I created this 22 minute video to explain the making of simplesoundscapes:
During year 1 of simplesoundscapes (December 3 2016 – September 2, 2017), I noticed that the project was shifting away from a narrative format (stories about soundscapes) towards mindfulness exercises (contextual and meditative listening). On September 9, 2017, I launched a 2nd iteration of simplesoundscapes with a shorter and more accessible format: 3-minute audio and video recordings. I removed any narration and description beyond a one-word title and a short poem. I also removed all the previous podcasts, except for ‘e40 best of simplesoundscapes year 1′ (which brings together my favorite moments from the first 40 podcast).
The still-image video and audio recordings are presented ‘as is’ (creative work takes place during the recording process) and are published, when they are ready, one at a time or in thematic groupings. The role of the still image video is to enhance the listener’s appreciation and understanding of the context of the soundscape recording. It is an audio recording accompanied by moving images. Audio recordings are kept SoundCloud and the videos are kept in Vimeo, accompanied by a photograph.
I select soundscapes that have the capacity to awaken the spirit. My production process is:
- if a soundscape speaks to me, I record it
- if the recording remains meaningful after repeated listening, I share it
- if a recording loses its vitality, I remove it
I allow my intuition and mindfulness practice to guide me in the selection and production process.
Community of practice
In 1998, I wrote an article on Electroacoustic Soundscape Composition for Musicworks Magazine that talked about sharawadji effect, which French sound theorists Jean-Francois Augoyard and Henry Torgue describe as the sensation of plenitude that is created by the contemplation of complex soundscapes whose beauty is unexplainable and that can carry the listener elsewhere when the spirit combines availability, attention and perspicacity. This theory informs my work.I am also influenced by the work of Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer’s and his idea of soundscapes as ongoing musical compositions.
I follow with great interest of those doing similar soundscape and mindfulness work and encourage exchange. I recommend the artistic work and social contributions of the following artists and organizations:
How to access the work?
- Christian Calon, for helping me hear better (and record some sequences)
- Clara and Riel Schryer, for their valuable feedback on content and formats
- Helene Prévost for her wise advise
- Jean-Francois Denis, for his ongoing support as publisher of my electroacoustic music
- John Sobol, for his advice on content and web design
- Ken Chase, for setting up the original simplesoundscapes web site
- Robert Rosen, for his feedback and insight on the project
- Sabrina Mathews, my wife, for her ongoing support and patience
- Sol Rezza, for her feedback in the early days of simplesoundscapes
- Stefan Nitoslawski, for his help on video shooting
- Terence LLoren, for offering me to do 60 Minute Cities Ottawa
Thanks also to all followers and listeners/viewers.