Lehrveranstaltungen - SS 08

Elektronische Komposition 1

Klanglandschaften
Donnerstag 13 - 15 Uhr

Klangbeispiele

Music of Horns and Whistles

Vanscape5.mp3 (Vancouver Soundscape, Track 5)

Vancouver Soundmarks

Vanscape6.mp3 (Vancouver Soundscape, Track 6)

Coiffeur Papillota

von Clemens von Reusner
Für viele Menschen gehören Besuche beim Friseur zu den alltäglichen Verrichtungen, deren akustische Dimension sich kaum einmal jemand bewußt macht, obwohl der Friseur als einer der wenigen Menschen überhaupt in unmittelbarer Nähe der Ohren agiert.
Der Mitschnitt eines Besuches beim Friseur, bei dem auf die oft übliche Hintergrundmusik und Gespräche verzichtet wurde, dokumentiert eine spezifische Klanglandschaft, die so auf eine neue Weise erfahrbar wird. Gelegentlich sind Geräusche von außerhalb wahrnehmbar. Durch die Verwendung von Kopfmikrophonen, die in den Ohrmuscheln getragen wurden, entsteht besonders beim Abhören mit Kopfhörern ein sehr räumlicher, authentischer Eindruck des akustischen Geschehens. Zu Beginn ist das Stutzen des Bartes mit einer elektrischen Maschine zu hören. Danach Geräusche des Waschens, des Schneidens und des Fönens der Haare.
Das Friseurgeschäft COIFFEUR PAPILLOTA liegt in einer ruhigen Nebenstraße im Zentrum Braunschweigs. (1996).
coiffeur_papillota.mp3 (Ausschnitt)

Der Kaitzbach

Ein akustisches Portrait
von Mirjam Jauslin und Lorenz Schwarz
Der Kaitzbach ist ein kleiner Zufluss der Elbe. Er nimmt seinen Anfang südlich von Dresden und sucht sich seinen Weg durch eine bewegte Kulturgeschichte mitten durch die Stadt hindurch.
Ausschnitt eines einstündigen Features, das den Verlauf und das Schicksal eines kleinen Baches mitten in der Grosstadt Dresden D vorstellt. Entstanden 1996
kaitzbach.mp3 (Ausschnitt)

Le pays ou les vaches sont reines

Das Land, wo die Kühe herrschen ...
von Claudia Pellegrini
Ausschnitt aus Aufnahme 1. Mayens 04:19, abendliche Heimkehr der Kühe zum Stall auf der Alpe La Chaux, Verbier/Bagnes, 16./17. August 1993 sowie Melkmaschine.
(P) (C) 1994 enregistrements et montage DAD Claudia Pellegrini, World Soundscape Project, Burnaby B.C. (MP3, 1.8 MB)
lourtier.mp3 (Ausschnitt)

Klanglandschaft Arlesheim

Anlässlich des Projektes "Akustische Landschaften der Schweiz" wurden die akustischen Eigenschaften einiger Orte in der Schweiz dokumentiert.
von Justin Winkler
Zu hören ist ein Ausschnitt eines 24h-Profil der Gemeinde Arlesheim BL, jeweils 1min Lautereignisse und 1min Grundtonalität des Ortes.
Aufgenommen am 5.Mai 1993, 18h-20h
Arlesheim.mp3 (Ausschnitt)

Café Calabria

by David Paquette
This first sequence consists of one continuous excerpt, selected for its wide variety of sound signals and the progressive modification of the sound environment. It represents a typical busy afternoon at Café Calabria. Male voices with European accents, Mediterranean-style music and various noises from cashiers and kitchen can be heard. The only element that was added in postproduction is a short joyful vocal interaction between two Italian males, used to provide an additional hint concerning the location of the recording.
calabria.wav (Ausschnitt)

Grandview Park

by David Paquette
This sequence is made up of four different recordings, transparently mixed to provide an overview of the main sound signals that can be heard in Grandview Park during a sunny afternoon. While traffic can be heard in the front, other quieter sounds from inside the park (notably kids playing, musicians, voices and birds) remain audible and provide a somewhat hi-fi environment.
park.wav (Ausschnitt)

