Central European Network for Sonic Ecologies

Points of Reference

R. Murray Schafer

R. Murray Schafer is a Canadian composer and founder of acoustic ecology. He was born in Sarnia, Ontario, in 1933, but was raised in Toronto. Schafer entered the Royal Conservatory of Music and the University of Toronto in 1952 to study with John Weinzweig. His casual contact with Marshall McLuhan on campus in that period could arguably be singled out as the most lasting influence on his development. He went to Vienna in 1956. After two years he went to England, studying informally with composer Peter Racine Fricker. While in Britain Schafer supported himself by writing (resulting in a book, British Composers in Interview) and by the preparation of a performing edition of Ezra Pound's opera Le Testament (1920-1) broadcast by the BBC in 1961.

Barry Truax

Barry Truax is a Professor Emeritus in the School of Communication (and formerly the School for the Contemporary Arts) at Simon Fraser University where he taught courses in acoustic communication and electroacoustic music. He worked with the World Soundscape Project, editing its Handbook for Acoustic Ecology, and has published a book Acoustic Communication dealing with sound and technology. As a composer, Truax is best known for his work with the PODX computer music system which he has used for tape solo works, music theatre pieces and those with live performers or computer graphics.

Hildegard Westerkamp

Hildegard Westerkamp was born in Osnabrück, Germany in 1946 and emigrated to Canada in 1968. After completing her music studies at the University of British Columbia in the early seventies she joined the World Soundscape Project under the direction of R. Murray Schafer at Simon Fraser University. Her involvement with this project not only activated deep concerns about noise and the general state of the acoustic environment in her, but it also changed her ways of thinking about music, listening and soundmaking.