About the CEC
Founded in 1986, the Canadian Electroacoustic Community (CEC) is Canada’s official national association for electroacoustics and as such is dedicated to promoting this progressive art form in its broadest definition: from “pure” acousmatic and computer music to soundscape and sonic art to hardware hacking and beyond.
The CEC endeavours to foster a broad, diverse and inclusive community of electroacoustic practitioners, raise the profile of electroacoustics in the Canadian arts milieu, and to promote Canadian electroacoustic composers and activities across Canada and internationally. The various ongoing and singular CEC activities aim to maintain and strengthen communications and information ﬂow concerning electroacoustics.
With projects such as the electronic journal eContact!, the online jukebox SONUS, the annual Jeu de temps / Times Play (JTTP) project for Canadian-based young and emerging sound artists, and the Cache, PRESENCE and DISContact! CD compilation series, the CEC offers Canadian electroacousticians a venue to both promote themselves and participate within the global community, thereby fostering mutual awareness and benefit in the international scene.
Overview of the CEC’s Activities
The CEC’s online journal of electroacoustics was launched in May 1998 as the successor to the print journal, Contact! (1988–97), and is published four times a year. Each issue focusses on a particular theme or topic, and Guest Editors have been invited to coordinate one issue per year since eContact! 7.x (2004–05). Articles, reviews, interviews, commentaries and analyses are featured in the journal, often supported by audio and video files. All issues are freely available to the public.
Between 2005–08, a number of important changes were made to the journal’s overall “look” and format, which greatly improved its navigability, readability and consistency. The interrelations between eContact! and other CEC projects, notably SONUS, were strengthened, and a number of recurring elements have been implemented, including the “Community Reports,” “Rediscovered Treasures,” “Focus on Institutions” and KwikPicks” columns. At the same time, the scope and size of the contributions has expanded considerably, reflecting the range of backgrounds and experiences the growing community of contributors brings to the journal.
eContact! has matured into more than just a journal: it is recognized in the international community as a significant electroacoustic primary research source and resource which makes very efficient and unparallelled use of the potential of open online publication. Each issue can be understood as a living portal into the theme it features, and its open and flexible structure — not to mention the span of topics it covers — reflect the CEC’s general policy of inclusiveness.
Issues of special note in recent years include: 9.3 — Mastering in Electroacoustics (April 2007), a bilingual issue; 10.2 — Interviews (August 2008), the largest issue yet, with 115 individual interviews; the Special Edition 10.x — Concordia Archival Project (CAP) (March 2009), celebrating the journal’s tenth year of publication; and 11.3 — Open Source for Audio Application (September 2009), an issue which provoked a massive jump in webpage hits and helped us tap into many new communities around the world.
Jeu de Temps / Times Play (JTTP) and Cache (CD compilation)
Jeu de Temps / Times Play (JTTP) was relaunched in 2000 (as a CEC project) to support and encourages the work of Canadian-based young and emerging sound artists. This annual project is comprised of a competition with more than $4500 (as of 2012) worth of prizes awarded to the top five placing composers (by selection of an international jury), an issue of eContact! featuring all submissions to the project, a Cache CD compilation with the top-placing works, and international radio broadcasts and concert diffusion for the winners.
Cache is distributed internationally to people and institutions active in the production and support of electroacoustics (CEC members, radio programmes and stations, concert promoters and various important cultural organizations). Several of the top-placing participants in past editions have gone on to win prizes in other renowned international electroacoustic competitions, such as Bourges, Métamorphoses and the SOCAN Foundation Awards, further confirming the healthy state of the electroacoustic community in Canada and the reputation it has developed over the years in the international scene.
For JTTP 2010, the CEC collaborated with the Australasian Computer Music Association, ACMA. Similar to the collaboration in 2003 with the UK’s Sonic Arts Network (SAN) and again in 2009 with Germany’s national electroacoustic association (DEGEM), submissions from both Canada and Australia / New Zealand were accepted, prizes were awarded to both the Canadian and Australasian top-placing composers, and Cache 2010 (release planned for 2011) will be a double-CD, with one CD containing selected Canadian works and the other containing selected works form Australian / New Zealand winners.
Launched in 2003, SONUS has grown to be the world’s largest online and freely-available Jukebox for electroacoustic works. More than 2000 works by established composers as well as young and emerging composers are found in SONUS and reflect the diversity of the larger field of electroacoustics itself: acousmatic, electronic and tape music, experimental, radiophonic and algorithmic works, soundscape and acoustic ecology, plunderphonics and hardware hacking and much more are featured. SONUS continues to grow, with an open and ongoing call for works from Canadian and international artists.
During the 2007–08 year, two important new and exciting education-oriented projects were undertaken. A series of seminars and concerts were held in eight institutions across Canada in Fall 2007. The “Professional Production in Electroacoustics” seminars covered various topics related to electroacoustic creation, and the concerts featured works which complemented the topics covered in the seminars. Response was extremely enthusiastic and the project was a great administrative success.
The Concordia Archival Project (CAP) is a joint research project between Concordia University and the Canadian Electroacoustic Community (CEC). Coordinated by the CEC from July 2007 to December 2008, CAP has allowed for the recovery and digital archiving of a major collection of electroacoustic works from the 1960s–1990s held at Concordia University in Montréal. This important initiative, funded by Heritage Canada through Canadian Culture Online, has produced the largest single primary resource for the history of electroacoustics in Canada available anywhere in the world. The project is presented through a Media Library, a series of eLearning Modules and a Special Edition 10th Anniversary issue of eContact!.
Over the years, the CEC has assisted, collaborated on and co-produced a number of festivals, conferences and other events across Canada. Many people in the community fondly remember the >convergence< (Banff, 1989) and >>PERSPECTIVES>> (Montréal, 1991) conferences, and in recent years the CEC has been involved in a number of local and national community initiatives, notably the east coast Oscillations festival, the Toronto Electroacoustic Symposium and the first all-Canadian edition of the 60x60 project (2008–09), as well as the Electroacoustic Seminars tour mentioned above.
Since 2007, the CEC has co-presented the annual Toronto Electroacoustic Symposium (TES) with New
Adventures in Sound Art (NAISA). The events at TES (paper presentations, concerts and more) are timed to coincide with and complement NAISA’s annual Sound Travels events. This collaboration has proven very effective in bringing together the various members of the Toronto community on a recurring basis and is helping to strengthen the local scene, as well as increase its visibility both regionally and internationally.