The markets

by David Paquette
Sounds from two different markets (Santa Barbara and Norman’s Fruit and Salad) were combined to create this third sequence. Binaural microphones were used to facilitate listeners’ orientation. The sequence presents a spatially contrasting sound environment, with loud traffic noise coming from the back and a large variety of quieter sound signals moving in the front. Fleeting discussions, cashiers’ noises and handling of fruit and boxes can be distinguished behind the loud and cyclical noise of traffic.
market.wav (Ausschnitt)

At the Edge of Wilderness

Hildegard Westerkamp
When resource industry moves into British Columbia's landscapes, industrial sites and company towns are cut into the wilderness. The edge between wilderness and such a new place is traditionally knife sharp like the edge between life and a stabbing death. Poison is released into the environment by the violent penetration of industry. Once resources are drained the company moves away leaving its huge, filthy footprints behind, leaving open gaps in mountains and relying on natural processes to absorb the junkheaps, trailings, the waste. Natural rhythms and movements eventually soften the edges, transforming an abandoned industrial site into mysterious rusty shapes and collapsed wooden structures overgrown by moss, weeds, shrubs, and trees. A once noisy, bustling place becomes a quiet ghosttown full of memories. An old industry becomes artifact and lies there like a toothless monster of the past.
Through images and sounds gathered in various ghosttowns of the Canadian province British Columbia during Spring and Summer of 2000, At the Edge of Wilderness explores the moment of encounter between the contemporary visitor and the abandoned industrial sites: a strange moment of excitement and magic, discovery and adventure; a moment of questions and stories about human industrial activities of the past and present; a moment of sensing the spirits and ghosts still hovering among the skeletal remains while nature is gradually reclaiming its place. It is as if visitor and place are taking a deep breath together during this encounter, convalescing from injury, contemplating the edge where junk and artifact, destruction and new growth, noise and quiet meet; where perceptions of a shameful past in need of cleanÐup collide with feelings of pride towards a heritage worth preserving.
About the Sounds
Initially, when we first arrived at the ghosttown sites, the many rusty objects and structures were lying around silently, telling us stories of their working life, of their function. But as we moved through the sites, stepping on and through them, "playing" on them, hitting them with various objects, listening, they produced the most fascinating resonances. Whether the sounds came from on an old steam engine or an out-of-tune piano with broken strings, they became the musical instruments for At the Edge of Wilderness, Exploring their acoustic/musical properties in their dillapidated state, brought them to life in surprising ways. In some cases, depending on how they were "played", they created sounds and rhythms not unlike that of old machinery from the turn of the 19th to the 20th century. They are the sounds that carry us from the presence of the existing ghosttowns into the imagined past of these places, and they delineate the particular edge that has been created between nature and this form of civilization all over the North American continent. Turning the industrial structures into musical instruments may be a way of exorcising the damage that has been done and is still being done in many cases on this continent and all over the world - a way to make peace or find a balance between the destructive and the creative forces that tend to work side by side in adventurous explorations.
The majority of the sounds for the piece-the natural sounds, soundmaking on the rusty structures, sounds of cars and trains, or of our footsteps and spoken voices-were recorded on the ghosttown sites themselves. Recordings of steam trains and of old machinery such as the "Buffola Iron Worker" come from the environmental sound archives of the World Soundscape Project at Simon Fraser University. HW
edge_wilderness.mp3 (Ausschnitt)

Harbour Symphony

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 Symphony for 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.
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.
harboursymph.mp3 (Ausschnitt)

