Hildegard Westerkamp Soundscape Residency and Concert
Dates: May 24 to 27, 2006
All events at Open Space, 510 Fort Street, Victoria Open Space welcomed Vancouver composer, sound ecologist, writer, and teacher Hildegard Westerkamp to Victoria for a Soundscape Residency May 24 through May 27, 2006. Westerkamp’s visit presented a rare opportunity to experience Sound-walking, to hear about the fields of acoustic ecology and soundscape composition, and to listen to Westerkamp’s intricate and profound soundscape compositions in an 8-channel surround sound concert Saturday evening May 27.
Hildegard Westerkamp is well known in both the new music and ecology communities worldwide for her remarkable sensibility about sound and place. Originally from Germany and based in Vancouver for many years, Westerkamp, has travelled widely, offering soundscape workshops, lectures, and presentations of her soundscape compositions in Canada, Germany, India, Poland, Brazil, Jerusalem, Greece, the United States, and other places. Westerkamp has taught at Simpon Fraser University and is a founding member of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (with colleagues R. Murray Schafer, Barry Truax and others), as well as a founder of the Canadian Association for Acoustic Ecology. Westerkamp has composed film soundtracks, sound documentaries and has produced radio programs. Her soundscape compositions have been called “a magical fusion of sounds” by the Globe and Mail, and excerpts from her pieces are included in the soundtracks of Gus van Sant’s recent films “Elephant” and “Last Days”.
During Westerkamp’s Soundscape Residency at Open Space, everyone was invited to experience Soundwalking during a Public Soundwalk Event from 2 to 4 p.m., Saturday, May 27. This Soundwalk was a chance to explore the Victoria sound environment by ear and listen to “place” as if listening to a mysterious new concert performance and discover the inner, hidden spaces of the environment we inhabit. Those interested in learning more about soundwalks were encouraged to join Westerkamp in a series of Soundscape workshops May 24–27.
Friday, May 26, at 8 p.m., Westerkamp offered a public talk and demonstration of soundscape composition and discussed the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology.
Saturday, May 27, at 8 p.m., Westerkamp presented a selection of her soundscape compositions designed for 8-channel surround-sound system, including two of her compositions made from sound sources in India, her very West Coast Talking Rain and her recent Für Dich — For You, based on the poem by Rainer Maria Rilke.
For information about Hildegard Westerkamp and her Soundscape compositions and workshops, go to http://www.sfu.ca/~westerka/