Long out of print, few copies available: This project is a double-CD and booklet "Soundscape Vancouver" which includes most of the original recordings published in 1973 by the World Soundscape Project at Simon Fraser University in its landmark study of the acoustic environment of Vancouver, plus new digital recordings and compositions made in the 1990s by Robert MacNevin that show the changes in Vancouver's soundscape in the intervening years.
Soundscape Studies is a field that was born in Vancouver through the World Soundscape Project under the direction of R. Murray Schafer in the early seventies. It was at that time that The Vancouver Soundscape was produced. It was probably the first comprehensive study and aural presentation of the soundscape of a city, and as such established a precedent that has been influential around the world. Recently various new CD's have appeared presenting the soundscapes of other cities (e.g. Amsterdam, Madrid, Brasilia, Lisbon and others). However, The Vancouver Soundscape has been long out of print and essentially become a collector's item.
Barry Truax, Hildegard Westerkamp, and recently Susan Frykberg, have continued the legacy of the World Soundscape Project at Simon Fraser University through a program of courses in Acoustic Communication. This work is now known throughout the world by many educators, composers, musicians, architects and people in other disciplines, and much consciousness has been raised towards the quality of the acoustic environment. In fact, in international circles Vancouver is recognized as the original centre for soundscape studies.
For this reason it is particularly timely to publish this double CD and booklet now which listens back into the seventies and "revisits" the Vancouver Soundscape 20 years later. Not only has there been an enormous change in the soundscape itself but also in the way the soundscape is documented and thought about. Audio technology and recording equipment can now be used in similarly portable ways as a camera and as a result the soundscape can be recorded, reproduced, composed and processed by more people than ever before. This was not possible 20 years ago.
The CD and booklet is not only meant to expand listeners' horizon towards Vancouver's soundscape and raise consciousness about its quality, but it also wants to raise questions such as: how do we listen and behave acoustically in everyday life; how can we acquire a "sense of place" and belonging from our soundscapes; are there ways to design liveable soundscapes in urban environments? At the same time it offers an artistic interpretation of the acoustic environment of Vancouver and presents the city as a "sounding" place.
Except for New Year's Eve In Vancouver Harbour, all sounds on disc 1 were recorded between September 1972 and August 1973. The recordists were Howard Broomfield, Bruce Davis, Peter Huse and Colin Miles. Bruce Davis supervised the mixing of the recordings. The Vancouver Soundscape was directed and edited by R. Murray Schafer. The Music of Various City Quarters (1.8) was remixed by Barry Truax for this CD. New Year's Eve in Vancouver Harbour (1.9) was recorded by Hildegard Westerkamp on New Year's Eve 1980-81.
Track 1.10 is "An introduction to the science and art of composing the soundscape, narrated by R. Murray Schafer, with recorded examples of good and bad acoustic design in Vancouver."
All four compositions on disc 2 (tracks 2.2, 2.3, 2.4 and 2.6) were composed during the Soundscape Vancouver '96 project at the Sonic Research Studio of Simon Fraser University from May 6 to June 5, 1996. A final concert (June 7, 1996) presented these works to the public. An 8-channel computerized diffusion system, developed by Barry Truax at Simon Fraser University using hardware and software developed by the Harmonic Functions group, transformed the conventional concert hall environment into an electroacoustically enhanced place for soundscape listening.
Digital recordings of the Vancouver soundscape (1991 - 1995): Robert MacNevin and Scott Morgan. Studio assistance to composers: Susan Frykberg, David Murphy and Chris Rolfe. Graphic design: Jaclynne Campbell, Instructional Media Centre, Simon Fraser University. Introduction and text editing by Hildegard Westerkamp and Barry Truax.
Track 2.15 is "A comparison of the 1973 and 1996 soundscapes of Vancouver, narrated by Barry Truax and Hildegard Westerkamp."
Packaged in slim double disc case, with two separate booklets, one per disc.