Ein Tag in der Stadt

Helmut Kopetzky (2001)
"I love my little town / where all my friends 're around / and the woman I love..." - Mit dieser Hymne des Fuldaer Sängers Frank Tischer auf seine "kleine Stadt" können sich die Hörer von hr2 am Sonntag, 25. März, wecken lassen. Auf sie wartet EIN TAG IN DER STADT - eine akustische Reise von 8.05 Uhr bis Mitternacht, 16 Stunden Originalton in Stereo als Ergebnis monatelanger Sound-Expeditionen. Für seine 16-stündige Klangreise "Ein Tag in Europa", Anfang 1999 sehr erfolgreich ausgestrahlt auf hr2, wurde der Autor Helmut Kopetzky mit dem renommierten Prix Europa ausgezeichnet.
Nun also Fulda. Nach dem Kontinent die Stadt als Klangkörper. Das globale Dorf, so heißt es, nivelliere alle Unterschiede. Jeder könne per Mausklick überall zugleich sein. Doch bei fortschreitender "Globalisierung" werden auch die regionalen Eigenarten wieder stärker wahrgenommen.
Kopetzky: " Der Ort, an dem wir leben, ist eben nicht virtuell; die Menschen sind nicht austauschbar. Die Stadt in der ich groß geworden bin, in der ich sieben Jahre lang Reporter war und Lokalredakteur, und in die ich immer gern zurückkehre, ist multikulturell geworden, eine kleine Welt-Stadt - mit einer Moschee und (wieder) einer Synagoge, mit Bürgern aus aller Herren Ländern. Und sie alle sind meine Nachbarn, Mitbewohner aus Fleisch und Blut. Sie sollen an diesem Tag im Radio lebendig werden - einem Sonntag, der zugleich ein Werktag ist, an einem Radio-Tag eben.
In meiner Sendung wird das Mikrophon zum eigentlichen Hauptakteur. Es bummelt durch die Straßen. Es mischt sich unter die Kunden in der Bäckerei am Samstagmorgen.Es hockt neben dem Wochenbett, beugt sich über den Täufling, begleitet Schüler in den Unterricht, lauscht den Schwestern der Benediktinerinnen-Abtei und den Franziskaner-Mönchen beim Vespergesang, beobachtet den Chirurgen während der Bypass-Operation im Klinikum, fährt mit dem Notarztwagen zum Einsatz, begleitet die nächtliche Polizeistreife, hört letzte Grüße auf dem Städtischen Friedhof, stapft in Gummistiefeln durch die Kanalisation, mischt sich unter Fußball-Fans, feiert Polterabend, lernt Tennis spielen, schwitzt im Fitness-Center, joggt durch den Park. Und hr2-Hörer joggen, schwitzen, bummeln, feiern, lauschen mit. Denn Rundfunk ist das Medium der Phantasie und Kommunikation".
cd1no07.mp3 (Ausschnitt): Sex-Shop . Geburtshaus - Tagesstätte Für Behinderte
cd2no03.mp3: Melken - Hip-Hop-Fest - Siedlung - Stadttheater - Theatergruppe - Froschkonzert

Das Tübinger Geräuscharchiv (Teil 1)

Akustische Stadtansichten
  1. Die Eisenbahn
  2. Pfiffe im Ammertal, Warnsignale
  3. Das Handwerk
  4. Glasschneiden, Glasschneider und Frauen
  5. Der Neckar
  6. Neckarinsel im Herbst, Postkarte oder Symphonie
    Stocherkahnrennen 1998, Gewinner und Verlierer
  7. Der Wein
  8. Die Rätsche, Die Rätsche
  9. Das vorweihnachtliche Tübingen
  10. Die Glocken der Stiftskirche, Glocken und Gefühle

Leptophonics

Sight-Hearing Tour, Bielefeld
7:00 uhr morgens, Halleluja-Steinbruch, Gadderbaum
vivace e staccato, Jahrplatz

Distant Trains

Bill Fontana, Berlin (1984)
Berlin.mov (Dokumentation)

Sound Islands

Bill Fontana, Paris (1994)
Paris.mov (Dokumentation)

Falling Echoes

Bill Fontana, New York (2002)
Falling_Echoes.mov (Dokumentation)

Speeds of Time

Bill Fontana, London (2004)
This work is called "Speeds of Time", and is a musical deconstruction of the most famous acoustic icon and symbol of time, Big Ben. Live sensors and microphones are mounted on the clockwork mechanism and near the bells of Big Ben to generate a spatial- acoustic composition that is placed in an historic colonnade of the New Palace Yard, directly below and within earshot of the bells. The presence of the sound sculpture in this setting interacts with the natural sound of the bells, creating a multi-dimensional acoustic zone. While this work was installed in Westminster, a 12 hour multi-track recording of the sound sculpture was made that makes it possible to fully recreate the real time sense of this artwork, which can be realized as an 8 channel sound installation. This recording is fully accurate to real time, and if started precisely at five seconds before 10 o'clock, will faithfully keep time.
Speeds_of_Time.mp3 (Ausschnitt)

Pigeon Soundings

Bill Fontana, Köln (2007)
…..”when I first visited this site in 1994 it gave me the feeling that all the pigeons in Cologne lived there”….

The idea for this sound sculpture began in 1994, when St. Kolumba in Cologne was a Gothic ruin inhabited by a large number of pigeons. Deep within the bowels of this place, 2000 years of Cologne’s history lay partly visible in the form of old walls, columns and crypts possessing a strong sense of timelessness. This extraordinary site was framed by the partially destroyed exterior walls of the old church. and a temporary wooden roof in whose rafters the pigeons lived.

