CEC AGM August 2003 President’s Address
The CEC has enjoyed another very positive year. A number of new projects have been brought forward, ongoing projects continue to prosper, and membership continues to grow.
In short, the CEC is healthy and looking forward to an active future.
Below are some quick thoughts on a few of the many activities the CEC is involved with.
The year past
This year’s JTTP was unique in that we collaborated with SAN to make a bi-national competition. On both the British and Canadian sides, the submissions were quite plentiful.
As usual, we expect to distribute a CD (Cache 2003) to our paid-up members, covering the leading works from the competition.
The jurying process this year brought forward some very interesting questions about copyright. While the discussion centred mostly around the response of young and emerging composers to copyright laws and ethics, it is really a very timely, broader topic for the CEC to address.
I believe that we will increasingly be drawn into territories in which copyright is not yet well defined, and for that reason I am personally committed to having the CEC lead the way in taking a responsible but practical stance on this topic.
I welcome members’ thoughts and concerns on this matter.
SONUS.ca already has almost a thousand pieces online. The site looks very good, and even at this early stage it provides a genuinely useful service to the International EA community.
Once again our Board spans the country literally from coast to coast, plus a member resident in the UK. The Board also draws from a fairly broad span of ages and areas of involvement with EA, which I think fairly accurately reflects the growing breadth of our organisation.
Membership in the CEC is the strongest it has been since we became a ‘virtual’ organisation, in response to the Canada Council’s elimination of funding for ASOs. We are attracting both new members and renewals at an excellent rate.
Cache 2002 and PRESENCE III were both sent out to our members this past year. Sending out two CDs in the same year reflects the ongoing increase in vitality for the CEC.
The PRESENCE series has done very well for us, and we expect a good response to this iteration. In organising it, we have dealt with practical questions around packaging, and a controversial discussion about mastering.
While it’s premature to report on the outcome of either topic, I expect the result will be an attractive and fiscally responsible CD release, and, hopefully, a new and innovative educational initiative about mastering.
SONUS — continued
SONUS is a very large project; I am hoping that we can devote a significant portion of our resources to this project in the coming year, though certainly not at the expense of our other work.
However, perhaps more than any other, this project gives us the opportunity to make a very enduring, and high profile, contribution to international EA. The challenge, in my opinion, will be to find ongoing ways to use it to generate funding for the CEC, so that we are less reliant upon the publication funding we receive for eContact!.
The re-release of DISContact! and the release of DISContact! III are both under way. Not only do we have another series continuing successfully, but we also have sufficient demand to re-press earlier releases from that series.
I have been working closely with Karin Aurell, manager of the CMC’s Atlantic Regional office, to co-produce a concert of electroacoustic music by CMC Atlantic members. We have had excellent cooperation from Acadia University in Nova Scotia, which has a rapidly growing EA/MT program, and we will likely produce the event at Acadia in late October of this year.
The program for the concert is still being determined, but from submissions so far it looks like a very interesting and eclectic balance.
One of the more exciting aspects of this concert is the intent to bring Kevin Austin in as ‘master diffuser’ and technical consultant. Kevin will also lead a workshop, targeted to Acadia students and CMC members, on diffusion and related topics.
This concert will also provide the basis for an eContact! regional profile on Atlantic Canada. As a resident of Atlantic Canada I obviously have a bit of a vested interest in the success of this project. However, I am equally concerned that we keep the momentum going for more and more CEC-sponsored activities outside of Montréal.
To that end, I actively encourage members resident in all regions to propose and initiate projects that the CEC can be part of — as the national association representing EA in Canada, it’s entirely appropriate for us to provide whatever support we can for electroacoustic projects across the country.
Honorary Members CD
There is another project involving the CMC now under discussion. We are hoping to work together to produce a CD of EA works by CEC honorary members. There is much ground to cover, and many details to resolve, but there are two very significant positives to celebrate already.
First, I think it is highly appropriate that we acknowledge our honorary members in this way, and putting some representative works together on one CD not only celebrates their contribution to Canadian EA, it also helps highlight the fact that the CEC and its membership represent a substantial historical legacy in Canadian creativity.
Second, I hope that this project, in combination with the Atlantic concert, may represent some kind of turning point in our relations with the CMC.
An ultimate goal, of course, would be to redirect funding for support of professional EA composers away from the CMC/CLC to the CEC, where I believe it belongs.
While that may not happen in a hurry, I do think that encouraging goodwill with the CMC through these two projects can only help in highlighting our role as the organisation properly responsible for representing electroacoustic arts in this country.