Barry Truax is a Professor Emeritus in the School of Communication and (formerly) the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University where he taught courses in acoustic communication and electroacoustic composition, specializing in soundscape composition.

He has worked with the World Soundscape Project, editing its Handbook for Acoustic Ecology, and has published a book Acoustic Communication dealing with all aspects of sound and technology.

As a composer, Truax is best known for his work with the PODX computer music system which he has used for tape solo works and those which combine tape with live performers or computer graphics.

A selection of these pieces may be heard on the recording Sequence of Earlier Heaven, and the Compact Discs Digital Soundscapes, Pacific Rim, Song of Songs, Inside, Islands, and Twin Souls, all on the Cambridge Street Records label, as well as the double CD of the opera Powers of Two and the most recent CDs, Spirit Journies and The Elements and Beyond.

In 1991 his work, Riverrun, was awarded the Magisterium at the International Competition of Electroacoustic Music in Bourges, France, a category open only to electroacoustic composers of 20 or more years experience. He is also the recipient of one of the 1999 Awards for Teaching Excellence at Simon Fraser University.

Following his retirement from SFU (Sept. 2015), he became the Edgard Varèse Guest Professor at the Technical University in Berlin (2015-16), and Guest Composer at the 2016 BEAST Festival in Birmingham, where his multi-channel soundscape compositions have been performed, as well as at several other European festivals and ISCM 2017 in Vancouver, plus the 2018 ICMC in Korea where he was a keynote speaker.

Watch a short video interview (FCAT) or a longer video interview done in Poland.
Or the CBC's The Nature of Things program (Nov. 12/15) on Sonic Magic: The Wonder and Science of Sound
(Barry's contribution is included around 16:15, 26:10)

Or Michael Clarke's 2013 video interview with Barry about Riverrun and the evolution of real-time granular synthesis
These videos, along with all of the music videos, are collected here.

Barry is an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre,  a founding member and Honorary Member of the Canadian Electroacoustic Community and a founding member of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology.

For more information, here's the Globe & Mail's In Person profile from Sept. 1998, Randy Raine-Reusch's 2001 cover article from Musicworks 79, and Jerry Pergolesi's 2010 article from Musicworks 108.

Email:; Skype ID: barrytruax (please email in advance if you want to use this communication link)

A recent high res photo and headshot

A collection of interviews is available here.

You can also listen to Paula Gordon's radio documentary from the series "Conversations with People at the Leading Edge," here.

Recent Internet articles:

Jonathan Sterne's blog, Nov. 29/10
Vancouver Computer Music Meeting lecture, Sept. 2009 (

Candid Photos:

With Paula & Miguel Azguime, Musica Viva, 2003, Coimbra, Portugal

Barry's octophonic concert at Musica Viva, Coimbra, Portugal, Sept. /03,
with Miguel Azguime & Carlos Augusto

Giving a master class at Musica Viva, Coimbra, Portugal, Sept. /03
(photos by Jaime Reis)

l. to r.: Takayuki Rai, Paul Rudy, Simon Emmerson, Barry, Wayne Siegel, at Coimbra, 2003

The Shaman Ascending in the magnificent Palais Jacques Coeur,
Bourges, France, June 2005

Barry's seminar on The Shaman Ascending (sculpture in background),
Bourges festival, June 2005, photos courtesy IMEB

Recording a new piano album

Barry with "Dan Patch", Nov. 2005

Carrying the mace at SFU convocation, June 2006
(photo by Florence Chee)

Barry with Simon Emmerson, Bourges Festival, 2007
(photo by Judy Klein)

With members of the Academy of Electroacoustic Music, Bourges, June 2005

With Sammy Chien at an SFU electroacoustic concert, April/08

With Alessandro Cipriani at ICMC 2008, Belfast

Guenther & Barry at SFU Convocation June 2009 on the occasion of Guenther's Ph.D.


posing with President Stevenson & Chancellor Louie (below)

Lecturing at Sonic Acts 13, Amsterdam, Feb. 2010

After the soundwalk in Barcelona, July/10 (photo by Enric Guaus)

With Lucha Turchet after the soundwalk in Barcelona

Concert space in Helsinki, the "House of Nobility", site of the solo concert, June 11/10

With David Paquette and John Drever in Helsinki, June/10

With the SFU Grad Students (aka the "Acoustic Crew"), July 2011
l. to r. Vincent Andrisani, Jenni Schine, Andrew Czink (seated), Barry, Milena Droumeva, James O'Callaghan, Nathan Clarkson, Adam Basanta (seated)

Poster for retrospective concert, Vitoria, Brazil, September 2011

With a group of former students at the Canadian Music Centre, August 2013
l. to r. Jakob Liljenwall, Jeremy Hartmann, Barry, Brian Garbet, James O'Callaghan, Yota Kobayashi, Alex Mah, Sammy Chien

With David Ikard (Univ. of Oklahoma) at the NAISA Sound Workshop, Toronto, August 2013

With student composers at the SFU Woodwards concert, April 2014
l. to r. Fuji Mooney, Barry, Janice Chow, Maureen Liang, Christine Coulter, Christian Akl, Nathan Marsh

With Marc Battier, at the EMS14 conference, Berlin, June 2014

After a lecture and concert at the University of Wroclaw, Poland with members of the Soundscape Research Group
l. to r. Sławek Wieczorek, Barry, Kamila Staśko-Mazur, Krzysztof Marciniak

