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Heavy Friends
Saturday April 8th, 2023 with Heavy Ben
Electronic Sounds From Canada Part 11 - Hildegard Westerkamp

Happy 77th birthday to Hildegard Westerkamp, acoustic ecologist and member of the World Soundscape Project. Born in Germany in 1946, Westerkamp has been living in Vancouver for the past 50+ years. Take a sound walk and join us on Hildi's sonic journey. RIYL: ecology, crickets, anthropology, long walks on the beach, archaeology, ASMR Sound surrounds us. We are sound inside and we resonate with the soundscape even if we are not listening. Hildegard Westerkamp is sensitive to soundscape. She ably shapes fanciful, imaginative music from her recordings, mixing and transformations of the soundscape. Westerkamp creates new possibilities for listening. One can journey with her sound to inner landscapes and find unexplored openings in our sound souls. The experience of her music vibrates the potential for change. Her compositions invite interaction — a chance to awaken to one’s own creativity. One can transform through listening as she has. In the music and soundscapes of Westerkamp we feel memory and imagination as we hear through to the future. - Pauline Oliveros In a soundwalk I record the environment in which I am and my own voice. My voice forms the link to the listener who is not physically present. I speak about the sounds or soundscapes that are audible, but also about aspects extraneous to the recording, i.e. commenting on the weather, time of day or night, the "looks" of the place, the "architecture", about my experience of the place. The voice transmits information about the place that would otherwise not be apparent from the raw environmental recordings. It assists in transporting the listener into each specific soundscape that is broadcast. This is to be explicit about the recordist's presence in the environment and about the fact that that presence creates a specific acoustic perspective for the listener. It makes explicit that this particular microphone, this particular recording presents one truth only about the environment, but in doing that, it hopes to create an awareness or at least a curiosity in the individual listener about what his or her own unique acoustic perspective might be. - Hildegard Westerkamp
Hour one
The Soundscape Speaks - Soundwalking Revisited [excerpt 2]
Hildegard Westerkamp - (not on album) - BEAST FEaST 2021 University of Birmingham, UK - 2021 Canadian
The sound sources for "Fantasie for Horns I" are Canadian train horns, foghorns from both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of Canada, factory and boat horns from Vancouver and surroundings — horns that Canadians heard in daily life at the time this composition was created. Since the 1980s however, with the gradual automation of lighthouses, many of the foghorns heard in this piece have disappeared from the coastal Canadian soundscapes. Additional sound sources are an alphorn and a creek. Most of the material is taken from the World Soundscape Project's environmental recordings collection at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, B.C.; some of it was recorded by the composer.
Fantasie for Horns I
Hildegard Westerkamp - (not on album) - Western Front Gallery - 1978 Canadian
Hildegard Westerkamp - Music From The Zone of Silence - Sound Symposium - 1988 (rec. 1984-85) Canadian

Koneline: Our Land Beautiful is a 2016 Canadian documentary film, directed by Nettie Wild and produced by Betsy Carson. The film explores the different lives of the Tahltan First Nations located in northern British Columbia. Through an objective lens, the audience experiences different perspectives from natives, miners, hunters, linesmen, geologists and tourists in Telegraph Creek. "Koneline" means "our land beautiful" in the Tahltan language.
Koneline: Our Land Beautiful (film trailer)
Mark Lazeski, Hildegard Westerkamp, Jesse Zubot - (not on album) - Canada Wild Productions - 2016 Canadian
Kits Beach, named after the Squamish First Nations chief X̱ats'alanexw (Khahtsahlano), is located in the heart of Vancouver
Kits Beach Soundwalk
Hildegard Westerkamp - Transformations - Empreintes DIGITALes - 1996 (rec. 1989) Canadian
Into The Labyrinth
Hildegard Westerkamp - Into India - Earsay Productions - 2002 (rec. 2000) Canadian
150 boats gathered in Vancouver Harbour. "It sounded like a herd of happy elephants caught in a traffic jam."
- The Globe and Mail
Harbour Symphony Vanvouver [excerpt]
Hildegard Westerkamp - (not on album) - Canada Pavilion, Expo 86 - 1986 Canadian
One Visitor's Portrait of Banff: The Water Reservoir
Hildegard Westerkamp - Radio Rethink: Art Sound and Transmission - The Banff Centre - 1992 Canadian
Voices for the Wilderness Cultural Festival was held Labour Day Weekend, 1985, in the high country of the Stein Watershed. 400–plus people hiked up to timberline to camp together for three days of feasting, singing, story–telling, speech–making, circle and pipe ceremonies and political strategy sessions to draw attention to the logging threat on this, the last remaining wilderness watershed in the region. The weekend was a very special experience for all who participated because it released combinations of spiritual and political, personal and communal, civilized and wild energies that are normally all but inaccessible to urban dwellers and that were unique to this location.

