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SOUNDPlay 2002

Artist Biographies

Christian Calon

Sound and Radio artist


His sound installation projects, radio or stage works are rooted in a common exploration of the listening experience. Spatial sound projection, the acousmatic conception of sound forms and the importance of listening contexts are at the heart of his creative research leading to a on-going process of investigation of new technologies.

His first works emerged in Canada and soon brought him international attention. In 1991 he was appointed to the musical direction of the GMEM (France) and in 1995, he was a guest of the DAAD in Berlin where he lived for several years. His artistic research lead at that time to the development of a widely used graphical multi-channel spatialisation system based on the principle of holophony.

In parallel in order to further his interest in the narrative forms through sound he turned to writing for the radio medium. His present work focuses on the ideas of Time, Presence and Transformation. A free-lance artist, he now lives in Montréal and develops his creation projects across the Atlantic.

Some recent landmarks

– The Ulysses project (1997-00), radio and stage work for voices and multi-track sound projection. It was awarded the prestigious Lynch-Staunton prize (Canada Council) and at the unanimity of the jury, won the Grand Prix Marulic of the European Broadcasting Union (UER/EBU) 1999.

– Die Zimmer der Erinnerung (The rooms of memory) (1997), radio essay (Hörspiel) on Time and creation, after the life and works of Marcel Proust. Commissionned by the German National Radio (DLR).

– The standing man (1994-96), architectural sound installation for a child's voice and three-dimensional acoustical fields (24-channel spatialization). After François Villon's Epitaph. Commission of the Inventionen Festival, Berlin.

Les corps éblouis(1994), acousmatic concert work (exploration of the the guitar instrument), was awarded the 2nd prize at the Bourges International Competition ( 1994) and Distinctions at the 1995 and 1997 Ars Electronica.

His work is presented worldwide and received honours in major international competitions : Italy - Prix Russolo, USA - Newcomp Prize, UER /EBU - Prix Marulic, Germany, Austria - Ars Electronica, France - Bourges Competition. His work received assistance from the Canada Council and le Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec. His music is published by Empreintes Digitales (Montréal).

Darren Copeland

Composer, sound designer, artistic director


Darren Copeland is a soundscape composer, radio artist, sound designer and concert producer. He has studied electroacoustic composition under Barry Truax (Simon Fraser University) and Dr. Jonty Harrison (University of Birmingham). His concert works have received mentions in competitions (Vancouver New Music, Luigi Russolo, Hungarian Radio, La Muse en Circuit, and Phonurgia Nova) and appeared on compilation CD releases (Storm of Drones, Radius #3, DISContact I & II, Lieu - Non Lieu, and Soundscape Vancouver). Rendu Visible, a CD devoted to his work, is available on the empreintes DIGITALes label. Other works combine his electroacoustic and theatrical backgrounds to break open disciplinary boundaries between electroacoustics, radio art, and theatre. Highlights include the adaptation of August Strindberg's A Dream Play (first radio drama at CBC conceived for broadcast in Surround 5.1), the soundscape documentaries Life Unseen and The Toronto Sound Mosaic, and a DORA nominated soundtrack for Samuel Beckett's That Time.

In addition to composing, he has written articles about listening and environmental sounds for Electronic Cottage, Musicworks Magazine, eContact! (CEC), Soundscape: Journal of Acoustic Ecology, and The Journal for Electroacoustic Music (Sonic Arts Network) as well as CD, concert and book reviews for Musicworks Magazine, The Whole Note, and Soundscape: The Journal of Acoustic Ecology.

