Welcome

Hildegard Westerkamp is a composer, radio artist and sound ecologist.
She presents soundscape workshops and lectures internationally, performs and writes.
  • "A magical fusion of sounds."
    Globe & Mail, Toronto
  • "There was more than just a hint of oracular mysticism in Westerkamp's art. There was a magic in those sounds.” Stephen Pedersen, Chronicle-Herald, Halifax
  • "Westerkamp's music balances a poetics of sound with social commitments that include feminism and environmental politics. Her compositions are critical enactments of acoustic space....All invoke attentive listening." Donna Zapf, Beiträge zur Neuen Music, Germany
  • "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.”
    Pauline Oliveros,Kingston, N.Y., USA (about CD transformations)
  • "Mere words are inadequate to describe what took place when the symphony began....Waves of sound rolled back and forth across the harbour bringing thousands of downtown office workers to their windows. The Canada geese from Stanley Park were aroused and circled through the boats, honking loudly as they joined in." Ken Drushka, Harbour and Shipping) about the Harbour Symphony)

Full News Item

Westerkamp featured at Acoustic Ecologies Festival in Sussex, England Jan. 29 to Feb. 1

I will be in a Q&A session on January 29 and they are playing some of my pieces, along with other events involving other composers and colleagues. See details at the web site.

Wednesday 29 January, 2020 – Saturday 01 February, 2020.

University of Toronto WEATHER SOUNDINGS events, this week Jan 13 to 17: soundwalks, chats, and a concert

The University of Toronto WEATHER SOUNDINGS event series features five days of chats, concerts, and soundwalking. Complete schedule below. Also see the lovely posters!

Monday 13 January 2020, 5:00-7:00 pm, Canadian Music Centre
BEING IN THE WEATHER: MUSIC, ENVIRONMENT, AND ACTIVISM
Cinq-à-sept Reception, Listening Session and Artist Chat –– in conversation with Hildegard Westerkamp, Rachel Iwaasa, and Daniel Grimley Canadian Music Centre, 20 St. Joseph Street

Tuesday 14 January 2020, 7:30 pm, Walter Hall
THE 2020 KAREN KIESER PRIZE CONCERT
Vancouver pianist Rachel Iwaasa performs music of Hildegard Westerkamp with live electroacoustic diffusions by Westerkamp, plus performances by Montréal’s Quatuor Cobalt, including Francis Ubertelli’s prizewinning work University of Toronto Faculty of Music, 80 Queen’s Park Crescent

Wednesday 15 January 2020, 10:45 am-1:00 pm
SOUNDWALKING
A ravine walk with Hildegard Westerkamp and Amish Morell
meet at the Doris McCarthy Gallery, UTSC, 1265 Military Trail

Thursday 16 January 2020, 3:30 pm, Barker Fairley Room (130)
WHITE LIGHT: GREENLAND, DENMARK, AND THE POSTCOLONIAL
Lecture by Daniel Grimley (Oxford University), part of the
Faculty of Music Graduate Colloquium Series in Musicology, Ethnomusicology, and Music Theory –– reception to follow
University of Toronto Faculty of Music, 80 Queen’s Park Crescent

Friday 17 January 2020, 1:00-1:45 pm
SOUNDWALKING
A campus walk with Hildegard Westerkamp, Sherry Ostapovitch, and WalkingLab
meet at the Jackman Humanities Building, main lobby, 170 St. George Street

All events are free and open to everyone

Karen Kieser Prize Concert features performances of 3 Westerkamp works

Karen Kieser Prize Concert, presented in conjunction with the Jackman Humanities Institute and the Institute for Music in Canada. Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM EST, Walter Hall - University of Toronto, Free admission

Vancouver pianist Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa performs the music of Hildegard Westerkamp, and Montréal’s Quatuor Cobalt performs a new work by Francis St-Germain as well as Francis Ubertelli's prize-winning Quartetto 2.

Like A Memory (2002), Attending to Sacred Matters (2002) and Klavierklang (2017) by Hildegard Westerkamp

Prélude (2019) by Francis St-Germain and Quartetto 2 (2018) by Francis Ubertelli

Canadian Acoustical Association’s Acoustics Week in Canada 2019

I was one of three plenary speakers at the Canadian Acoustical Association’s Acoustics Week in Canada 2019, in Edmonton October 811, 2019. The title of my talk: Grounded in Listening - Messages from Inside the Soundscape. Link to event: https://awc.caa-aca.ca/index.php/AWC/AWC19

I also gave a seminar to graduate students in composition, as well as a presentation to faculty and students at the music department at the University of Alberta.

Westerkamp article included in new book "Sound, Media, Ecology"

My article “The Disruptive Nature of Listening: Today, Yesterday, Tomorrow", just came out in the recently published book Sound, Media, Ecology: https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783030165680

It is an extended article from my talk at ISEA entitled “The Disruptive Nature of Listening”. You can read the talk on my web site here.

Show more posts

Workshops

My workshops are essentially an enquiry into our relationship to place through listening and an enquiry into listening itself. Conscious attention to the soundscape is like learning a new language and conscious listening and soundmaking is a way of placing ourselves inside the workings of our cultures, societies and landscapes as involved, living participants.

A variety of listening and soundmaking activities offer ways to deepen our relationship to place and to explore what acoustically balanced sound existences might be. Some workshops may be conducted entirely without the use of technology, others may involve recording equipment, editing and mixing facilities, depending on the context and the focus. Soundwalks may be simple listening walks "by ear" or may also include the use of field recording equipment and/or ear protection. Other activities/actions may involve the creation of sound maps and sound scores, monitoring of and documenting a sound environment in a specific location and for a specific time span, writing of sound journals and many more actions/activities.

Not only is the focus of each workshop slightly different, but also the group of participants may vary greatly. Workshop themes, activities, length and participation are developed according to each context. Topics may range from sound ecology, to listening perception, soundscape composition, the use of music, sound design, noise, radio/media, music, silence, and so on.

web design by ed