The Nlaka’pamux have always been very protective of this valley, which remained relatively unknown to outsiders well into the 20th century. When roads and industrial logging were proposed for the Stein Valley in the 1970s, Lytton First Nation led a 25 year battle against development, together with neighbouring Nlaka’pamux and other Indigenous communities and joined by environmental groups. This culminated in the 1995 creation of the 107,191 ha Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage Park, co-managed by the Lytton First Nation and BC Parks. Today the Stein Valley is shared with all those who respect its cultural and natural values, and recreational access is restricted to low-impact self-propelled activities. Most importantly, the Stein Valley continues to be used by the Nlaka’pamux in traditional and spiritual ways.
Voices For The Wilderness [excerpt]
Hildegard Westerkamp and Norbert Ruebsaat - Voices For The Wilderness (A Sound Document Of The First Stein Festival 1985) - Inside The Soundscape - 1986 Canadian
Sensitive Chaos [edit]
Hildegard Westerkamp - Site Of Sound: Of Architecture & The Ear - Errant Bodies Press, Smart Art Press - 1999 (rec. 1995) Canadian
The Deep Blue Sea [excerpt]
Hildegard Westerkamp and Norbert Ruebsaat - (not on album) - 1989 Canadian
Nada: The Soniferous Garden
Savinder Anand, Mona Madan, Veena Sharma and Hildegard Westerkamp - (not on album) - Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts - 1998 Canadian
Hour two
Breathing Room 2
Hildegard Westerkamp - (not on album) - Surrey Arts Centre - 1990 Canadian
Whisper Study is based on the sentence "When there is no sound, hearing is most alert" (a quote from the Indian mystic Kirphal Singh in Naam or Word). Except for the distant horns, all sounds were derived from my own voice, whispering the above sentence and the word "silence".
Whisper Study [excerpt]
Hildegard Westerkamp - (not on album) - Western Front Gallery - 1975 Canadian
Streetmusic (intro)
Hildegard Westerkamp - From Pigeon Park to Wall Street - Vancouver Co-op Radio - 2015 Canadian
In December/January of 1984/85, 15 artists from 4 cultures camped together in the so-called Zone of Silence in north central Mexico to explore the desert environment through their respective desciplines and to make art.

The Zona del Silencio is known for its strange landscape formations, unusual plant and animal life, for its odd meteorological activity, and for the fact that the earth's magnetic field seems to have a hole there. Tape recorders don't work in part of the Zona, compasses go mad, etc.

The Zone of Silence has been studied by scientists (in 1974, the Allende Meteorite landed there, causing a flurry of research activity by NASA), by Native shamans (the country has numerous ritual and healing sites) but never by contemporary urban-based artists. We camped in the Zone, in an Apache ruin, and did art events, performance, photography, recording, soundmaking, storytelling, sculpture, poetry.
The Truth Is Acoustic [excerpt 2]
Hildegard Westerkamp - Music From The Zone of Silence - Sound Symposium - 1988 (rec. 1984-85) Canadian
Liebes-Lied/Love Song [excerpt]
Hildegard Westerkamp and Anne Bourne (poem written by Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Norbert Ruebsaat) - (not on album) - Open Ears Festival - 2005 Canadian
"Cricket Voice" is a musical exploration of a cricket, whose song I recorded in the stillness of a Mexican desert region called the "Zone of Silence". The quiet of the desert allowed for such acoustic clarity that this cricket's night song - sung coincidentally very near my microphone - became the ideal "sound object" for this tape composition. Slowed down, it sounds like the heartbeat of the desert, in its original speed it sings of the stars.

The quiet of the desert also encouraged soundmaking. The percussive sounds in Cricket Voice were created by "playing" on desert plants: on the spikes of various cacti, on dried up roots and palm leaves, and by exploring the resonances in the ruins of an old water reservoir.
Cricket Voice
Hildegard Westerkamp - Transformations - Empreintes DIGITALes - 1996 (rec. 1987) Canadian
One Visitor's Portrait of Banff: Banff Razzle Dazzle
Hildegard Westerkamp - Radio Rethink: Art Sound and Transmission - The Banff Centre - 1992 Canadian
Hildegard Westerkamp - From the India Sound Journal - Vancouver East Cultural Centre, Vancouver Co-op Radio - 1993 Canadian
The initial recordings for this sound document were made in 1978 for my radio program Soundwalking on Vancouver Co-operative Radio. During that time a citizen's group in Vancouver, the Community Forum on Airport Development, had just been successful in slowing down the Ministry of Transport's process towards the expansion of Vancouver International Airport. The plan had been to construct a third runway, one mile nearer to Vancouver.
Under the Flight Path
Hildegard Westerkamp - (not on album) - 1981 Canadian
Hildegard Westerkamp - Music From The Zone of Silence - Sound Symposium - 1988 (rec. 1984-85) Canadian
One Visitor's Portrait of Banff: Banff Soundwalk
Hildegard Westerkamp - Radio Rethink: Art Sound and Transmission - The Banff Centre - 1992 Canadian
Cordillera [excerpt 1]
Hildegard Westerkamp and Norbert Ruebsaat - (not on album) - Western Front Gallery - 1980 Canadian
Talking Rain was commissioned by CBC Radio for Westcoast Performance. It was realized in my own studio, Inside the Soundscape, and was premiered on April 20, 1997. Most rain recordings for this piece were made by myself in and around Vancouver. Thanks to Norbert Ruebsaat for providing his recordings of ravens, eagles and frogs from Haida Gwaii and also for finding the right title for the piece, magically.
Talking Rain
Hildegard Westerkamp - Harangue I - earsay - 1998 Canadian
Interactive CKCU
Heavy, Ben! i love the sounds and stories from way up there. The sound of a kayak, well worked, is ...silence...

8:23 PM, April 8th, 2023
Heavy Ben
Hey PB, thanks for chiming in

8:30 PM, April 8th, 2023
Suitable sounds for a flotation tank ..time to float.

8:37 PM, April 8th, 2023
Heavy Lina
Nice! All new to me! Thank you!

8:42 PM, April 8th, 2023
Heavy Ben
Eddy, Ladies and Gentlemen: we Are floating in space

8:46 PM, April 8th, 2023
Heavy Ben
Hi Lina, nice to hear from you.

8:48 PM, April 8th, 2023
Heavy Ben
Thanks for listening

9:59 PM, April 8th, 2023
Claude Schryer
Thanks for this fabulous journey into Hildi work. Happy to go for a soundwalk anytime in Ottawa. Keep up the great work.

8:13 PM, May 9th, 2023