McCartney, Andra


Sounding Places with Hildegard Westerkamp

Electronic Music Foundation Institute site. Developed from PhD dissertation. York University, Toronto, Canada.


Language(s): English


Soundscape Studies Soundscape Composition Aural Analysis Interdisciplinary Studies Field Recording Environmental Sound Intention and Reception Source Recognition Socio-Cultural Aspects of Electroacoustic Music Electroacoustic Music Phonography Re-presentation


In this article, the author considers the significance of Hildegard Westerkamp’s work to current scholarship in the area of feminist epistemology, and to contemporary electroacoustic music in the genre of soundscape composition. In particular, she addresses Westerkamp’s receptive, dialogic approach to particular places and their sonic, social, political and technological resonances. She also discusses how soundscape composition as a genre has remained relatively marginalised, lacking canonical acceptance within the field of electroacoustic music. She notes how there are also very few analytical projects in electroacoustic music that refer to listener responses, and that those that do tend to cite responses en masse, without specific quotes or discussion of the relative authority of different listeners. She then presents her approach to the analysis of electroacoustic works, in particular, her use of a wide range of listener responses through which to discuss electroacoustic works in context. This approach contributes to reception studies in its focus on bringing the responses of listeners from varied listening backgrounds directly into the discussion of the music, as well as considering relationships between these responses and the gestalt perceptual principles elaborated in the work of James Tenney.

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 (2000c). Soundscape Composition and the Subversion of Electroacoustic Norms
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