Formed in 1996 as the Canadian Affiliate Organization of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE), The Canadian Association for Sound Ecology/ Association canadienne pour L’écologie sonore is a coalition of Canadian individuals and institutions concerned with the state of the soundscape.
As Acoustic Ecology is the study of the relationship between living organisms and their sonic environment (or soundscape), it is the CASE mission to draw attention to unhealthy imbalances in this relationship, to improve the acoustic quality of a place wherever possible, and to protect and maintain acoustically balanced soundscapes where they still exist.
As a multidisciplinary organization CASE includes those who are committed to caring for the quality of the acoustic environment through their respective fields. If they are creators of sound, for example, they are sensitive to the relationship between their sound production and the acoustic environment. (CASE recognizes and supports the principle of sexual equality, and of English as its principal language of communication and of French as an official language).
Hildegard Westerkamp, Chair, is a composer who focuses on listening, environmental sound and acoustic ecology. At the beginning of her career she worked with R. Murray Schafer and the World Soundscape Project and subsequently taught acoustic communication courses in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University with colleague Barry Truax. She is a founding member of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE), was chief editor of its journal Soundscape between 2000 and 2012 and has been a member of CASE from its inception. She has conducted soundscape workshops, given concerts and lectures, and has coordinated and led Soundwalks locally and internationally.
Westerkamp’s pioneering musical works and writing at the intersections of environmentalism, acoustic communication, radio arts, listening practices and soundwalking activate an awareness, that sound is a decisive dimension of the world, an idea that underpins contemporary thinking across social, political, artistic and scientific practices of environmental respect and concern.
Hildegard’s compositions have been performed and broadcast in many parts of the world. Aside from her soundscape compositions, she has composed film soundtracks, sound documents for radio and has produced and hosted radio programs such as Soundwalking, and Musica Nova on Vancouver Co-operative Radio. Her compositions have been discussed in various articles (available here) and most extensively in Andra McCartney’s dissertation Sounding Places: Situated Conversations through the Soundscape Work of Hildegard Westerkamp. In 2017 CBC Ideas presented on radio Hildegard’s ways of composing and listening.
Carol Ann Weaver, Vice-Chair, is a celebrated, highly prolific American/Canadian composer whose music is heard live and on the air throughout North America, Europe, Africa, South Korea and Paraguay, often featuring her as pianist. Her genre-bending music ranges from classical to jazz, folk, world, creating new fusions of art and roots music, often colored by her passion for African music. She composes vocal, choral, chamber, solo, orchestral, multimedia music, works with electric instruments, dancers, turntablist, gamelan, incorporating visuals, electroacoustic and soundscape textures. Her music is described as “adventurous, imaginative, passionately connected with the earth.” Commissioned by American and Canadian performance groups – Arraymusic, Blue Rider Ensemble, Hemispheres Orchestra, Ardeleana Trio, Gallery Players, Cincinnati Arts Festival and many more more – she has produced eight CDs where she also appears as pianist: Songs for My Mother, Paraguay Primeval, Every 3 Children, Thistle & Jewel, Awakenings, Dancing Rivers – From South Africa To Canada, Journey Begun, and Daughter Of Olapa. She is Chair of Association of Canadian Women Composers, Secretary of Canadian Association of Sound Ecology, and has directed Sound in the Land Festival/Conferences, most recently environmentally themed, with R. Murray Schafer as keynote speaker, attracting international attention. She has done hundreds of natural field recordings from Canada, Africa, and the USA, and has presented her work at various sonic ecology, ethnomusicology, and women’s music conferences. As Professor Emerita of Conrad Grebel University College/University of Waterloo, she holds a DM in Composition from Indiana University, studying with composers John Eaton, Bernard Heiden and Juan Orego-Salas, and with pianist Gyorgy Sebok.
