eContact! 15.3 — Table of Contents
The CEC’s 25th Anniversary Tour
The Canadian Electroacoustic Community (CEC) celebrated its 25th anniversary with a cross-Canada tour in late 2011. Comprised of more than 25 concerts, 10 seminars, over 2 dozen local presentations, masterclasses, colloquiums and more, the tour was a brilliant demonstration of the CEC’s on-going contribution to the support and development of Canadian electroacoustic art, culture and infrastructure. Extensive audio-visual documentation of the events is featured in this issue.
10 Venues, 9 Cities, 25 Concerts and 11 000+ km of Travel
The Canadian “electronic music” milieu in the 1970s through the early 1980s was a smattering of ruggedly individual studios serving humble but determined local communities (separated by vast distances!). It has since evolved into a broad, complex and multifarious community of individuals and institutions for whom physical distance is no longer an impediment to creativity.
The CEC’s 25th Anniversary Tour began with an open house in the Music Department of Concordia University. Four concerts were programmed throughout the day: a four-city, telematically linked concert by CanDLE (Canadian Distributed Laptop Ensemble), 60x60 Canada selections, JTTP 2011 winning compositions and Live EA and DJ sets. Creative work and research by guests Eldad Tsabary, Mark Corwin and Ricardo Dal Farra was presented in the second half of Kevin Austin’s seminar, “Recent Practices in EA.”
At each stop on the tour, Kevin Austin presented his seminar on “Recent Practices in EA,” which looked at the historical development of electroacoustics across Canada. The content was slightly varied each time to reference the individual milieux. The evening concert featured JTTP 2011 winners, some of whom studied at the Conservatoire.
Kevin Austin’s seminar “Recent Practices in EA” featured guest Carey Dodge presenting recent projects at Boca del Lupo in the second part. Further presentations were given by Gabrielle Odowichuk (Gestural Controllers), Darren Miller (Audio Morphing) and Randy Jones (Soundplane). Three concerts featured the MISTIC collective, JTTP 2011 winners and some ambient / electronica.
Guests Giorgio Magnanensi and Leonard J. Paul presented recent work in the second part of Kevin Austin’s seminar, “Recent Practices in EA.” Further presentations were given by Tim Bartoo (TiMax) and Randy Jones (Soundplane). Three concerts featured multi-channel works, JTTP 2011 winners and deep listening works in the Quiet City series.
Four concerts during the Sea of Sound Festival featured works and performances by Alberta-based artists, JTTP winners, the BEAMS All-Stars and Trio Latitude. In the second half of Kevin Austin’s seminar, “Recent Practices in EA,” guests Gary Joynes, Shawn Pinchbeck and Scott Smallwood presented recent work. A sound installations exhibition completed this full weekend of events.
“Recent Practices in EA,” the seminar given by Kevin Austin, had guests Ken Fields and Laurie Radford presenting recent work in the second part, as well as a presentation by Austin about the T-Stick. Two concerts featured works by JTTP 2011 winners and CanDLE (Canadian Distributed Laptop Ensemble).
Following Kevin Austin’s masterclass on EA Studio Composition, his seminar “Recent Practices in EA” had guests Gordon Fitzell and Örjan Sandred presenting their live electronics work in the second part, as well as a presentation by Austin about the T-Stick. Two concerts featured works by the XIE and Studio FLAT composers, and JTTP 2011 winners.
NAISA’s annual SOUNDplay Festival was the tour’s host in Toronto. Kevin Austin’s seminar “Recent Practices in EA” featured guests Darren Copeland, Bentley Jarvis and Wende Bartley presenting their work in the second part. Two concerts featured works by Kaiser Nietzsche, Diego Garro, Ben Thigpen, Darren Copeland and JTTP 2011 winners. Kevin Austin also gave a masterclass in the Toronto Artist Salon and coordinated a colloquium on the history of EA in Southern Ontario.
The seminar given by Kevin Austin, “Recent Practices in EA, had guests Victoria Fenner, Christina Sealey / Richard Oddie and David Ogborn giving an overview of their work in the second part. Three concerts featured works by JTTP 2011 winners, and members and friends of the Cybernetic Orchestra.
A stop on the east coast concluded the CEC’s 25th Anniversary Tour, with a concert of winning works from JTTP 2011. Kevin Austin also presented his seminar “Recent Practices in EA,” which looked at the historical development of EA across Canada.
At each stop on the tour, a concert featuring winning works from JTTP 2011 was presented, with the presence of one or more of the composers. JTTP is an annual project supporting the work of young and emerging composers / sound artists in Canada. Here we feature a selection of video clips from Montréal rehearsals and Toronto performances.
On the deck of a ferry during a misty ride between Victoria and Vancouver, an informal chat about the events and concert the previous evening in Victoria, including the MISTIC collective performing with homemade instruments and robotics.
The Ortona Armoury is home to the Boreal Electroacoustic Music Society (BEAMS) and a host of other institutions and people that form the fabric of Edmonton’s experimental artistic community. The city’s geographic isolation has stimulated and fed the homegrown nature of the milieu.
Originally designed for use in museums, the hyper-directional Audio Spotlight lends an advanced degree of dexterity and physicality to the performance and spatialization of electroacoustic works. Due to its portability, it can be integrated with relative ease into a variety of diffusion setups.
Thigpen discusses his performance during SOUNDplay 2011 Festival using NAISA’s diffusion system, which uses the Audio Spotlight in parallel with a multi-speaker setup. The piece was necessarily influenced by his knowledge of the system on which it would eventually be performed.
JTTP 2011 guests in Toronto performed their works using New Adventures in Sound Art’s spatialization system, developed by NAISA Artistic Director, Darren Copeland. A motion sensor fitted into a glove offers the Spit~ system user a very tactile control for the diffusion of electroacoustic works.
The inclusive, collaborative structure of the Cybernetic Orchestra encourages its members, with a variety of backgrounds and interests, to actively participate in such a manner that each contributor’s perspective ultimately impacts the development of individual pieces brought to the collective by its members.
As significant as the changing technologies has been the changing membership of the Cybernetic Orchestra through the years. Kearon Roy Taylor explains the integration process for new members, who come into the ensemble with greatly varying degrees of familiarity with laptop performance.
The virtually unilateral concentration on acousmatics in many electroacoustic programmes continues to strengthen the genre, but at the expense of a certain ignorance of other vital practices happening outside its æsthetic confines, such as live coding and improvisation. A broader educational approach can only benefit today’s students.
A selection of photos taken during the tour has been compiled in a photo album on the CEC’s Facebook page.
Brand new! The CEC now has a YouTube channel, where many of the videos featured in this issue can be found, organised in playlists (interviews, talks and seminars).
Works by some authors and / or artists in this issue can be heard in SONUS.ca, the CEC’s online electroacoustic jukebox:
- David Arango-Valencia
- Kevin Austin
- Guillaume Barrette
- Wende Bartley
- Martin Bédard
- D. Raylene Campbell
- Guillaume Campion
- Darren Copeland
- Maxime Corbeil-Perron
- Ricardo Dal Farra
- Carey Dodge
- Arne Eigenfeldt
- Victoria Fenner
- Gordon Fitzell
- Jullian Hoff
- Bentley Jarvis
- John Kamevaar
- David Ogborn
- Marc-André Perron
- Shawn Pinchbeck
- Laurie Radford
- Jean Routhier
- Ben Thigpen
- Barry D. Truax
- Eldad Tsabary
- Robert Voisey
We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada
through the Department of Canadian Heritage (Canada Music Fund).