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New Works Calgary logo

Call for Artists

2023-2024 Soundwalking Series

We are looking for thoughtful, kinship-oriented artists from all disciplines to lead engaging and informative outdoor soundwalks in Calgary through our 2023–2024 presenting season.

What is a Soundwalk?

… any excursion whose main purpose is listening to the environment. It is exposing our ears to every sound around us no matter where we are. (Hildegard Westerkamp, World Forum of Acoustic Ecology)‘A soundwalk is a form of active participation in the soundscape. Though the variations are many, the essential purpose of a soundwalk is to encourage the participant to listen discriminately and moreover, to make a critical judgement about the sounds heard and their contribution to the balance or imbalance of the sonic environment.

In order to expand the listening experience, sound-making may also become an important part of a soundwalk. Its purpose is to explore sounds that are related to the environment and, on the other hand, to become aware of one’s own sounds (voice, footsteps, etc.) in the environmental context. A soundwalk may be recorded in the form of a map, which the participant uses both to guide the route and draw attention to features of acoustic interest’ (handbook of acoustic ecology, ed. Barry Truax).

The term was first used by members of the World Soundscape Project, under the leadership of R. Murray Shafer, in the 1970s. At New Works Calgary we take an interdisciplinary approach to soundwalking, inviting not only musicians but artists from all disciplines to lead our walks. We encourage activation of sonic awareness from many different points through the body and mind; we are excited to explore as many different creative paths to listening as there are creative souls in the cosmos.

Please write to us with your ideas for a walk! The basic guidelines are that it must be a one-hour walk, featuring a route that you have walked (and timed) in advance of guiding others over and through it. We aim to make our walks as physically accessible as possible; please consider how you might choose a route that could be travelled by persons using canes, walkers or wheelchairs. We are also very happy to offer you support in designing your walk — please reach out if you think you have an idea, but you aren’t sure how to develop it.

We’ll be choosing eight soundwalk facilitators for our 2023–24 season. Walks will take place on Sunday afternoons (2PM on the last Sunday of the month, September through May). Compensation is $200 to facilitate a walk.

To apply, send your name, contact information, artistic discipline and walk idea or outline to rebecca bruton, artisticdirector@newworkscalgary.com.

We especially encourage womxn, LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC artists to apply! We are particularly interested to program artists suggesting feminist and decolonial approaches to soundwalking.

Deadline for 2023–24 applications is June 15, 2023.

We will be reviewing applications on an ongoing basis for future soundwalking series. Please don’t be shy to tell us who you are and what you do, even after this deadline has passed.

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