In 1994, I made a series of 8 channel sound map recordings of these pigeons, recording the sounds from 8 spatial points simultaneously. The ruin was acoustically transparent, as the ambient sounds of Cologne would seep through the old walls, mixing with the coos and flapping of flying wings.

Today, this becomes a new museum called Kolumba (designed by the Swiss architect Peter Zumthor) which encapsulates the old Gothic ruin with a 12 meter high space of porus walls, above which the floors of the new museum sit.

The sonic memory of these thousands of pigeons will return to the space, invisibly inhabiting it.
pigeon_soundings.mov (Dokumentation)

The Sonic Memorial Project

Ginny Carr
Am 11. September 2001, um 7:30 Uhr begann Ginny Carr ihr morgendliches Arbeitsprogramm mit der Teilnahme an einer Geschäftssitzung im 36. Stockwerk des One Liberty Plaza, einen Block vom WTC entfernt. Sie hatte ihr Tonband-Aufnahmegerät mitgebracht, mit dem sie die Sitzung dokumentierte, die vom Einschlagen des ersten Flugzeugs unterbrochen wurde. Im Durcheinander, das folgte, machte das Aufnahmegerät weiter Aufzeichnungen. Man hört, wie ein Kollegin in den Raum zurück kommen und telefonieren, wie das interne Alarmsystem heult und über Lautsprecher Ansagen gemacht wurden, dass die Leute im Gebäude bleiben , aber von den Fenstern zurücktreten sollen.
child_864.mp3
child_865.mp3
child_866.mp3

