Writing by Hildegard Westerkamp

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The Soundscape on Radio

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By Hildegard Westerkamp

The Soundscape on Radio, from Radio Rethink: art, sound and transmission, edited by Daina Augaitis and Dan Lander, Walter Phillips Gallery, The Banff Centre for the Arts, 1994, reprinted 2012.


In the mid-1970s, two events coincided that have changed the way I think about sound: the World Soundscape Project and the founding of Vancouver Co-operative Radio. The first opened my ears to sounds beyond the classical music I had studied for many years and enhanced my understanding of the soundscape; the other provided the opportunity to organize and broadcast these sounds and thus to “speak back” to the community with the sounds of its own making. Both made me think about sound design, composition, acoustic ecology and how we hear and listen.

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