Harbour Symphony (1986)

Length: 7:00


It sounded like a herd of happy elephants caught in a traffic jam.
-Globe and Mail

Is it going to sound like Oh Canada? -Richmond Review.

Mere words are inadequate to describe what took place when the Symphony began.-Harbour and Shipping Magazine.

On May 2nd 1986, nearly 150 boats of all sizes and shapes gathered in Vancouver Harbour around Canada Place to perform the first-ever Vancouver Harbour Symphonyfor boathoarns.

The piece was composed on commission from the Canada Pavilion for its Expo '86 opening. It is probably the largest environmental music event ever to be mounted in Vancouver.

Special thanks to Bernard Bomers, Special Events Co-ordinator for the Canada Pavilion, who first conceived and commissioned the event; Joe Carter for pioneering the Harbour Symphony idiom (on a smaller scale) in St. John's Newfoundland, and for helping direct and conduct this one; to Brian Lewis, Marine Consultant, and Mary Jane Green, Logistics Co-ordinator. Special thanks also to Vancouver's Marine Community for participating so enthusiastically in all facets of the event and for performing vigorously; to Bob Swanson who designed, and who's company made most of the boathorns heard in this piece.

Final thanks to Howard Broomfield, Peter Thompson, Victoria Fenner, and Leon Wolf for their on-location recordings of the Harbour Symphony and for making their tapes available.

The Harbour Symphonywas composed in memory of my brother, Helmut Westerkamp, who, as a cadet sailor on the German training ship "Pamir," went down in a hurricane in the mid-Atlantic on September 21, 1957.

Available on cassette! See Discography.