Soundwalking in Queen Elizabeth Park

Andra McCartney (with Hildegard Westerkamp) (1997)
The most exposed area of the park is the parking lot ... Walk towards the fountains and continue to listen to the city sounds until they disappear behind the sounds of water. (Westerkamp 1974: 21)
We began our walk by the parking lot area, where we immediately noticed a difference from Westerkamp's initial walk there in 1974: the fountains that she described in this entrance area were no longer functioning. There was nothing to mask the city sounds, so they were omnipresent. For a park which was originally designed around water sounds, this was a significant absence.
Lookocon.mp3
Hildegard Westerkamp has been performing soundwalks for many years. They are an integral part of her approach to soundscape composition. She always begins each soundwalk by identifying the place, date and time of recording, since she recognizes that places sound different from time to time, and of course the results of the soundwalk differ depending on who is doing the recording.
hildintro.aiff
Westerkamp has done other soundwalks in this location. A description of such a soundwalk formed part of her article entitled "Soundwalking", published in Sound Heritage 3(4), 1974: 18-27. One change in the QE Park soundscape since that time is that the fountains in this entrance area are no longer functioning. The silent workings for one of the fountains is on the right-hand side of this photo, just above the steps. As you listen to the sounds, note the many human languages heard in this excerpt, something that we heard throughout the soundwalk in this park. Also, you can hear the distant sound of a train horn, creating a sense of acoustic space.
entrance.aiff
In her soundwalking article (Sound Heritage 3(4), 1974: 18-27), Westerkamp says: "Close to the fountains you will find a metal sculpture ("Knife Edge" by Henry Moore). Explore it visually as well as acoustically. It consists of two pieces both of which have a different structure. Do they also differ in their sounds? What other relationships can you find between its form and its sounds?" We asked a group of young people passing by to play the sculpture. You can see them here in this photo. Listen to how the resonances change as Hildi circles the players.
knifedge.aiff
As we walk from the Knife-Edge sculpture towards the Conservatory, we begin to hear an airplane passing overhead. The dominant sound of the lookout area outside of the Conservatory is that of the building's air vents, what R. Murray Schafer refers to as the "bad breath" of buildings. Listen to how the airplane sound decreases in pitch as the vent sound increases in amplitude, until - as we approach the vent more closely - the falling glissando of the airplane seems to melt into the vent's broad noise-band.
vent.aiff
As we walk down towards the lookout area, away from the vent, its sound accompanies us, still fairly loud in relationship to other sounds, masking many of them. Finally, near the end of this excerpt, the sounds of passing footsteps emerge more clearly.
early.aiff
We return to the lookout just as the sun is setting. Notice how many voices there are in this area now. Human voices and the sound of the Conservatory air-conditioning vents fill this soundscape.
late.aiff
When you walk into the conservatory, you are entering an artificially created, tropical environment ... Does it look and smell and feel tropical? Does it sound tropical? (Westerkamp 1974: 21)
The Bloedel Conservatory is a miniature tropical rainforest, constructed by BC's largest lumber company, an exotic gem perched in an urban centre, no chainsaws in earshot. Once again, Westerkamp noticed a difference from her earlier walk. The waterwheel in the conservatory was not working properly; its characteristic sound was muted and uneven. The conservatory was filled with tropical plants, fish and birds, including some very vocal and hilarious green parrots who were mimicking children's greetings and screams.
Consecon.mp3
Hildi noticed that the waterwheel sounded different from her last visit. Doing several soundwalks in a place over time makes her more aware of acoustic changes: she made a similar note in the entrance area. Note how prominent the air-conditioning sounds in this excerpt. You can also hear parrots in the distance, as well as other birds.
waterwheel.aiff
Like the waterwheel, this bamboo bridge creates a sound not normally heard in northern countries. In this excerpt, I am walking across the bridge. Notice the dense interweaving of noise bands (the water is more prominent than the air-conditioning here) and more tonal sounds such as the birdsong. Mingled with the sounds of my feet on the bamboo, this complex of sounds creates a dense and timbrally interesting soundscape.
bridge.aiff
Our interaction with the parrots in the conservatory was hilarious, particularly with the one pictured here. As soon as we entered the conservatory, we could hear them calling "hello" occasionally, and whistling. Later, on hearing a child shriek, this parrot started shrieking in the way people do when their laughter overcomes them. This made us laugh, which encouraged the parrots to increase the volume and intensity of their vocalizations. Other people then became involved. It is too bad I can only include a short excerpt here. The only time that the parrots stopped was when Hildi came close with the microphone, although the camera did not seem to slow them down. parrots.aiff
...a section of the park which is acoustically of special interest. Can you hear the sounds of the city disappear while you walk down into the garden? Observe its formations and explore how much these influence its acoustics. (Westerkamp 1974: 23)
The Sunken Garden is built in an old quarry, and the high stone walls of this area block outside sounds. I heard the sound of traffic almost disappear, with the exception of the occasional siren, providing an experience with more acoustic clarity, the quality that Westerkamp identifies with wilderness. Next to the path, which wound down to the lower level, some Sunday drummers were playing, reminding me of High Park in Toronto, and Mount Royal Park in Montreal. Their drumming accompanied us as we walked down towards the waterfall, and by chance intensified as we approached the water, seeming to mimic the intensity of the water from our perspective. In the flower beds of the sunken garden is a large, prickly plant like a giant rhubarb, several feet tall. Westerkamp says that it disappears entirely in the winter. We stopped and recorded our fingers touching the underside of the leaves. Again, a passerby approached to ask what we were doing, and we talked for a while. Here we altered Westerkamp's original route slightly, and went towards the creek.
Sunkecon.mp3
The dominant sound of the sunken garden is the waterfall, heard here with the sounds of Sunday drummers, who were seated in a wooded area overlooking the garden. Listen to how the drumming (by chance) increases in intensity as we approach the falls, and Hildi discovers percussive points in the waterfall that form a counterpoint to the drumming.
drumfalls.aiff
On this sunny Sunday evening, many people were enjoying the beautiful plants in the Sunken Garden. The high rock walls of the garden, combined with the masking effect of the waterfall, blocked out most traffic sounds. One exception is an emergency siren, heard here.
sunken.aiff
This large, rough-leafed plant grows to a huge size in Vancouver summers, and disappears each winter. This sound excerpt reveals both the texture and the size of the underside of the leaf (it took 13 seconds to stroke from stem to tip).
plant.aiff
Sit down and let the sounds of the flowing water soothe you. The water winds its way through channels and gaps between rocks and murmurs in new voices, which you have not heard yet. And if you were to listen to more water there would be more new voices, an endless variety of them.... (Westerkamp 1974: 23)
We spent more time at the creek than anywhere else. Westerkamp is fascinated by the endless variety of water voices, and her approach to close-up recording articulates them well. She shifted from one stepping-stone to another, moving the stereo microphone to highlight how the water found its way through crevices, over boulders, around branches in its path, illustrating the architecture of the creek bed, and the dance of the water through its sculptural forms. I was fascinated by the timbral diversity of the different water sounds, and the sense of flow in the recording, created by the dance between the creek waters and Westerkamp's movements around them.
When we reached the pasture at the end of the creek, we noted a loud motor sound like a leaf-blower or something of that kind. It was partly masking the quiet, high-pitched trickling of the water, but we couldn't locate the source.
Creekcon.mp3
The waters of the creek sounded very different, depending on how they were flowing. Here the water falls over quite a large boulder. Notice how different this sound is from the following one.
woodscreek.aiff
Here, the water is moving more slowly and gurgling around some small branches and stones. It is less noisy and more melodious. You can also hear the air-conditioning from the Conservatory at the top of the hill. This sound seems louder in this part of the park. It continues as we proceed to the Quarry Garden.
flatcreek.aiff
The main acoustic feature of the Quarry Garden is its echo. In this sound excerpt, we are walking on the path, towards and under the stone bridge that you see here. Notice also the increased volume of the air-conditioning sound.
quarry.aiff