During the 8-channel soundscape concert at the Academy of Music, Wroclaw, Poland, June 2014

Barry & Dave Murphy in the Sonic Research Studio, February 2015

At the 2015 SFU Donor Reception, speaking about the Glenfraser Endowed Professorship

André Pinto and Barry in the Sonic Research Studio, April 2015

Teaching in the TU Studio in Berlin, October 2015

After the premiere of The Garden of Sonic Delights at the 2016 BEAST Festival, Birmingham

With Sammy Chien at the 2015 ISEA, Vancouver, with I Ching inspired work

With Scott Morgan ("loscil") at his concert in Milan, Oct. 30/17)

With Takayuki Rai at their ISCM 2017 concert in Vancouver, Nov. 7/17

ICMC 2018 Panel on Soundscape issues (l. to r. Paul Miller, aka DJ Spooky, Barry, Peter Sinclair, Hugo Solis), organized by Tae Hong Park, Daegu, Korea

Chairing the jury with Alvise Vidolin (Italy) and David Pirro (Austria) for the 2018 Premio Nazionale
during the EllettroAQustica festival in L'Aquila, Italy, Oct. 2018

Retrospective 8-channel Concert and Lecture Hall at the Conservatory of Music, Venice, October, 2019.

Barry with Brian Garbet at the Grad Student Conference, Calgary, May/19

50th year retrospective concert at Université de Montréal, Nov. 2019

... and from the scrapbooks

Barry getting an early start in electroacoustics, ca. 1949
(probably communicating with Pierre Schaeffer about musique concrete)

With his first car, a 1957 Mercedes 220S, ca. 1976

At the console of the quad mixing studio, Institute of Sonology, ca. 1973

Working on the score for She, A Solo in an attic room in Utrecht, 1973

The graphic score for She, A Solo "drying", Utrecht 1973
Working on a PDP-15 at the Institute of Sonology, 1973, on the POD system

Working on a Hewlett Packard system, SFU, ca. 1978

In the Sonic Research Studio, SFU, ca. 1977

Performing in the Palais Jacques Coeur, Bourges, ca. 1979

Performing in the Palais Jacques Coeur, Bourges, ca. 1983

In front of the hotel in Bourges during the work on The Blind Man at the GMEB, 1979

Working on the score for Trigon, ca. 1975

With Barbara Pentland on the occasion of her honorary Ph.D., SFU, 1985

The launch of Cambridge Street Records, 1985, with "Bailey"

Noonhour quadraphonic concert in the Academic Quadrangle, SFU, during ICMC 85

Philippe Ménard at the ICMC 1985 noonhour concert

Noonhour quadraphonic concert in the Academic Quadrangle, SFU, during ICMC 85 where Solar Ellipse was played

With Italian friends at ICMC 1982, Venice. Left to right, Giorgio Nottoli, Eugenio Giordani, Barry, Luigi Ceccarelli, Giovanni de Poli, Walter Branchi

With Alain Savouret in Bourges, 1985

With Eugenio Giordani, Amelia, Italy, Music and Complexity seminar, 1988

With Rodney Sharman, CMC 10th anniversary gala, Dec. 1987

Lecturing at the Music and Complexity seminars, Amelia, Italy, August 1988

With Susan Frykberg & Franco Sbacco, Sonic Research Studio, 1989

With Curtis Roads & Otto Laske, Cambridge, MA, 1989

At the 20th Anniversary Symposium of Interface, The Hague, Sept. 1991. Left to right, Barry, Charles Ames, Jean-Claude Risset, Marc Leman

In the Sonic Research Studio, SFU, ca. 1996

With Peter Manning, at Brandywine Falls, BC, 1993

With Hans Ulrich Werner, Tuning of the World Conference, Banff, 1993

With Powers of Two: The Artist cast at the premiere in Banff, ICMC 95 (l. to r.: Marcel van Neer, Barry, Thecla Schiphorst, David Garfinkle)

Rehearsing Bamboo, Silk and Stone, ICMC 96, Hong Kong

With R. Murray Schafer on the occasion of his Honorary Doctorate degree from SFU
and the launching of the Vancouver Soundscape double CD, 1997

The Vancouver Soundscape CD launch at the Goethe Institute, Vancouver, June 1996
left to right (back row), Dr. Werner Wolf, Bob MacNevin, Barry, Hans Ulrich Werner, Susan Frykberg;
(front row) Hildegard Westerkamp, Darren Copeland, Claude Schryer, Sabine Breitsameter

Guest Composer at the Conservatory of Music, Catania, Sicily, June 1998

With Ludger Bruemmer, Palais Jacques Coeur, Bourges, 1998

With Carlos Augusto, at the Soundscape Conference, Stockholm, 1998

With Peter Manning, Michael Clarke and a student at Huddersfield, 2000

With Paul Dolden, at home in Vancouver

Guest composer, 9th Annual Electroacoustic Music Festival, University of Florida, Gainesville, April 6-8/00

Barry with James Paul Sain, Gainesville, Florida

Publicity shot for the Globe & Mail article, 1998 (photo by Leslie Burke)

Barry in the Sonic Research Studio, SFU, 1996
(photo by SFU News)