Barry Truax 1987October 24, 2011
Name: Barry Truax
Release: DIGITAL SOUNDSCAPES
Born: Chatham Ontario, 1947.
Barry specializes in real-time implementations of granular synthesis, often of sampled sounds, and soundscapes. He developed the first ever
implementation of real-time granular synthesis, in 1986, the first to use a sample as the source of a granular composition in 1987’s Wings of
Nike, and was the first composer to explore the range between synchronic and asynchronic granular synthesis in 1986’s Riverrun. The real-time
technique suites or emphasizes auditory streams, which, along with soundscapes, inform his aesthetic.
Barry Truax is a Professor in both the School of Communication and the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University where he teaches courses in acoustic communication and electroacoustic music. He has worked with the World Soundscape Project (WSP), editing its Handbook for Acoustic Ecology, and has published the book Acoustic Communication dealing with all aspects of sound and technology. As a composer, Truax is best known for his work with the PODX computer music system which he has used for tape solo works and those which combine tape with live performers or computer graphics. He releases many of these works on the Cambridge Street Records label which he founded in 1985. In 1991 his work Riverrun was awarded the Magisterium at the International Competition of Electroacoustic Music in Bourges (France), a category open only to electroacoustic composers of 20 or more years experience. He is also the recipient of one of the 1999 Awards for Teaching Excellence at Simon Fraser University. Barry Truax is an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre (CMC) and a founding member of the Canadian Electroacoustic Community (CEC) and the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE).
Cambridge Street Records released its first Compact Disc entitled Digital Soundscapes with five works by Vancouver composer Barry Truax in 1987.
The CD features the first recording of the composer’s Riverrun, commissioned by the Venice Biennale and realized entirely with the technique of granular synthesis. This groundbreaking work was the recipient of the prestigious Magisterium award (the senior category for composers of more than 20 years experience) in the 1991 International Competition of Electroacoustic Music in Bourges, France.
The disc also includes four other works, digitally remastered, that appeared on the composer’s earlier recordings — the text/soundscape work The Blind Man, the ethereal computer work Aerial (with horn player Steven Field), and two compositions from Truax’s last vinyl release, Sequence of Earlier Heaven, the computer-synthesized works Wave Edge and Solar Ellipse. Each was realized with the composer’s PODX system for digital sound synthesis and composition at Simon Fraser University.
Interview (1991) http://www.sfu.ca/~truax/barry.html
Interview (2009) http://asymmetrymusicmagazine.com/interviews/barry-truax/
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