Simon Fraser University  ( MA awol in th Sound Field )

BFA – Bachelor of Fine and Performing Arts  ( 2001 )

Soundscape & Electroacoustic Composition ( Music Major )

English Literature ( eXtended Minor ) . . .

Sylvi studied with Barry Truax ( and continues to compose with voices, instruments and environmental sounds from her own library as well as the archives of the World Soundscape Project @ SFU. Inter-dis-ciplinary studies included HTMLs Hyper-Text-Music-L’image-Sound and creating Nõ Book/EBook, Th Rose & Th Railway: of Yeats & Nõ Being & Blooming on Line, about WB Yeats, the Japanese Nõ Theatre, Maud Gonne and Being in Relationship to Language.

sylvi5As part of her BFA, Sylvi started the WHEELS project (1997) at SFU & VAMS ( and continues to compose with the voices of people with DIS abilities to create soundscapes and audio portraits. Sylvi was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1982 and drives DIS silver mini convert-able LambourGeeeeeeeNi w E wheels @ 8mph.  She hopes to create and facilitate more interdisiplinary projects for people with dis abilities interested  in pursuing artistic & expressive work.

Sylvi’s musical instruments include acoustic & electric guitars, voice, audio recording, mixing boards, html & computers.


SFU FPA 289-3 This is Music – Guest Speaker – Oct 11, 2008

aka ‘Field o Sound: is Stochastic a Dirty Word ?
Soundscape Composition w the Audio Box’
with octophonic presentation of – Witness: Round Journey –
composed for Uts……’am / Witness 2000,
originally presented to Audio Engineering Society ,Vancouver Chapter, Landmark 2001
– – –


Plastiqué Water Bottle
DAT recorder
Boom Mic with Cat handmade by Gordon Cobb w PVC
Tone of Voice … example of variation (dcB/timbre…)


Voices of a Place: Hildegard Westerkamp inside the Soundscape
Witness: Round Journey (sound files & excerpt)
Vancouver Folk Music Festival Soundscapes 99-09 (excerpts)

Rachel Carson, Silent Spring … John Cage (there is NO silence) . . .

significance ? pesticides = death. if birds & bees die Spring will be Silent. no measurement is necessary. we know. no matter how many studies. animals & birds don……’t dirty their water . . . what is our echo-logical footprints/voice ?

think about the sounds you heard this morning, coming here, here now in this room, outside this room.. what do the sounds tell us ? are they harsh or calming ? tones of voice ? sounds of ability ? dis ability ? wheels . . . what are the voices telling you ? perception ? phenomenology. literature …

Conversing with Nature / Sound : it……’s about listening to nature and technology. what is the rain saying ? we listen to this and convey our compositions through technological means ? are we hypocrits ?

miXing board & audio box(es) as musical instruments. neil young said of old guitars, there are songs in everyone. playing with sound. finding the gems in the rough, transformation, dsp (digital signal processing) …listen to the audio box(es) when computer stochastically places sound in beautiful space/time.

you must leave the DAT on because you never know when the Raven sings. this could be your MUM or DAD or child or the butterfly. just the other day i heard a child swinging in a play ground. sounds of your community. with digital you can always edit later. always receive permission before or after, with full acknowledgements.

SFU WSP resources in soundscape & literature. wealth of knowledge. Village SoundscapesRM Schafer: invented th term SOUNDSCAPE, Tragically Hip gave him a CD, but he didn……’t have a CD player, so they gave him a CD player, but he doesn……’t have electricity.

Truax, Barry. Handbook for Acoustic Ecology : 2 of my Favorite Dictionaries, HandBook & Partridges Etymological. Sound recogniton is one of the most perceptive of senses. We hear our Parents voices first in the Womb.

SFU teachers : Truax, Hildegard Westerkamp (she named her cat protools), Martin Gotfrit (with musical robots that dance), Owen Underhill (conducting courses), Janet Danielson (introduced me to the mathematics of music and ruth crawford seeger, encouraging me to create a visual art representation of her life and music)

Williams, Fred. Electronic Music for Young People. picture on cover, one of my Heros. Picture of child at Synthesizer Patch bay, with concentration.

Jacques Attali, Music is Money. plastique water bottle, plastique CDs . . . global echo-logical footprints … ?

www & digital revolutin of downloading allows for sharing of knowledge & music – kids don……’t know how to dance to rocknroll (sam roberts) – we share a love of music, love of language, of sound (scape)

John Cage : there is NO silence. (4:33) …. theori & praxis …. Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

significance ? pesticides = death. if birds & bees die Spring will be Silent. no measurement is necesary. we know. no matter how many studies. animals & birds don……’t dirty their water . . . what is our echo-logical footprints/voice ?

water = life, language, resources … at Van Folk Music Fest, i recorded Cree Nation Small Boy who said Nepi / Water means ……’i am Life, i am Language, i am you, and without me you do not exist……’.

i am blessed to be born in Coast Salish Territory – do we value this clean environment, this place we call HOME ?

Henry David Thoreau, on Walden……’s Pond. like Thoreau and others, Go where no one has gone before with your note papers / lap tops, dat, field record, music of your environment. play with sound in your environment, paradigm shift …. open sonic doors to imagination for you & others …

reference books for students:all of the above
Carson, Rachel. Silent Spring, The Sea
MacGillivary, Alex. Rachel Carson….’s Silent Spring
Thoreau, Henry David. On Walden….’s Pond
Schafer, R Murray, The Book of Noise.
Truax, Barry. Handbook for Acoustic EcologyTruax, Barry. Acoustic Communication
Westerkamp, Hildegard Westerkamp …
Attali, Jacques. Music is Money
Griffiths, Paul. Electronic Music
Buckley, Lillian A. & Cullum, Albert. Picnic of Sounds
Emmerson, Simon (ed). The Language of Electroacoustic Music
*Williams, Fred. Electronic Music for Young People
*Palmer, Mary. Sound Exploration and Discovery
*Monsour, Sally. Music in Open Education*
from Classroom Music Enrichment Units
Chadabe, Joel. Electric Sound: the Past and Promise of Electronic Music
macCormac, sylvi. Conversing with Nature: Reflections on Hildegard Westerkamp..’s ..’Talking Rain..’ – – #74 1999