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Looking for an exciting course? Check EASIA 428: Soundscape and Landscape in East Asian Cultures

Listen below to hear student’s audio composition work from Winter 2020 EASIA 428: Soundscape and Landscape in East Asian Cultures. Over the semester, students immersed themselves in the philosophical and aesthetic histories of China and Japan learned how central Daoist and Buddhist beliefs shaped artistic expression. Drawing on the creative practice of Canada-originated ‘soundscape composition’, students used East Asian aesthetics to shape audio compositions. Students also explored Alberta soundscape/landscapes through their own recordings and ones from U Alberta’s ABMI (Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute) field recording databases, and explored Alberta First Nations cultural history and relationship to their ancestral lands. Please have a listen!

Creative Work from Students of Winter 2020 EASIA 428!

Morgan Sapkos: This composition is influenced by Japanese Noh theatre and the aesthetic idea ‘yugen’ (幽玄, beauty that hides a truth not perceived on the surface). Whistle tones, bird sounds (chirps, woodpeckers) and muddled recitation of Baudelaire’s poem “Brumes et pluses” are manipulated to create a soundscape reflective both of Noh and yugen.

1 mins 51 secs

Jordan Nelner: This composition Ocean Bells is influenced by Chinese ritual bells and Japanese coastlines. To bring the emperor in balance with the cosmos, Chinese studied acoustics and used specific vibrations of sounds (i.e. sound waves) in ritual they believed resonated with the yin-yang cosmic balance. Audio manipulation of ocean sounds reflects on the interrelated idea of cycles found in sound waves and ocean waves in nature.

2 mins 55 secs