School of Music, University of Victoria

Sound Genres: Exploring Sound as Foundational Practice  

May 26-28, 2023


Sound Genres: Exploring Sound as Foundational Practice is a two-day conference hosted by the University of Victoria exploring electronically mediated sound and music genres in both academic settings (sound art, soundscape, electroacoustic etc.) and popular contexts (EDM, ambient, techno etc.).

Sound Genres is supported in part by funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

Throughout Symposium:

Foyer of MacLaurin Building B-Wing:
Scott Amos and David Parfit, Monkey C Interactive’s Musical Mutant Machines

Friday, May 26

Visual Arts Building
17:00 – 19:00

Sound installation and reception

Our symposium begins with a curated sound installation and reception open to the public and hosted by the UVic Faculty of Fine Arts. 

Paul Walde, Glacial
Jan Swinburne, Internet Songlines
Michael Trommer, Ancient Thoughts and Electric Buildings, (broadcast)
Annie Dunning, House on Fire

Saturday, May 27

MacLaurin Building B-Wing, Rm. B037
10:00 – 11:30

Session 1: Sound Practices

We begin our conference with a sound genre installation that provides a social, artistic, and nurturing experience for our guests. The event will feature curated work introduced by Professor Paul Walde (UVic Visual Arts), installed in the Visual Arts galleries and concourse at UVic. This first session will set the tone for the symposium as one of creative collaboration.

Paul Walde, chair, Glacial
Michael Trommer, Ancient Thoughts and Electric Buildings
Annie Dunning, House on Fire
Tiess McKenzie, Go out and Listen.

School of Music
11:30 – 13:00


MacLaurin Building A-Wing,
David Lam Auditorium
13:00 – 14:30

Session 2: Sound as Witness, Sound as Truth

This session will feature a curated session by UVic Associate Librarian Ry Moran that explores the long histories of Indigenous music as a source of resistance, resurgence and political power.  What are the responsibilities artists bear when approach music and artistic practice?  What truths can society draw from these long histories of artistic expression.  How are the arts shifting public consciousness regarding Indigenous rights, realities and lived experiences.

The session will engage a combination of live performance and dialogue.

Ry Moran, chair
Zoey Roy, speaker and performer
further speakers TBD

MacLaurin Building B-Wing, Rm. B037
15:00 – 17:00

Session 3: Representing Craft in Sound Genres

Zosha Di Castri, chair

Some see craft as inherently defined by commercial success in a competitive market, while others are trained to see craft as an extension of a progressive tradition invested in critical investigation. Invited guests will discuss the role of craft in their own work and how it relates to balancing creative agendas with competing social ones.

Zosha Di Castri (chair)
Michele Cheng, Puppetry and Music
Emily Leavitt, Negotiating Gender Identity and Technology in Electroacoustic Music Spaces
Noah Kahrs, Experimental Music’s Critiques of Triadic Theory
Terri Hron, Landtimescapes

School of Music
17:30 – 19:00


MacLaurin Building A-Wing,
David Lam Auditorium
19:30 – 21:00

Saturday Evening Concert

Hildegard Westerkamp, Klavierklang
    Rachel Iwaasa, piano and voice

Matthew Haussman, ORAVIBE

Sean Kiley, In a Mercurial Liminality

Zosha Di Castri, The Dream Feed
    Jane Chan, cello

Paula Matthusen and Terri Hron, Etudes for Former Lives

Nathaniel Ritter, Two Shorts
    Leif Bradshaw, Voice

Sunday, May 28

MacLaurin Building B-Wing, Rm. B037
10:00 – 11:00

Session 4: Workshop

Jesse Stewart, Community-responsive music: reflections on the We Are All Musicians project

MacLaurin Building B-Wing, Rm. B037
11:15 – 12:30

Session 5: Exploring Sound in Teaching

This panel will emphasize sound genres featured in courses outside of typical composition curriculums and their related pedagogies. A workshop environment will foster discussion of practical questions related to creation, such as how to teach composing with sound in lieu of prerequisites.

Joe Salem (chair)
Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier
Tina Pearson
Jesse Stewart
Hildegard Westerkamp

School of Music
12:30 – 14:00


MacLaurin Building B-Wing, Rm. B037
14:00 – 15:00

Session 5, Keynote:
Supporting Creative Hybrids: Bridging Diverse Practices Through Music Technology

Eliot Britton, keynote
Respondents: Zosha Di Castri, Taylor Brook, Anthony Tan

Our keynote session features Dr. Eliot Britton in a discussion of sound genres. Respondents will tie key points to ideas raised in previous sessions, offering new perspectives on how to conceive of genre as a means for bringing practitioners together rather than placing them in different silos.

UVIC campus and surrounding areas
(Pick up map and start at MacLaurin B-Wing breezeway)
15:30 – 17:00

Sound Walk (commissioned work)

Tiess McKenzie – Go out and listen.

Featuring Kristy Farkas, Songs for Tree

“Go out and listen.” will be a participatory multimedia piece in the Canadian soundwalk tradition, beginning with an invitation to visit and interact with acoustically notable locations on the UVic campus. The experience will feature fixed-media decorations, suggestions for participant interaction, and, in collaboration with Kristy Farkas, live performance of selections from her work “Songs for tree.”

Participants will have the option to filter and augment the soundscape through a mobile app. Please bring your own mobile devices and (wired) headphones to experience this element of the piece.

From 16:45-17:00, participants are welcome to join in playing “Listening in wild places” (from “Songs for tree”) in Finnerty Gardens using any instrument, sounding object or voice.