Hildegard Westerkamp – Transformations
Hildegard Westerkamp, leading composer of soundscapes, said, “I compose with any sound that the environment offers to the microphone, just as a writer works with all the words that a language provides . . . I like to use the microphone the way photographers often use the camera … ” But she does far more than simply record the sounds of her surroundings. She composes with sounds, shaping them, exposing their contours, giving them exaggerated character. She brings them to our attention as compelling artworks.
This CD is an important compilation of Westerkamp’s works and provides a great overview of her approach. ‘A Walk through the City’ (1981), after Norbert Ruebsaat’s poem of the same name, and with Ruebsaat narrating, is a tour through Vancouver’s skid row. In ‘Fantasie for Horns II’ (1979), she creates an environment, based on recordings of trainhorns, boathorns, foghorns, and other horns, for a French horn solo. In ‘Kits Beach Soundwalk (1989), Westerkamp narrates what she sees as she records the sounds of Kits Beach in the middle of Vancouver. ‘Cricket Voice’ (1987) is based on the sounds of a cricket in a Mexican desert. ‘Beneath the Forest Floor’ (1992) is composed from sounds recorded in the old-growth forests of British Columbia’s west coast.
As you might expect from listening to sounds of different places in the world, this CD takes you on an audio trip. And it opens up new musical worlds to discover.
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