The Orion
Lecture Series in Fine Arts

Through the generous support of the Orion Fund in Fine Arts, the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Victoria, is pleased to present:

Gayle Young

Composer, performer, instrument designer

Wednesday-Friday, Feb 24-26
Three separate events (see below for details) 


All are free & open to the public via Zoom (link for each Zoom event below or via the School of Music events calendar

Presented by UVic’s School of Music

For more information on this lecture please email: 

A multitude of skills  

Gayle Young is a Canadian composer, performer, instrument designer, curator and author. Her music and sound installations include a wide variety of sound sources, from electronic and orchestral instruments, to found stone and wood.

In the late 1970s, Young developed notational systems and designed musical instruments to facilitate explorations in unusual tunings. She continues to combine her interests in tuning and soundscape by recording environmental noise of highways, railways, rivers and ocean shorelines through tuned tubing. 

Young has also authored the biography of Hugh Le Caine (1914-1977), the foremost Canadian inventor of electronic instruments. She has written extensively about sound exploration, bringing attention to the exploration and experience of sound, and edited Musicworks Magazine for many years.

Workshop on microtonality & tuning

A specialist in microtonality, tuning systems, sound art and instrument design, Young will be offering a free workshop from 10:30-11:20am on Wednesday, Feb. 24, focussing on her theoretical research into tunings systems and how this has impacted her work.

In 1978, Young played the first of many concerts featuring compositions for microtonal instruments she designed and built. Her Columbine is a 63-note percussion instrument using 23 pitches per octave in an expanded just intonation tuning system. Her Amaranth is a 24-stringed zither with moveable bridges that enable flexible tunings. Her Allium is a 9-stringed aluminum instrument. 


Young will present a free public lecture from 5-6:30pm on Thursday, Feb. 25.  In addition to discussing her varied career—involving concert composition for both acoustic and electronic forces, installation and sound art—she will present a selection of videos both of her work and featuring her playing her own instruments, while also providing commentary on her pieces. Questions will be open to the public. 

Composition masterclass 

Finally, from 1-3pm on Friday, Feb. 26Young will host a composition masterclass. Through composition lessons, she will offer constructive feedback on original compositions by our School of Music students. Young’s mentorship is informed by conceptual/musical considerations as well as pragmatic realities such as exciting the listener and performer’s imagination and curiosity.

About the Orion Fund

Established through the generous gift of an anonymous donor, the Orion Fund in Fine Arts is designed to bring distinguished visitors from other parts of Canada—and the world—to the University of Victoria’s Faculty of Fine Arts, and to make their talents and achievements available to faculty, students, staff and the wider Greater Victoria community who might otherwise not be able to experience their work. 

The Orion Fund also exists to encourage institutions outside Canada to invite regular faculty members from our Faculty of Fine Arts to be visiting  artists/scholars at their institutions; and to make it possible for Fine Arts faculty members to travel outside Canada to participate in the academic life of foreign institutions and establish connections and relationships with them in order to encourage and foster future exchanges.

Free and open to the public  |  Seating is limited (500 Zoom connections) |  Visit our online events calendar at