint Enns (note: not a "real" chef nor a "real" thespian). Sax sounds were also improvised, courtesy of the composer. No vegetables were seriously harmed in the creation of this piece.}
Phil Thomson: Mountain (2003) (11:30)
Mountain is a soundscape composition derived from walks around various parts of the SFU campus. Different parts of the campus are mapped to different speakers, such that sounds recorded in the northern part of the campus are heard on the speakers which are to the north of the listener, west being to the right, south in front, and east to the left. This affords the listener a vantage point which would not otherwise be possible, allowing them to hear sounds from different points on the compass/campus as if they were in close proximity; a kind of "bird's ear view", a mix of "untransformed" and "enhanced" soundscape recordings mingling with each other in a space which is both imaginary and real.
Mark McIntosh: Glass Wind (2003) (12')
Inspired by Nalo Hopkinson's short story Under Glass, the Glass Wind is a haunting sonic tale of survival in a world after the apocalypse. In this world, existence is dictated by one's preparedness to deal with the ever-present wind storms that carry minute shards of glass which shred flesh from bone in seconds. Tdxt reading by the composer.
Brian Garbet: Would You Like Fries With That? (2002) 15:23
It was a dark and cold evening and the snow was falling hard. Dressed incognito as a naive SFU communications student, I set out into the night. My mission? Codename: McCulture - to tackle the fast food industry and reveal its true face. Armed only with a portable DAT recorder it was to be like David vs Goliath. With the industry cloaked in a blanket of secrecy, a sinister villain hiding behind toys-of-the-month, this was to be no easy task. Had anyone ever attempted an aural documentation of this corporate cash cow, I did not know. This is my story, and one tale I barely lived to tell.