"Acoustic design is described by the WSP [World Soundscape Project] as the practical, applied component of soundscape studies. It is considered as necessary in order to deal with the growing complexity and the unbalancing of the modern soundscape, which cannot be solved ‘naturally’. In the conclusion of the Five Village Soundscapes (1977), Schafer presents acoustic design as a discipline “which will concern itself with techniques for the analysis and improvement of existing soundscapes and the creation of new ones” " (Describing the contemporary sound environment+)
The World Soundscape Project (WSP) was established as an educational and research group by R. Murray Schafer at Simon Fraser University during the late 1960s and early 1970s. It grew out of Schafer's initial attempt to draw attention to the sonic environment through a course in noise pollution, as well as from his personal distaste for the more raucous aspects of Vancouver's rapidly changing soundscape. This work resulted in two small educational booklets, The New Soundscape and The Book of Noise, plus a compendium of Canadian noise bylaws. However, the negative approach that noise pollution inevitably fosters suggested that a more positive approach had to be found, the first attempt being an extended essay by Schafer (in 1973) called 'The Music of the Environment,' in which he describes examples of acoustic design, good and bad, drawing largely on examples from literature.
"Combining the gentlest of the urban projects, a 1973 survey of Vancouver's soundscape, with the most stylistically varied, a 1996 reprise of the project, this two disc set is a great place to begin tuning your ears toward human soundscapes. The first disc, recorded and released during acoustic ecology's birth in British Columbia, is a loving portrait of city soundmarks. Each track focuses on a certain element of the city's voice: the harbor ambience, the music of horns and whistles, park sounds, etc.; there is no chaos or sense of overwhelm here, but rather a celebration of the sonic beauties and comforts found in daily city sounds. Perhaps this disc is a relic of bygone days, when even cities were a bit more hospitable to our ears and souls." (Earth Ear+)
Basil Kirchin+ - Worlds within worlds (1974)
Conrad Schnitzler+ - Gelb (1974/1981)
Conrad Schnitzler - Rot (1973)
Tolerance+ - Divin (1981)
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