the transparent
tape music festival


Cricket Voice (1987) 10'55"
It's hard to be a night in the desert
without the crickets.
You make it with stars.
You make it with the skin
of the desert night.
You stitch those two together
sky and earth.
You find it with your cricket voice
- Norbert Ruebsaat

Cricket Voice is a musical exploration of a cricket, whose song I recorded in the stillness of a Mexican desert region called the "Zone of Silence". The quiet of the desert allowed for such acoustic clarity that this cricket’s night song — sung coincidentally very near my microphone — became the ideal "sound object" for this tape composition. Slowed down, it sounds like the heartbeat of the desert, in its original speed it sings of the stars. The quiet of the desert also encouraged soundmaking. The percussive sounds in Cricket Voice were created by 'playing' on desert plants: on the spikes of various cacti, on dried up roots and palm leaves, and by exploring the resonances in the ruins of an old water reservoir. Cricket Voice was completed at my own studio 'Inside the Soundscape' with the assistance of the Canada Council. -HW

Hildergard Westerkamp
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Hildegard Westerkamp (Osnabrück, Germany, 1946) emigrated to Canada in 1968. After completing her music studies in the early seventies Westerkamp joined the World Soundscape Project under the direction of Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Vancouver. Her involvement with this project not only activated deep concerns about noise and the general state of the acoustic environment in her, but it also changed her ways of thinking about music, listening and soundmaking. Her ears were drawn to the acoustic environment as another cultural context or place for intense listening. She is a founding member and is currently active on the board of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE), as well as the Canadian Association for Sound Ecology (CASE). Between 1991 and 1995 she was the editor of The Soundscape Newsletter and is now on the editorial committee of Soundscape -The Journal of Acoustic Ecology, a new publication of the WFAE. By focusing the ears' attention to details both familiar and foreign in the acoustic environment, Westerkamp draws attention to the inner, hidden spaces of the environment we inhabit.


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