LICA Seminar Series 2009: Barry Truax

Date:13 March 2009
Time:4.30 pm

LICA Seminar Series 2009.

Speaker: Barry Truax, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia.

Venue: Lancaster University, Jack Hylton Room.

Title: The Soundscape-Documentation, Listening, and Composition Using Computers.

NOTE: Barry Truax will be also be performing a concert on Saturday 14 March, at 7:30pm. See: further details.

The Soundscape - Documentation, Listening, and Composition Using Computers

The World Soundscape Project was established as an educational and research group at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada during the early 1970s and documented soundscapes as part of an over-arching concern to draw attention to the importance of the sonic environment. R. Murray Schafer's definitive soundscape text, "The Tuning of the World", and Barry Truax's reference work "Handbook for Acoustic Ecology" were outcomes of these early years.

The foundation laid by the WSP has been continued through teaching and research programs at SFU, as well as through Truax's 1984 publication "Acoustic Communication" which deals with all aspects of sound and the impact of technology, and the compositions of individual composers.

In the field of sonic design, the computer increasingly provides tools for dealing with both the basic material of sound composition, such as granular synthesis, and the creation of multi-channel soundscape compositions from these synthesised materials.

Barry's talk will outline the nature of acoustic ecology as a area of both scientific research and artistic endeavour, leading into a discussion of soundscape composition as an artform per se.

The talk will be presented with sound and music examples and will also provide a valuable introduction to the concert of multi-channel soundscapes which will be given the following evening in a specially set up performance space using 8 high-quality loudspeakers in a ring around the audience.

Barry Truax is a Professor in both the School of Communication and the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University, where he teaches courses in acoustic communication and electroacoustic music.

As a composer, he is best known for his work with the PODX computer music system which he has used for tape solo works and for pieces which combine tape with live performers or computer graphics. His music has been released on 8 solo CDs, including the double CD of his opera Powers of Two. His latest CD release, Spirit Journies, includes three pieces for 8-channel digital sound alone and two for solo instrumental performer and multi-channel digital sound.

In 1991 his work, Riverrun, was awarded the Magisterium at the International Competition of Electroacoustic Music in Bourges, France, a category open only to electroacoustic composers of 20 or more years experience.

More info:

Event website:
Who can attend:Anyone

Further Information

Organising departments and research centres:Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts
  • Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA)
  • The LICA Building, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YW, UK