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Barry Truax (1947-     )

Barry Truax, composerBarry Truax is a Canadian composer who specializes in real-time implementations of granular synthesis, often of sampled sounds, and soundscapes. He developed the first ever implementation of real-time granular synthesis, in 1986, the first to use a sample as the source of a granular composition in Wings of Nike (1987), and was the first composer to explore the range between synchronic and asynchronic granular synthesis in Riverrun (1986). The real-time technique suites or emphasizes auditory streams, which, along with soundscapes, inform his aesthetic. Truax is a professor in the School of Communication and the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University where he teaches both electroacoustic music and computer music and acoustic communication. He was one of the original members of the World Soundscape Project, editing its Handbook for Acoustic Ecology, and has published a book Acoustic Communication dealing with all aspects of sound and technology. His students include composers Michael Vincent and John Oswald.Barry Truax  teaches courses in acoustic communication and electroacoustic music. In 1991 his work, Riverrun, was awarded the Magisterium at the International Competition of Electroacoustic Music in Bourges, France, a category open only to electroacoustic composers of 20 or more years experience. He is also the recipient of one of the 1999 Awards for Teaching Excellence at Simon Fraser University.

COMPOSITIONS                                                            Truax Links     ~ ~ ~     Works by Genre
Tapes from Gilgamesh, 12 four-channel tapes (1972-73)
Gilgamesh, music theatre work, singers and 12 four-channel tape (1972-73)
She, a Solo, mezzo-soprano and magnetic tape (1973)
Sonic Landscape No. 3, spatial environment for 4 computer-synthesized soundtracks (1975, rev.1977)
Nautilus, solo percussion and four computer-synthesized soundtracks (1976)
Sonic Landscape No. 4, organ and four computer-synthesized soundtracks (1977)
Androgyny, spatial environment for four computer-synthesized soundtracks (1978)
Ascendance, stereo electronic tape (1979)
The Blind Man, two-channel tape based on a poem and reading by Norbert Ruebsaat (1979)
Aerial, horn and four computer-synthesized soundtracks (1979)
Love Songs, female voice and four soundtracks (1979)
Arras, 4 computer-synthesized soundtracks (1980)
East Wind, amplified recorder and four soundtracks (1981)
Nightwatch, marimba and four soundtracks (1982)
Wave Edge, 4 computer-synthesized soundtracks (1983)
Etude, cello and two computer-synthesized soundtracks (1983-84)
Solar Ellipse, 4 computer-synthesized soundtracks (1984-85)
Divan, computer graphic slides and two computer-synthesized soundtracks (1985)
Riverrun, 4 computer-synthesized soundtracks (1986)
The Wings of Nike, computer graphic slides and 2 digital soundtracks (1987)
Tongues of Angels, oboe d'amore, English horn and four digital soundtracks (1988)
Trigon, mezzo-soprano, alto flute, piano and computer-synthesized tape (1988)
Beauty and the Beast, narrator (oboe d'amore & English horn), computer images, and 2 digital soundtracks (1989)
Pacific Fog, a soundscape with English horn (1990)
Pacific, 4 digital soundtracks (1990)
Dominion, chamber ensemble and two digital soundtracks (1991)
Pacific Dragon, computer graphic slides and four digital soundtracks (1991)
Basilica, 2 or 8 digital soundtracks (1992)
Night of the Conjurer, video tape with optional cello (1992)
Song of Songs, oboe d'amore, English horn, 2 digital soundtracks and computer graphic images (1992)
Sequence of Later Heaven, 4 or 8 digital soundtracks (1993)
Threshing (On The Mechanics of Nostalgia), video tape (1993)
Bamboo, Silk and Stone, instruments and two digital soundtracks (1994) [co-composed with Randy Raine-Reusch]
Powers of Two: The Artist, electroacoustic music theatre, 2 singers, dancer, video tape and 8 digital soundtracks (1995)
Inside, bass oboe & two digital soundtracks (1995)
Pacific Fanfare, 2 digital soundtracks (1996)
Patterns, female speaker and two soundtracks (1996)
Wings of Fire, female cellist and two digital soundtracks (1996)
Androgyne, Mon Amour, music theatre work, amplified male double bass player and two digital soundtracks (1996-97)
PendlerdrÝm, 2 or 8 digital soundtracks (1997)
Powers of Two: The Sibyl, electroacoustic music theatre, 2 singers, dancer, video tape and 8 digital soundtracks (1997)
Powers of Two: Beyond, electroacoustic music theatre, 4 singers, two dancers and 8 digital soundtracks (1997)
Twin Souls, chamber choir and tape (1997)
Sequence of Earlier Heaven, 8 digital soundtracks (1998)
La Sera di Benevento, 2digital soundtracks (1999)
Powers of Two: Repetition, electroacoustic music theatre, 4 singers, 2 dancers and 8 digital soundtracks (1999)
Island, 8 digital soundtracks (2000)
Steam, alto flute and two digital soundtracks (2001)
Androgyne, Mon Amour, video with dancer, amplified male double bass player and 2digital soundtracks (2001)
Temple, 8 digital soundtracks (2002)
Thou and I, tenor, baritone and tape (2003)
Prospero'sVoyage, 8 digital soundtracks (2004)
Skin & Metal, music theatre piece, leather percussionist and digital soundtracks (2004)
The Shaman Ascending, 16 digital soundtracks (2004-2005)
The Way of the Spirit, for ichigenkin, shakuhachi and 8 digital soundtracks (2005-2006) [co-composed w/ Raine-Reusch]
Orpheus Ascending, soprano, baritone and tape (2006)
The Ghostly Moon, music theatre work, erhu, zheng, marimba and digital soundtracks (2008)
Chalice Well, 8 digital soundtracks (2009)
Beneath The Tor, 2 digital soundtracks (2010)
Enigma, electroacoustic music theatre, 3 singers, dancer and 6 digital soundtracks (2010)
Fire Spirits, 8 digital soundtracks (2010)


