About the CEC
Founded in 1986, the Canadian Electroacoustic Community (CEC) is Canada’s official national association for electroacoustics (EA) and as such is dedicated to promoting this progressive art form in its broadest definition, which encompasses acousmatic, musique concrète, electronic music, tape music, live electronics, acoustic ecology, soundscape, videomusic, VR, sound design, live coding, circuit bending, hardware hacking, mixed media, turntablism, generative, glitch and beyond.
The CEC endeavours to foster a broad, diverse and inclusive community of EA practitioners, raise the profile of EA in the Canadian arts milieu, and to promote Canadian EA composers and activities across Canada and internationally. The various ongoing and singular CEC activities aim to maintain and strengthen communications and information flow concerning EA.
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.
Although the CEC is based in Canada, it undertakes all projects with the broader international milieu in mind.
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 focuses on a particular theme or topic, and Guest Editors / Featured Contributors have been invited to coordinate at least 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 design, 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 unparalleled 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.
The journal’s on-going commitment to providing space to the widest range of subjects possible is clear in the publication of such issues as 11.3 — Open Source for Audio Application (Sept. 2009), 14.2 — Biotechnological Performance Practice (Jul. 2013) and 14.3 — Turntablism (Jan. 2013), all of which provoked massive surges in webpage hits and helped us broaden the readership to include people from many diverse communities around the world.
JTTP — Jeu de Temps / Times Play and Cache (CD compilation)
Jeu de Temps / Times Play (JTTP) was relaunched in 2000 as an annual CEC project to support and encourage the work of Canadian-based young and emerging sound artists. JTTP is comprised of a competition with several thousand dollars’ worth of awards offered to the top five placing composers (by selection of an international jury), an issue of eContact! featuring audio/video, composer biographies and programme notes for all submissions to the project, the Cache CD compilation of the top-placing works (2000–2014), and international radio broadcasts and concert performances.
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.
Although geared towards the support of artists in Canada, the CEC has invited other national EA associations to collaborate on JTTP, the first being the UK’s Sonic Arts Network (SAN) in 2003. More recently, the Australasian Computer Music Association (ACMA) and Germany’s national electroacoustic association (DEGEM) were collaborators on JTTP 2009 and JTTP 2010, respectively, with prizes awarded to the Canadian and international top-placing composers. The Cache CD from each edition is a double-CD, with one CD containing selected Canadian works and the other containing selected works from German or Australian / New Zealand submissions.
Starting with the 15th edition of the project (JTTP 2014), concerts featuring the top works have been coordinated with the support of our international Project Partners. Through this initiative, the “top five” each year have presented their work in Festival Dias de Música Electroacústica (JTTP 2014 in Seia, Portugal), KONTAKTE Festival (JTTP 2015 in Berlin, Germany) and at CMMAS — Centro Mexicano para la Música y Artes Sonoras (JTTP 2016 in Morelia, Mexico). Further, Montréal’s Akousma Festival presents the 1st Prize work on an annual basis in their fall festival.
Launched in 2003, SONUS has grown to be the world’s largest online and freely available Jukebox for electroacoustic works. More than 2700 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 that 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 International Electroacoustic Symposium and the first all-Canadian edition of the 60x60 project (2008–09), as well as the Electroacoustic Seminars tour mentioned above.
In 2007, under the initiative of then-President David Ogborn, the annual Toronto International Electroacoustic Symposium (TIES) was launched as a collaboration between NAISA — New Adventures in Sound Art and the CEC. The events at this annual symposium (paper presentations, concerts, installations, lecture-recitals and more) are timed to coincide with and complement NAISA’s annual Sound Travels events.
Building on the solid foundations laid by Ogborn, from 2012–14 CEC Board member Emilie LeBel broadened the scope and reach of the symposium, and in 2014 brought the Ontario Region of the Canadian Music Centre (CMC) on board as a collaborator.
With internationally renowned Keynote speakers such as Francis Dhomont, Chantal Dumas, Nic Collins, Pauline Oliveros and John Oswald, TIES has proven very effective in bringing together the various members of the Toronto community on a recurring basis and has succeeded in strengthening the local scene, as well as increasing its visibility both regionally and internationally. [#TorontoEA]