Welcome to the April-June issue of the WFAE Newsletter. Progress continues on the 2012 Soundscape: The Journal for Acoustic Ecology, our annual scholarly print journal. I apologize for its tardiness, but I anticipate its publication in June. This issue focuses on the acoustic identity of places, spaces, and landscapes, among other intriguing topics considered from many perspectives, across many disciplines.
While the 2012 issue is in production, the Journal's Editorial Committee is planning the 2013 edition of Soundscape. The goal is to get our publication and WFAE membership cycle in sync, which for most of our affiliates concludes with the end of the calendar year. Although Issues of the Journal can be purchased individually, I would encourage you receive your subscription as a member of a WFAE Affiliate organization. Each affiliate has its own membership application process and fees. Please contact your regional representative on how to become a member. A list of WFAE Affiliate organizations and contact information can be found on membership web page.
The year 2013 marks the occasion of several important anniversaries. This year we will celebrate the 80th birthday of Canadian composer and acoustic ecology pioneer R. Murray Schafer. His book, The Tuning of the World (1977) (reprinted later as The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and The Tuning of the World) has been translated into many languages. Published as a culmination of the World Soundscape Project's research, Tuning of the World remains a seminal work and the catalyst for a profound global shift in thinking and awareness about the sonic environment. I anticipate numerous events will be held observing Murray’s 80th birthday this year - which also coincides with World Listening Day on July 18th.
Widespread recognition of Schafer's pioneering work from the late 60s and early 70s, led to the formation of the WFAE in August 1993. This took place during the Tuning of the World, the First International Conference on Acoustic Ecology, held at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta, Canada. I was one of approximately 150 people who participated. For me it was an unforgettable experience as I took part in the founding of the WFAE. It was at that conference that I made many new friendships and professional associations that I enjoy to this very day. We celebrate WFAE's 20th anniversary later this summer and will have more news about events in our July-August newsletter.
Keiko Torigoe, Director of the Soundscape Association of Japan (SAJ) has reminded me that SAJ also celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. SAJ is the parent organization of the WFAE’s Affiliate organization, the Japan Association for Soundscape Ecology. SAJ is planning a special exhibition in a museum and transforming its print journal into a new digital, online format.
There have been important developments amongst the WFAE’s Affiliates in Canada and Australia. The Canadian Association for Sound Ecology held its annual general meeting in March. A new board of directors constitutes renewed hope and potential for one of WFAE’s first Affiliate organizations. Canada has played a leading role in acoustic ecology. It is the home of the pioneers of our field (Murray Schafer, Barry Truax, Hildegard Westerkamp) and their work in the World Soundscape Project. I hope these changes restore CASE into a vital organization for leading our field into an exciting and challenging future. On behalf of the WFAE Board, I welcome new CASE member Carmen Braden as that Affiliate's Representative. Her report on last summer's Global Composition Conference was published in the September-October of this newsletter
The Australian Forum for Acoustic Ecology (AFAE) has also elected new and renewing board members to its executive committee (see affiliate reports). Jordan Lacey, President, is the new WFAE representative from the AFAE.
I hope you'll explore this issue of the WFAE Newsletter. Its feature research article on silence and tourism, the calendar of global events, and affiliate reports highlighting member activities makes the newsletter a valuable resource. I also encourage you to stay connected. Visit our Facebook Page, even if you are not a Facebook user. Visitors can view posts on late-breaking news from our Affiliate organizations and a field If you are a Facebook member you can also post news on the site.
Lastly, many proposals and projects are in progress as I write. I may see some of you in New York or in Australia for Balance-Unbalance and the ISEA2013 symposia in June. I hope I will have good news to report about these and other events in July’s newsletter.
I would like to close by thanking WFAE Secretary, Gary Ferrington. This year marks his eighteenth year of dedicated, insightful, and professional service. He created and continues to manage the WFAE web site and for the past 10 years has produced this newsletter for the organization. Having more people following Gary’s example will make the WFAE immensely more effective and meaningful.
Eric Leonardson, President, WFAE