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Cache: A History of a Community and a Project for the Future

In December of 1998 the CEC Board embarked upon a project which would celebrate Canadian electroacoustics at the turn of the millennium. The project proposed was a CD anthology; something which would highlight the past, present and future of electroacoustics in this country.

Part of celebrating the past was a look at the community's beginnings, and how it had changed over the years. Looking at a time before the CEC, from Hugh Le Caine's time when a few individuals created works essentially in isolation, to the days when local festivals and conferences flourished and were exciting meeting places for large parts of a growing community, to the final leaner days of the mid-1990s where major financial cuts to all areas of Canadian life changed the direction of culture in this country.

During the middle, more financially secure section of this time newsletters were distributed and meetings were held discussing the formation of a national organization which would bring 'individuals out of the cold' and link them to others from across the country. The community needed a national infrastructural and communications organization to keep people informed between the times of festivals and conferences, and supported the creation of the CEC to represent composers of electroacoustics within Canada and abroad. The CEC was incorporated in 1986 and since its inception has labored to bring Canadian electroacoustics to the various national and international debates.

Individuals profited, and so did the community. The precursors to SOCAN, CAPAC and PROCAN had competitions which awarded members of the electroacoustics community (then Electronic and Computer Music) for outstanding compositions from young composers (now the Hugh Le Caine Awards). In 1990 Radio Canada International, part of the CBC/SRC, recognized Canadian electroacoustics by creating an anthology which brought together works from as many prominent composers as would fit on two CDs. Electroacoustics was being recognized by the Canada Council more and more, and the CEC was being supported by an operating grant to aid with raising the awareness of this art.

Looking back upon this history, the CEC Board in 1998 consulted the community and received many strongly and intelligently worded letters of support for the creation of a project to suit the times. The Board was encouraged, and sought financial support for a multilevel CD project. The SOCAN Foundation was consulted regarding funding for a CD of short works from young and emerging sound artists, and they responded in full to the CEC's plan.

The project proposed was called Cache, and was centered around a single CD of works judged by a large jury of community members meeting over the internet, auditioning works from the CEC's website. To determine who was young and/or emerging, over 50 community members were consulted and they were asked for nominations for potential participants. Each of the nominees were then consulted and invited to submit pieces.

Cache was not just a CD publishing project. Électroacoustiques université Concordia university Electroacoustics (EuCuE) and Christ Church Cathedral (both in Montreal) were involved at an early stage in the proposals, and held concerts around the Cache theme: Four EuCuE concerts (three in Ovt/Nov 1999 and one in Feb. 2000) One special CD launch concert at the CCC (Summer 2000).

Besides the concert opportunities, activities on the web were incorporated: The Feb. 2000 concert was webcast live so listeners around the globe could participate. All official competition pieces are now apart of eContact!. All works submitted of duration's longer than 7 minutes also appear in eContact!

During the Cache jurying period, the CEC announced the formation of a yearly competition for young and emerging sound artists called Jeu de Temps / Times play, which awards the top five Cache jury selections with additional prizes. With the creation of this competition, the CEC pledges to encourage the creation of new electroacoustic works and to promote a segment of our community of the future.

Concordia University / Université Concordia

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