Inside the Soundscape

The University of Alberta Sound Studies Institute welcomes Hildegard Westerkamp for an Artist Talk & Masterclass

Nicole Cotterill - 04 October 2019

In honour of Canadian Acoustics Week, the University of Alberta Sound Studies Institute welcomes Hildegard Westerkamp, renowned composer, educator, and acoustic ecologist for an Artist Talk & Masterclass on October 10.

Composer Hildegard Westerkamp is known for numerous soundscape compositions using environmental sounds, and for her ecologically minded considerations. What is a soundscape? Sound, when understood as an environment, is a soundscape: a powerful tool that helps humans relate to their surroundings. In an environmental context, the soundscape helps individuals understand the acoustic ecology of a place.

Westerkamp's approach belongs to a larger effort to build awareness of our sound environments and their acoustic qualities, aiming to understand our own listening relationships and interactions with these environments. It is a question of proposing points of reference to listeners to make them aware of the sense and impact of sounds, which are often perceived unconsciously, so as to appropriate them.

"My workshops are essentially an enquiry into our relationship to place through listening, and an enquiry into listening itself. Conscious attention to the soundscape is like learning a new language, and conscious listening and soundmaking is a way of placing ourselves inside the workings of our cultures, societies and landscapes as involved, living participants," states Westerkamp.

A variety of listening and soundmaking activities offer ways to deepen our relationship to place and explore what acoustically balanced sound existences might be.

Join us for this amazing Sound Ideas Session!

Hildegard Westerkamp
Artist Talk & Masterclass
Thursday, October 10, 2019
3:30 - 5:00 p.m.
Fine Arts Bldg - Studio 2-7

About Hildegard Westerkamp
In 2003 Vancouver New Music (VNM) invited Hildegard Westerkamp to coordinate and lead public soundwalks as part of its yearly concert season. She has composed film soundtracks, sound documents for radio and has produced and hosted radio programs such as Soundwalking, and Musica Nova on Vancouver Co-operative Radio. More recently she involved her two grandsons in the creation of her work Once Upon a Time and collaborated with composer and recorder player Terri Hron on Beads of Time Sounding and with pianist Rachel Iwaasa on Klavierklang. Some of Westerkamp's compositional work appears in US filmmaker Gus van Sant's Elephant and Last Days. In 2016 she contributed to the sound design and composition in the film Koneline, Our Land Beautiful by Canadian filmmaker Nettie Wild.