A great legacy – the World Soundscape project is something I should have started with…instead, it comes up now at the dawn of a new era, symbolized by this photo – 40 years after the first WSP led by R. M. Schafer, that helped found the acoustic ecology movement, and the acoustic communication stream at the School of Communication at SFU. Even though Schafer left shortly after, Barry Truax has continued to develop this field, especially from a type of applied perspective – through electroacoustic composition. Him and Hildegard Westerkamp (especially her) frequently give public and community presentations on the issues of understanding the soundscape, improving our listening abilities, urban noise, etc.
I consider myself to be a bit of a dinosaur now too in this field, and ahem, at SFU, both in a good way – I’ve seen a lot of good people, graduate students, and especially undergrads, come through and transform in this school; and also in a slightly bad way – each time someone new comes along and gets inspired, it only reminds me I haven’t gone anywhere yet. Except that’s not quite true, but for the sake of pathos – let’s presume it is…
Anyways, I am truly fortunate to be part of a new cohort, where the most improtant new thing is somehow the stars aligned and there are a critical mass of us so that we finally feel like a team, like a cohort of Soundscape Studies. Our ideas, complimentary, basically things for the most part align for us: Jenni Schine, Vincent Andrisani, Andrew Czink, Nathan Clarkson. (not to forget mentors and helpful friends – Barry Truax, Norbert Ruebsaat, David Murphy). I am most excited that in the recreatioin (above) of the classic WSP photo, I get to play Barry. 🙂
The actual mundane reason why we did the photoshoot was for a small sidekick installation to be put in at this year’s PuSh festival in Vancouver. However, the photo has gone viral and is now also listed here in the WFAE newsletter!