WORKS BY GENRE                                                            Truax Links     ~ top of page ~
Dramatic/Theater
Gilgamesh, music theatre work, singers and 12 four-channel tape (1972-73)
Powers of Two: The Artist, electroacoustic music theatre, 2 singers, dancer, video tape and 8 digital soundtracks (1995)
Patterns, female speaker and two soundtracks (1996)
Androgyne, Mon Amour, music theatre work, amplified male double bass player and two digital soundtracks (1996-97)
Powers of Two: The Sibyl, electroacoustic music theatre, 2 singers, dancer, video tape and 8 digital soundtracks (1997)
Powers of Two: Beyond, electroacoustic music theatre, 4 singers, two dancers and 8 digital soundtracks (1997)
Powers of Two: Repetition, electroacoustic music theatre, 4 singers, 2 dancers and 8 digital soundtracks (1999)
Thou and I, tenor, baritone and tape (2003)
Skin & Metal, music theatre piece, leather percussionist and digital soundtracks (2004)
Orpheus Ascending, soprano, baritone and tape (2006)
The Ghostly Moon, music theatre work, erhu, zheng, marimba and digital soundtracks (2008)
Enigma, electroacoustic music theatre, 3 singers, dancer and 6 digital soundtracks (2010)

Mixed Media
Divan, computer graphic slides and two computer-synthesized soundtracks (1985)
The Wings of Nike, computer graphic slides and 2 digital soundtracks (1987)
Beauty and the Beast, narrator (oboe d'amore & English horn), computer images, and 2 digital soundtracks (1989)
Pacific Dragon, computer graphic slides and four digital soundtracks (1991)
Night of the Conjurer, video tape with optional cello (1992)
Song of Songs, oboe d'amore, English horn, 2 digital soundtracks and computer graphic images (1992)
Threshing (On The Mechanics of Nostalgia), video tape (1993)
Androgyne, Mon Amour, video with dancer, amplified male double bass player and 2digital soundtracks (2001)

Choral
Twin Souls, chamber choir and tape (1997)

Chamber
Tongues of Angels, oboe d'amore, English horn and four digital soundtracks (1988)
Dominion, chamber ensemble and two digital soundtracks (1991)
Bamboo, Silk and Stone, instruments and two digital soundtracks (1994) [co-composed with Randy Raine-Reusch]
The Way of the Spirit, for ichigenkin, shakuhachi and 8 digital soundtracks (2005-2006) [co-composed w/ Raine-Reusch]

Percussion
Nautilus, solo percussion and four computer-synthesized soundtracks (1976)
Nightwatch, marimba and four soundtracks (1982)

Solo Instrument
Nautilus, solo percussion and four computer-synthesized soundtracks (1976)
Aerial, horn and four computer-synthesized soundtracks (1979)
East Wind, amplified recorder and four soundtracks (1981)
Nightwatch, marimba and four soundtracks (1982)
Etude, cello and two computer-synthesized soundtracks (1983-84)
Pacific Fog, a soundscape with English horn (1990)
Inside, bass oboe & two digital soundtracks (1995)
Wings of Fire, female cellist and two digital soundtracks (1996)
Steam, alto flute and two digital soundtracks (2001)