Landschaft der Insel

Daniel Velasco
"Die Araber sagen figürlich und sinnig, die beste Beschreibung sei die, in welcher das Ohr zum Auge umgewandelt."

Alexander von Humboldt in Kosmos. Entwurf einer physikalischen Weltbeschreibung.

"LANDSCHAFT DER INSEL" ist der Titel eine audiovisuellen Installation, die die Sensibilisierung des Publikums durch Umweltklänge als Indikator von natürlichen Lebensräume zum Zeil hat. In ihr sind ästhetische und medienpädagogische Konzepte als Orientierungsrahmen für den Umgang mit Klängen enthalten. Die konzeptionellen Ansätze der Installation beabsichtigen die intermediale Konfrontation des Publikums mit der akustischen Ökologie, der Sensibilisierung für Umweltklänge und deren Erhaltung. Die 4-kanalige Musikkomposition der Installation setzt sich zusammen aus Klanglandschaften, die in Havanna, Trinidad, Ciénaga de Zapata und in Nationalparks "Alejandro de Humboldt" im Osten der Insel aufgenommen wurden. Die in der Installation projizierten Klänge und Bilder dokumentieren ein Wiedersehen/hören der Orte, an denen A.v. Humboldt zu Beginn des 19. Jahrhunderts geforscht hat.
Velasco_Q.mp3 (Ausschnitt)

Riverrun (1986)

Barry Truax
Riverrun creates a sound environment in which stasis and flux, solidity and movement co-exist in a dynamic balance. The corresponding metaphor is that of a river, always moving yet seemingly permanent. From the smallest rivulet to the fullest force of its mass, a river is formed from a collection of countless droplets and sources. So too with the sound in this composition which bases itself on the smallest possible 'unit' of sound in order to create larger textures and masses. The title is the first word in James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake.
Riverrun is entirely realized with the method of sound production known as granular synthesis. With this method small units or 'grains' of sound are produced, usually with very high densities (100-2000 grains/sec), with each grain having a separately defined frequency and duration. When the grains all have similar parameters, the result is a pitched and amplitude modulated sound, but when random variation is allowed in a parameter, a broad-band noise component is introduced.
All sounds in this piece were generated with real-time synthesis by the DMX-1000 Digital Signal Processor, up to a maximum density of 2375 grains/second. However, in many cases, lesser densities were also used since often the progression from isolated sounds or a rapid sequence of events to a fused texture is the most interesting feature of the synthesis method. All layers were multi-tracked with four simultaneous stereo versions and later up to 32 such tracks were mixed. Considerable use was made of ramps applied to the synthesis variables; that is, certain parameters were made to change over time at a specific rate, sometimes with several parameters simultaneously ramped at different rates. Therefore, all sound in the piece is in a constant state of flux, much like environmental sound generally and water sound in particular.
The fundamental paradox of granular synthesis - that the enormously rich and powerful textures it produces result from its being based on the most 'trivial' grains of sound - suggested a metaphoric relation to the river whose power is based on the accumulation of countless 'powerless' droplets of water. The opening section of the work portrays that accumulation, as individual 'droplets' of sound gradually multiply into a powerful broad-band texture. The piece, I find, also captures some of the awe one feels in the presence of the overpowering force of such a body of water, whether in a perturbed or calm state, and as such it seems to create a different mode of listening than does conventional instrumental or electroacoustic music.
Truax-Riverrun.mp3 (19'44")

