Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hildegard Westerkamp

(first 4 photos from lastfm, last one from Continuo.)

So much admiration and respect for the work of Hildegard Westerkamp. Truly one of our great sound adventurers, right up there with Ruth White and Daphne Oram. Born in Germany and now living and teaching in Canada, Westerkamp was a member of the dictaphone-wielding World Soundscape project with R. Murray Schafer in the 1970s, and has since sculpted out a formidable body of work in the fields of environmental sound and acoustic ecology. Her compositions involve the capture and release of human voices, ambient urban and rural sounds, found audio from radio and TV, and -- I could be wrong here -- percussion and electroacoustic flourishes of her own making. It is beautiful, deeply humane, and often quite funny work -- it is the "music" I have been wanting to hear for a long time. Her output seems to be scattered among hard-to-find cassettes, so I've just been listening to the 20+ amazing sound documents posted on her website. D/l here.


  1. Wow, Ben, thank you *very* much for compiling these pieces. :-)

  2. really great!... it took me a good 3 minutes to realize the 3rd photo is not a giant lobster, but a camel