Dr. Tadahiko Imada (JASE) reports that the Soundscape Association of Japan (parent organization of the JASE) will meet for its annual research seminar in Chiba, Japan, November 16, 2013, under the auspices of the Natural History Museum and Institute, Chiba. Since the SAJ is celebrating its 20th anniversary, the organizing committee is now planning to hold a special session. The theme for the session is “Soundscape Studies Considered As Interdisciplinary Studies.” Click2Read more.
Carmen Braden (CASE) reports that the CASE completed the transcription of keynote speeches from the 2009 Gabriola Retreat and is now in the process of translations into French, which will appear on the CASE website toward the end of October, 2013. Topics from the retreat include "World Soundscape Project", the practice of soundscape composition, and the "World Listening Project".
In other CASE related news, R. Murray Schafer's 80th Birthday Festschrift was distributed to contributors in Canada as well as copies to Simon Fraser University and the Canadian Music Center (where Murray`s scores are housed). It is quite a wonderful document about the impact Schafer continues to have in lives dedicated to sound around the world.
CASE is currently considering new projects and funding avenues for 2014. Pragmatically, CASE will have the option of Paypal for memberships directly on the website in the next few months and organisationally, CASE is in the process of strategic planning for the next 1-3 years.
Matthew Griffin, CASE Treasurer, is a musician and composer from Kitchener, Ontario, now living and working in Montreal. He earned his BFA from Simon Fraser University's School for the Contemporary Arts and his MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is currently the co-Artistic Director and head curator for Electricity is Magic an arts organization and art gallery that aims to present a wide array of exploratory work by sonic and new media artists. Electricity is Magic is proud to release the debut solo record by improviser Nigel Taylor. His "Dictionary of Symbols" will be accompanied by a late September album release party in Montreal.
Andrea Dancer, CASE Chair, was interviewed by the CBC`s London correspondence, Emma Bider, about the origins and current state of Acoustic Ecology in Canada. Here's an excerpt of the response to the question: What is your definition of a soundscape?
"Murray Shafer’s definition is “a sound environment,” but that doesn’t express the complexity and mutability of sound. It’s a good base line. For me, the soundscape is the listener-to-sound relationship in the environment toward an ecology of sound. I’ve thought a lot about this and if there is sound but no listeners, human or creature, then it is a thing unto itself. The listener experience is pivotal to sound because the listener is the entity that receives the sounds as a totality, and it is the listener whose listening habits define the space."
The conversation is part of a program still under consideration with the CBC.
Barry Truax writes regarding the Glenfraser Endowment at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C., Canada. He notes that the fund was established in December 2009 by he and Guenther Krueger to promote the work of the World Soundscape Project and acoustic communication research that has been active at SFU for the past 40 years. The initial use of the fund has been to sponsor the annual R. Murray Schafer Soundscape Award for student(s) at SFU who demonstrate high academic achievement, skills and interest in soundscape studies/composition or acoustic communication. The 2013 award winners of $1000 each were Jennifer Schine and Mark Nazemi, both graduate students at SFU.
Last year the Endowment added a new award, called the Glenfraser Acoustic Communication Research Award, which is to support an SFU student’s research project and/or its dissemination as a publication or conference presentation. This year, $2000 was distributed for projects by Miles Thorogood, Jennifer Schine, Nathan Clarkson and Milena Droumeva. Anyone wishing to support this award is welcome to make a donation, either to the annual award or else to the endowment itself. For further information, contact Erin Geary, SFU Advancement at: email@example.com
Randolph Jordan has been working on a project with Barry Truax over the past year as part of his postdoctoral research with the World Soundscape Project (WSP) at SFU. As an aid to comparative analysis across the Vancouver Soundscape Project’s three iterations, he and Barry Truax are mapping the positions of all recordings in the WSP archive that revisit key locations over the last 40 years. The map and details are now online.
Susan Frykberg posts that the AFAE is in good heart with 17 members and an AGM coming up, October 9th, to which all are welcome. She reports that AFAE members have been, or will be, active in a number of events as follows.
Hearing JaaraJaara2013, a digital/acoustic sanctuary on line, air and site, and is a profile of the box ironbark forest in Central Victoria, Australia. It includes a sonic calendar of the aboriginal seasons and a free performance by Musicians Kinja, Ros Bandt with Le Tuan Hung, (DanTranh) Wang Zeng ting, (sheng) and Mary Doumani (Harp). The public event associated with it is at 3:30 on November 3, 2013 and includes a welcome to country at the Fryerstown school, a CD and website launch and a quiet walk to hear the live performance and sonic celebration of box iron bark bushland.
Leah Barclay's Biosphere Soundscape project recently hosted Francisco Lopez for a field recording master class in the Noosa Biosphere Reserve. This was the first in a new Biosphere Soundscapes workshop series that will launch in 2014. Leah’s latest project ZAMEEN is currently touring Australia featuring at the Parramasala International Arts Festival. Composed entirely with environmental field recordings from North India, this is the first major outcome from The DAM(N) Project, an interdisciplinary performance exploring global water security through the lives of displaced communities in the Narmada Valley of North India. Zameen is accompanied by live projections and contemporary dance pulling you into the heart of a remote Indian community fighting for their way of life.