The River

EarthEar's loose affiliation of over 50 producers are among today's most fascinating environmental artists. These sonic shamen are following a path of listening—a creative, immersive journey toward deeper connection, reflected back to us in compositions created of natural and human-made soundscapes.
Here, 12 soundscape innovators turn their ears and creativity toward one of the most-loved of nature's voices: The River. Whether explored literally, as running water, metaphorically, as the flow of life, or musically, in compositions that play with or move within the voices of water, the pieces all explore unique perspectives and offer engaging presentations. In moving so radically beyond the cliches of "the bubbling stream", this collection of original pieces celebrates the diversity of contemporary soundscape art.
These are rivers flowing through the ears of the artists, yet also and always, reflections of the places where you have found yourself immersed in the moment, one with your world. So, come on in and let them drop you in the water...
Andrew Skeoch, skeo1.mp3 (Ausschnitt)
Gordon Hempton, hemp1.mp3 (Ausschnitt)
Eric LaCasa, laca1.mp3 (Ausschnitt)
Norman Lowry, lowr1.mp3 (Ausschnitt)
Andra McCartney, mcar1.mp3 (Ausschnitt)
Douglas Quin, quin1.mp3 (Ausschnitt)
C. Jason Reinier, rein1.mp3 (Ausschnitt)
Chris Watson, wats1.mp3 (Ausschnitt)

Breathing Room

Hildegarde Westerkamp (1990)
"Music as breath-like nourishment."
"Breathing as nourishing musical space."
"Each breath makes its own unique statement, creates a specific place in time. Meanwhile, the heart beats on, propelling time from one breath to the next."
04_Westerkamp.mp3 (Ausschnitt, 3:02)

Prochaine Station

Christian Calon/Claude Schryer (1990)
A sound journey through a sonically recognizable Canadian City.
06_Procain_Station.mp3 (Ausschnitt, 3:01)

Pacific - Ocean

Barry Truax (1990)
"In Ocean, the sounds of the waves is contained within a breath pattern that, at first, is almost as long as their duration. Then, as waves are stretched to reveal inner voice-like sounds, the breath pattern recedes, only to re-appear later in ever shortening rhythms that eventually trigger a "surfacing" transition back to the waves at their original speed. In the background, a raven." (Barry Truax)
14_Truax.mp3 (Ausschnitt, 6:24)

Island

Barry Truax (2000)
"In Ocean, the sounds of the waves is contained within a breath pattern that, at first, is almost as long as their duration. Then, as waves are stretched to reveal inner voice-like sounds, the breath pattern recedes, only to re-appear later in ever shortening rhythms that eventually trigger a "surfacing" transition back to the waves at their original speed. In the background, a raven." (Barry Truax)
Island Ex.mp3 (Ausschnitt, 6:24)

Talking Rain

Hildegard Westerkamp (1998)
"Rainsounds from the westcoast of British Columbia, Canada are the basic compositional materials for Talking Rain. Through them I speak to you about this place. The raincoast. A lush and green place. Made that way by rain. Nourished by rain, life-giving rain. In Talking Rain the ear travels into the sonic formations of rain, into the insides of that place of nourishment as well as outside to the watery, liquid language of animals, forests and human habitations, all of which are nourished by the rain.

"Talking Rain was commissioned by CBC Radio for Westcoast Performance. It was realized in my own studio, Inside the Soundscape, and was premiered on April 20, 1997. Most rain recordings for this piece were made by myself in and around Vancouver. Thanks to Norbert Ruebsaat for providing his recordings of ravens, eagles and frogs from Haida Gwaii and also for finding the right title for the piece, magically. Thanks to Bruce Davis and Peter Huse for their highÐquality recordings made in the early seventies for the World Soundscape ProjectÕs environmental tape collection at Simon Fraser University; to Robert MacNevin for his equally highÐquality recordings made 20 years later (1991 to 95) for the same collection; to David Grierson for his light footsteps and receptive ears during the recording of our rainy forest soundwalk in Lighthouse Park near Vancouver. Special thanks go to John Siddall, producer of Westcoast Performance for giving me this opportunity and for challenging me to create a radio piece with sounds that must be the most difficult sounds to broadcast!
"Talking Rain is dedicated to my companion Peter Grant."
talkingrainexcerpt.mp3 (Ausschnitt)