What is an immersive soundscape? It can be as simple as a recording made in a forest: leaves crunching underfoot, birds chirping, a squirrel chattering. Or it can be as complex as a movie soundtrack, which involves music but also uses many other sounds--to set the mood for the action and to literally put the viewer in the picture. Sound art defies categorization, and artists using this medium describe their work in many different ways: as sound installations, audio art, radio art, and music.
The Art of Immersive Soundscapes provides a fascinating tour of contemporary sound art practices that comprises scholarly essays, artists' statements, and a DVD with sonic and visual examples. Included are perspectives from soundscape composition and performance, site-specific sound installation, recording, and festival curation. The book and accompanying DVD will appeal to a broad audience interested in music, sound, installation art, the environment, digital culture, and media arts. Importantly, it recognizes the pioneering place of Canadian sound artists within this international field.
Pauline Minevich is an associate professor in the Department of Music at the University of Regina.
Ellen Waterman is dean of the School of Music and a professor of Ethnomusicology and Music History at Memorial University of Newfoundland.