Catherine Clover's B is for Bird, C is for City was a site specific response and focused on the seagulls living around the Norla Dome at the Mission to Seafarers, central Melbourne, as part of Liquid Architecture 13: Sonic City. It consisted of field recordings followed by live performance by three Melbourne performers Penny Baron, Vanessa Chapple and Kate Hunter. The field recordings comprised seagulls calling, human voices reading to the gulls and field recordings of both human and gull voices. The live component consisted of the three performers reading from the field guides and imitating the gulls’ voices, echoing some of the content in the field recordings, not unlike a process of call and response.
Susan Frykberg's A Day of Hours is part of the new RMIT University Sound Art Collection, Sound Bites City, the first of its kind in Australia. Sound Bites City will offer audiences the chance to experience 19 new and significant works by Australian and international sound artists. The exhibition takes place in the Torus - an exciting circular structure that has been specially designed by architects, engineers and sound designers based in RMIT's SIAL unit to provide the best way to exhibit sound. RMIT's Sound Art Exhibition runs from September 4th to October 19th in Melbourne, Australia.
Jordan Lacey offers a transformed listening experience in Subterranean Voices at The Trench, a cavernous underground space filled with the sounds of sewerage pipes and nearby Flinders Train Station. Lacey presents pre-recordings of the site, in the site itself, thereby transforming it spatially, spectrally and temporally. Part of the Liquid Architecture Festival, Subterranean Voices encourages the listener to attend to the trench's sonic attributes: its cavernous reverb, its extraordinary dynamic range, (from the blast of train horns to the the delicate drippings within the pipes), and its spectral bias that is a consequence of its shape and the materials with which it is constructed. Subterranean Voices uses Max patches, an eight-speaker sound system and the software programs Ableton, Reaper, WasP [(C) SIAL Sound] and Metasynth. Subterranean Voices was presented a number of times during the weekend of August 31st and September 1, 2013, as part of the Liquid Architecture Festival, 2013.
Catherine Meeson is working on a soundscape composition that mimics a virtual soundwalk through an idealized, balanced eco-sound-system. The experience takes the listener into an Oriental Temple Garden Complex, to be greeted by musicians and absorbed in the sound world within. Afterwards, they are returned into the garden for contemplation and reflection. Catherine's approach to soundscape composition incorporates therapeutic and moving elements of sound as well as music. It is inspired by notions from acoustic ecology, ethnomusicological soundscape studies, cross cultural wisdom teachings on interrelation, the sanctity of life belief as it is embodied in person and place relations, and musical healing systems from a variety of cultures.
Jay Needham has posted this update on activity within the American Society for Acoustic Ecology (ASAE) and its chapter members:
Eric Leonardson will perform with Hamburg-based trumpet-player, Birgit Ulher on 8pm on Wednesday, October 9, at Bond Chapel, 1025 East 58th St., Chicago. The free concert is hosted by the Renaissance Society. Then on October 22nd Eric and his students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago present/host/lead a special 2-hour interactive sound workshop at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art. Eric notes that, "We are interested in the actively engaging people in the ways that sounds from all around create an environment, a sense of place, recorded sounds can are familiar a medium of exchange, transmission, communication, and art." A final note, Eric, Christopher Preissing, and Julia Miller (Auris Trio) have released a CD with Bay Area percussionist Gino Robair, entitled "Rub". A split release with Public Eyesore/Pan Y Rosas.
Stephan Moore will perform in concert as a part of, IMMERSION: an occasion of sound and movement at 4pm on Sunday October 6, 2013 at the Jane Bailey Memorial Garden. The event will feature three collaborative performances between BodyStories: Teresa Fellion Dance and sound artists Carver Audain, Richard Garet, and Stephan Moore. The event will be staged outdoors and is free to the public. The event is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).
Jay Needham has composed a new work based on soundscape recordings that that he has gathered in the rainforests of Panama. The work will be permanently installed in the new museum of biodiversity Panama. Designed by noted architect Frank Gehry, the newly constructed Biomuseo, is scheduled to formally open in December. Needham will travel to Panama in late October to oversee final installation and to conduct ongoing research in the region in partnership with the Asociación Panamericana para la Conservación (APPC).
Soundwalker Christopher Preissing explored with participants the process of listening and recording on Saturday, July 13, 2013 at the Miller Woods' Paul Douglas Environmental Education Center in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. The soundwalk was hosted by the MSAE-WLP. (Photo: Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology)
Christoper also curated Proximity, the first Experiments in Space and Time project on Saturday, September 21st at Chicago's Elastic Arts Foundation. This research and performance project investigates relationships among time-based art forms and spectators. Watch for an upcoming call for proposals for future projects.
Contributors: Carmen Braden (CASE), Susan Frykberg (AFAE), Jay Needham (ASAE), Tadahiko Imada (JASE), and Barry Truax (CASE).