Piano/Organ
Sonic Landscape No. 4, organ and four computer-synthesized soundtracks (1977)

Vocal
She, a Solo, mezzo-soprano and magnetic tape (1973)
Love Songs, female voice and four soundtracks (1979)
Trigon, mezzo-soprano, alto flute, piano and computer-synthesized tape (1988)

Electronic/Tape
Tapes from Gilgamesh, 12 four-channel tapes (1972-73)
Sonic Landscape No. 3, spatial environment for 4 computer-synthesized soundtracks (1975, rev.1977)
Androgyny, spatial environment for four computer-synthesized soundtracks (1978)
Ascendance, stereo electronic tape (1979)
The Blind Man, two-channel tape based on a poem and reading by Norbert Ruebsaat (1979)
Arras, 4 computer-synthesized soundtracks (1980)
Wave Edge, 4 computer-synthesized soundtracks (1983)
Solar Ellipse, 4 computer-synthesized soundtracks (1984-85)
Riverrun, 4 computer-synthesized soundtracks (1986)
Pacific, 4 digital soundtracks (1990)
Basilica, 2 or 8 digital soundtracks (1992)
Sequence of Later Heaven, 4 or 8 digital soundtracks (1993)
Pacific Fanfare, 2 digital soundtracks (1996)
PendlerdrÝm, 2 or 8 digital soundtracks (1997)
Sequence of Earlier Heaven, 8 digital soundtracks (1998)
La Sera di Benevento, 2digital soundtracks (1999)
Island, 8 digital soundtracks (2000)
Temple, 8 digital soundtracks (2002)
Prospero'sVoyage, 8 digital soundtracks (2004)
The Shaman Ascending, 16 digital soundtracks (2004-2005)
Chalice Well, 8 digital soundtracks (2009)
Beneath The Tor, 2 digital soundtracks (2010)
Fire Spirits, 8 digital soundtracks (2010)


TRUAX  LINKS                                                            Works by Genre      ~ top of page ~
Barry Truax Interview (Asymmetry Music Magazine)
Barry Truax "Sequence of Earlier Heaven" (Continuo's weblog)
Barry Truax - Soundscape Composition Lecture/Performance (Zai Tang)
The Natural, Digital Environment: A Look at Barry Truax’s Riverrun (Brandon W. Peach)
Powers of Two: The Artist (Heniford)
Powers of Two: The Sibyl (Heniford)
Report: Soundscape Vancouver May 6 - June 8, 1996, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Response to Barry Truax’s Acoustic Communication (ITP musings)
Review of Acoustic Communication by Barry Truax (Jos Kunst)
Review of Acoustic Communication by Barry Truax (cjc-online.ca)
Soundscape Composition: Barry Truax & Hildegard Westerkamp (saltlick.org)

Writings
Acoustic Communication (Barry Truax, Greenwood, books.google.com)
Composition and Diffusion: Space In Sound In Space (Barry Truax)
Handbook for Acoustic Ecology (Barry Truax, Simon Fraser University)
Handbook of Acoustic Ecology by Barry Truax, 2nd ed/CD-ROM version (review: Laurie Radford, CMJ)
Listening and the Electroacoustic Community (Barry Truax)
Soundscape Composition as Global Music (Barry Truax)

Composer's website

Truax @ Wikipedia
Truax @ AllAboutOpera
Truax @ AllExperts
Truax @ The Canadian Encyclopedia
Truax @ Canadian Music Centre
Truax @ cecdiscuss
Truax @ Center for New Music & Audio Technologies (University of California, Berkeley)
Truax @ CDeMusic
Truax @ Goldsmiths/University of London
Truax @ granularsynthesis.com
Truax @ Institut International de Musique Electroacoustique
Truax @ Modisti
Truax @ Multimedia Design Books
Truax @ NationMaster
Truax @ Ninth Annual Florida Electroacoustic Music Festival 2000
Truax @ The Paula Gordon Show
Truax @ Portal.acm.org
Truax @ sfsound.org
Truax @ Simon Fraser University
Truax @ Spock.com
Truax @ University of California, Riverside/International Symposium
Truax @ The World Soundscape Project

Streaming Audio
Truax @ last.fm

Recordings
Truax @ ClassicsOnline

Truax @ YouTube
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