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)
…narrative alchemy… The Wire, Issue 460

Full News Item

BREAKING NEWS - Long-awaited new release of works composed between 1988 and 2012

Today I am happy to announce my new album, Breaking Newsa collection of works written between 1988 and 2012. It will be officially released on March 11. For the next 6 weeks you can listen to the "title track", Breaking News, and pre-order the album while we do the final touches. Here is my introduction to the album.

Breaking News Cover
Breaking News Cover

"This album wants to stir, unsettle and surprise. But unlike with breaking news in the regular media, it refuses to transmit feelings of helplessness, fear and terror. Instead it wants to energize and revitalize, even when it grapples with incidents of violence and death. The pieces presented here were created between 1988 and 2012. In their togetherness they highlight and celebrate voices that are often relegated to the personal domain: sounds of new life, of unusual artistic sensibilities, of children’s and female voices. They have the power to tip the balance in our lives, in favour of love, resilience and human compassion. If we choose to listen!"

Pre-order here.

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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.

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