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Forest in the City

  • Author / Creator
    Heney, Trifon
  • Forest in the City is a soundscape composition for string orchestra (5/4/3/2/2), divided into two concentric circles consisting of inner and outer groups, and electronics. Spatialization of string orchestra, loudspeakers, and audience is a major focus of Forest in the City, as essential as dynamics and orchestration. The electronics are controlled by a laptop performer via software created in Max 5, a real-time graphical object programming environment for music, that allows the computer to function as a musical instrument under the guidance of the conductor. The first chapter deals with the overview of acoustic ecology and soundscape, and how Forest in the City is situated within the rubric of soundscape composition. I also discuss the importance of the aurage, or sound-image, as the psychological imprint of a soundscape on the listener and its role in Forest in the City. The second chapter covers methodology, from the initial field recordings, to the sound documents, to the choice of final soundscapes to be used in Forest in the City. The entire process is a condensing of twenty-four hours of continuous soundscape material traversing the entire length of the Edmonton River Valley from the northeast to the southwest down to twenty-five representative samples of the Valley. The third chapter is about the electronic Max 5 software that is responsible for the performance and spatialization of the River Valley samples to recreate the soundscape from both a physiological and psychological standpoint. The background textures (what R. Murray Schafer would call keynote sounds) form each individual section; within these are context-dependent foreground sounds sorted into pinpoint sounds, sounds that stay in one place, and panpoint sounds, sounds that can be freely panned over the course of their duration. The fourth chapter covers the form, vocabulary, and analysis of Forest in the City. The piece’s form is based around the recurrence of sounds over the course of the journey through the River Valley; in particular, there is a storm drain at both ends of the valley and in the centre of Capilano Park, forming a rondo framework. Each of the five sections is assigned a season and a time of day as well, further distinguishing its identity. The overall texture of the piece consists of sustained tones, repeated aleatory cells, and isolated events, much in the manner one would experience a typical soundscape.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2014-06
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Doctor of Music
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3GX0H
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Doctoral
  • Department
    • Department of Music
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Hannesson, Mark (Music)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Smallwood, Scott (Music)
    • Schroeder, Angela (Music)
    • Boon, Rolf (Music, University of Lethbridge)
    • Hannesson, Mark (Music)
    • Gramit, David (Music)