McCartney, Andra


Soundscape Composition and the Subversion of Electroacoustic Norms

eContact!, vol. 3, no. 4. Montréal: CEC.


Language(s): English


Soundscape Studies Soundscape Composition Musique Concrète Environmental Sound Electroacoustic Music Electronic Music


This paper studies the use of environmental sound in electroacoustic music. The development of ideas is organised as follows:

  1. The author presents key theories on environmental sound by R. Murray Schafer, Barry Truax and Hildegard Westerkamp, all involved in the World Soundscape Project. She also details some experiences in the United States by John Cage, Alvin Lucier, Pauline Oliveros, and Annea Lockwood.
  2. This second part defines electroacoustic music and its relations to musique concrète and electronic music. The author discusses historical issues, the musical and aesthetic theories published in several important books and analyses the references to soundscape works in them.
  3. In this last part, Andra McCartney investigates the possible subversive qualities of soundscape music (as discussed by Truax).

All references of the same author:


McCartney, Andra (1995a). A Prelude to Ea Gender Issues
McCartney, Andra (1995b). The Ambiguous Relation (1/2)
McCartney, Andra (1995c). Inventing Images: Constructing and Contesting Gender in Thinking about Electroacoustic Music
McCartney, Andra (1996). The Ambiguous Relation (2/2)
McCartney, Andra (1998a). Soundwalk in the Park with Hildegard Westerkamp
McCartney, Andra (1998b). Where water meets
McCartney, Andra (2000a). Soundwalking Interactions
McCartney, Andra (2000b). Hildegard Westerkamp's Moments of Laughter: Recording Childhood, Performing Motherhood, Refusing to Shup Up, and Laughing
McCartney, Andra (2000d). Sounding Places with Hildegard Westerkamp
McCartney, Andra (2002a). Alien Intimacies: Hearing science fiction narratives in Hildegard Westerkamp's Cricket Voice (or ‘I don't like the country, the crickets make me nervous')
McCartney, Andra (2002b). Sharing Experiences Towards the Possibility of an Electroacoustic Ecology
McCartney, Andra (2003). In and Out of the Sound Studio


McCartney, Andra (1995a). Un prélude aux problématiques en éa
McCartney, Andra (1995b). Le Rapport Ambigu (1/2)
McCartney, Andra (1996). Le Rapport Inconnu
McCartney, Andra (1998b). Où l'eau rencontre