Wendalyn Bartley, Secretary and Treasurer, is a composer, voice performer and writer living in Toronto whose artistic practice is dedicated to the awakening of the feminine voice. Her compositions are rooted in the contemporary chamber and electroacoustic music traditions, extended vocal practice and soundscape studies with influences from eco-feminist thought, mythic story and wholistic healing modalities. She has collaborated with artists from the fields of visual arts, video and film, radio, music-driven theatre, opera and community arts, and her works have been performed and broadcast internationally. She received her MMus in composition from McGill University. The music on her most recent CD entitled Sound Dreaming: Oracle Songs from Ancient Ritual Spaces was created from vocal improvisations made in Malta and Crete at sites that have held the ancestral wisdom of the feminine. Her current project is entitled Rivers Revealed, a laptop performance piece focused on areas where original creeks of the Toronto watershed now buried in pipes underground emerge into the daylight. The piece combines soundscape and vocal recordings with live voice performance. She currently writes a column on contemporary and experimental music for The Whole Note and is working on a memoir that weaves together personal story, myth and her creative engagement with the voice.
Milena Droumeva, Project Director and Academic Liaison, is an Assistant Professor of Communication and Glenfraser Endowed professor in Sound Studies at Simon Fraser University specializing in mobile technologies, sound studies and multimodal ethnography, with a long-standing interest in game cultures and gender. She has worked extensively in educational research on game-based learning, as well as in interaction design for responsive environments and sonification. Milena is a sound studies scholar, a multimodal ethnographer, and a soundwalking enthusiast, published widely in the areas of acoustic ecology, media and game studies, design and technology. Her current SSHRC-funded project is called “Livable Soundscapes” and it explores best practices for soundscape design in cities and civic participation approaches to storytelling with sound. She is co-editor of a newly published edited collection “Sound, Media, Ecology” with Palgrave Macmillan which updates practices and theories of acoustic ecology through the work of contemporary researchers. Milena has been working on sonification for public engagement since 2015, crossing over cultural studies of sound and data representation.
Charlie Fox, WFAE Representative, has been a multidisciplinary artist since the early 1970’s, exhibiting audio art, experimental film, video art, performance and installation artworks in Canada and abroad. He’s been integral to contemporary theatre, dance and music productions, directed arts documentaries for broadcast, curated art exhibitions and pioneered research in immersive sound. Charlie co-founded media arts centres and contemporary arts organisations in Canada and continues to be involved with arts collectives and advocacy groups. Devoted to sharing knowledge, he’s been a faculty member at Fleming College, University of Guelph, Ryerson University School of Image Arts, University of Regina and a workshop presenter to artists across Canada and in Japan. He resides in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Randolph Jordan, Web Manager, teaches in the Humanities department at Champlain College in Montreal. His research, teaching, and creative practice reside at the intersections of film studies, sound studies, and critical geography. His recent research and audiovisual work have focused on the relationship between the World Soundscape Project and the broader media landscape of Vancouver, British Columbia. He has contributed anthology chapters on the politics of location sound in Vancouver films to Cinephemera (McGill-Queen’s), The Routledge Companion to Screen Music and Sound, and Critical Distance in Documentary Film (Palgrave), and has published related work on the Sounding Out! blog and in UBC’s film journal Cinephile. His multi-media project Bell Tower of False Creek engages with contested land use around Vancouver’s Burrard Bridge; he has written about the sound component for Soundscape: The Journal of Acoustic Ecology, and the film component is currently on the international festival circuit. He recently completed work as sound curator and designer (with Florian Grond) on the multi-channel sound installation for the Impostor Cities project at the Canadian pavilion of the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale, exploring the mediated soundscapes of Canadian architecture in runaway film productions. He is co-editor of Sound, Media, Ecology with CASE board member Milena Droumeva, published by Palgrave in July 2019, and is currently completing a monograph for Oxford University Press entitled Acoustic Profiles: A Sound Ecology of the Cinema, now entering the copy-edit stage and expected later in 2022. With CASE, Jordan has co-edited our special issue of The Soundscape Journal (Vol. 14, No. 1, 2014-15) with Andrea Dancer, and our blog series Listening in on Pandemic Life (2021-22) with Milena Droumeva.