Associated Artists
Hildegard Westerkamp
  Sound Travels 1998
Festival 1998 - 1998
  Vancouver Canada
What was said before the concert? Some of Canada's premiere electroacoustic composers will present their works at an event that features the stirling, surround-sound capabilities of a new, computerized sound diffusion system. Able to distribute up to 16 independent sounds, the digital mixer allows the composers to pre-program how music and sounds flow around the concert space, eliminating the need, of course, for a live mixer. "The audience can feel the sound move," explains Vancouver composer Hildegard Westerkamp. "It's like experiencing a live sound environment, yet it's custom-designed." Invented by Vancouver-based companies Harmonic Functions and Third Monk Software, the DM1616 digital audio mixer and ABControl software were first created in 1995 for theatrical sound applications and themed sound installations. The Western Front concert, which is part of a program also taking place in Toronto, represents the first use of the recently released ABControl software in a musical context. "After one has the chance to work with automated diffusion," enthuses Toronto composer Darren Copeland, "one may never want to return to the old way of doing things!" Vancouver's Matt Rogalsky is an intermedia artist who focuses on electronic performance and installation, with a particular interest in sound. He is currently completing a realization of Martin Bartlett's last composition 'Paraphernalia', left unfinished at the time of his death in 1993, which will be premiered in Vancouver this November. For 'Sound travels', Rogalsky will interpret a work by Bartlett called "Pulse Studies." Ned Bouhalassa's acousmatic works have been presented in concert and on radio in many countries and have have won him national and international prizes (1990, '93, '95). Recently he has composed music for a variety of media (cinema, television, internet) and techno-derived styles. 'Kidnapped' was inspired by the 1996 novel 'News of a Kidnapping' by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. "I became fascinated by the idea of recreating the soundscapes that are suggested in the various stages of the drama of a kidnapping," says Bouhalassa. "I'll be using the computer-assisted projection system to explore the exterior and interior worlds of the kidnapped victims." Toronto-based Darren Copeland 's award-winning compositional output is drawn entirely from environmental sounds.They have appeared on compilation CD releases including Storm of Drones, Radius #3, DISContact I & II, and Soundscape Vancouver. His piece, 'Life Unseen', is about blindness. "For works that feature spoken word," says Copeland, "the multi-channel approach to diffusion allows the surrounding soundscape to take precedence in the mix without hindering the intelligibility of the words." Vancouver composer-performer Kenneth Newby and San Franscico spoken-word artist Robert Anthony recently created together 'The Seasonal Round,' an opera-hypermedia of spoken word, acoustic and acousmatic sound. 'Summer' from that work will be presented for 'Sound travels'. Newby is strongly influenced by his studies of computer software composition, artificial intelligence, philosophy, and Javanese and Balinese musics. For the past several years, Anthony has been developing a cycle of poetry around archaic pagan cycles of nature. As the programmer behind Vancouver's Third Monk Software, Chris Rolfe developed the ABControl software for the DM1616, and composes music specifically for multi-speaker diffusion. His work is a solo excerpt from 'The Answer which the Court Gives,' in which Archibald Cox (former Watergate prosecutor, and frequent speaker before the US Supreme Court) beguiles a panel of judges with the simple and inescapable facts, three of them. Whether as a composer, educator or radio artist, most of Hildegard Westerkamp's work since the mid-seventies has centred around environmental sound and acoustic ecology. She has taught courses in Acoustic Communication at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver and has conducted soundscape works internationally. She is a founding member of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology and was the editor of The Soundscape Newsletter between 1991 and 1995. 'Gently Penetrating Beneath the Sounding Surfaces of Another Place' (1997) is a solo work for tape. "This piece explores outer and inner worlds as one experiences them in India: the extraordinary intensity of daily living as well as the inner radiance, focus and stillness that emanate from deep within the culture and its people, despite the hardships of life."
Bibliographic Refs
Festival of Sound Art
Organisor Darren Copeland
Funder Harmonic Functions, Third Monk Software, Western Front New Music, SOCAN Foundation, and the Music Section of the Canada Council for the Arts.