Re: questions on processing in soundscapes

Subject: Re: questions on processing in soundscapes
From: Andrew Czink (
Date: Tue Nov 15 2005 - 10:51:21 EST

    Although not directly relevant to soundscape work, pianist Marilyn
Lerner's CD Luminance (Ambiances Magnetiques) overtly explores the creative
'signal processing' function of the microphone. The music on the CD is her
signature style solo piano work, but the recordings were made with a large
variety of microphones and using both 'standard' placements and very unusual
ones. Your ears are drawn to what the space and the transduction process is
doing; something that is normally made deliberately transparent. It's very
interesting listening.


On 11/13/05 8:43 PM, "" <> wrote:

> I'm writing a paper for an "electroacoustic soundscape composition" course
> here at SFU, and I thought list members might have some interesting insights
> on my project. Would you all mind answering a couple of questions?
> A little pre-information: At my first introduction to soundscape
> composition, I was under the impression that a soundscape piece was just a
> recording of an environmental soundscape. I imagined it to have no
> processing other than maybe equalization to offset microphone
> interference/distortion, a little normalizing, fade in, fade out, and maybe
> some areal diffusion. As I learned more about it, I discovered "soundscape"
> compositions that create a fictional soundscape, such as Barry Truax's
> Island, where sounds are taken out of their original context and placed in a
> different one. Additionally, there are soundscapes that include quite a bit
> of processing (maybe to better expose the musicality of the environment),
> like the deep thumping sound in Hildegard Westerkamp's Beneath the Forest
> Floor. In this soundscape course we also discussed text-based compositions,
> because we considered text to be a "context".
> So the questions:
> Do you think there is a difference between soundscape composition and
> context-based pieces?
> What is the effective use of processing in context-based/soundscape
> compositions? Any specific examples?
> What might be ineffective use of processing in context-based/soundscape
> compositions? Any specific examples?
> Is there any type or amount of processing that would make you say "that
> composition is not (or is no longer) soundscape/context-based"?
> How would you consider the use of microphone to be processing, in terms of
> affecting the behavior of whatever you are observing, or in terms of
> types/placement of mics affecting the sound?
> Do you have any principles of soundscape composition of your own?
> Thank you very much; I appreciate your time-
> Sylvia DeTar

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