As a producer and administrator, fond memories lie with Wireless Graffiti, a live-to-air radio extravaganza in 1993 co-produced by Rumble Theatre and Vancouver Pro Musica. After active histories with Vancouver Pro Musica, the Standing Wave Ensemble, and the Communauté Électroacoustique Canadienne/Canadian Electroacoustic Community (CEC) from 1990 to 1996, he now serves on the board of the Canadian Association for Sound Ecology (CASE) and is the Artistic Director for New Adventures in Sound Art

Shelley Hirsch

Vocalist, Composer, Performance Artist


Shelley Hirsch is a vocalist, composer, performance artist, whose written and improvised work for stage, concert, record, film, television and radio has been presented on 5 continents. Hirsch has been called "enormously inventive, scathingly satiric and virtuosic... a brilliant overwhelming presence on stage" by the NY Times. Her work incorporates extended vocal techniques, real and imaginary language, international music styles, stream of consciousness, electronics, characterizations, storytelling, movement and mixed visual media.

She has performed improvised music with musicians Anthony Coleman, Christian Marclay, Ikue Mori, Hans Reichel, Elliot Sharpe, Joey Baron, Konk Pack, Paul Lovens, Toshio Kajiwara, Fred Frith, DJ Olive among others and can be heard on dozens of CDs including her fall releases of her Solo CD "The Far In Far Out Worlds of Shelley Hirsch" on Tzadik (Nov 2001), and "Duets" with guitarist Uchihashi Kasuhisa on Innocence Records and "States" on Tellus; her storytelling CD "O’ Little Town of East New York" on Tzadik; "Haiku Lingo" on No Mans Land (both with keyboardist David Weinstein) and with the groups September Band and X-Communication (both on FMP). She can also be heard on CDs by Richard Teitelbaum, Jon Rose, Elliot Sharp, Nicolas Collins, John Zorn, David Moss, Sven Ake Johannson and Alexander Von Schlippenbach, Butch Morris, Jim Staley, Hans Koch and Martin Schutz and many compilation CDs.

Hirsch has presented her mostly staged solo pieces at prestigious festivals, theaters and museums around the world including The Hebbel Theater (Berlin), WienerFestWochen (Vienna), The Zurcher TheaterSpektakel (Zurich) Adelaide State Theater (Australia) The Whitney Museum (NYC). She is the subject of 2 short films made for German TV and is a lead actor in the award winning "Wild Sound" and "OrianienStr" a feature film produced for ZDF television Hirsch is the recipient of many grants, fellowships, awards and residencies in music composition, performance art, new forms, and interdisciplinary categories.

Nilan Perera



Nilan Perera has been an active member of the Canadian creative music and performance scene since 1983. He has been involved in some of the most forward-looking, influential and radical ensembles of the past 19 years including NOMA, Bill Grove’s Not King Fudge, Handslang and the Excalceolators. He has also performed and recorded with Vinnie Golia, Don Preston, Mary Margaret O’Hara, Glen Hall, John Oswald, Vinx, Al MacDowell and Michael Ondaatje.

His decade long association with guitarist/composer and iconoclast, Rainer Wiens has led him into the world of Dance/Theatre as a composer/performer/instrumentalist with Wiens and Jan Komarek in Sound Image Theatre and most recently, with Susanna Hood’s hum dansoundart.

He is currently a member of trip-hop group Lalâ prepared guitar trio Ferrobaci (with Wiens and Bill Parsons), electroacoustic/improv duo Smash and Teeny (with Sara Peebles),Susanna Hood’s hum dansoundart and radio art duo FaMished AMerica (w/Susanna Hood) as well as performing and composing as a soloist on guitar.

Nilan is featured on several recordings.

He can also speak in sentences and can nearly dress himself

Sarah Peebles



"Sarah Peebles has one of the most careful and subtle ears of any composer of musique concrète working today." -- Terra Nova Journal (MIT Press)

Composer/performer Sarah Peebles integrates sounds she has gathered from natural habitats and cityscapes in North America and Japan into her improvisations and sound works - often exploring alternate performance settings, such as museums, bamboo groves, temples and parks. Her work with electroacoustics focuses heavily on sampled sounds, which are called forth and manipulated on the fly, using a Macintosh computer running Max, Sample Cell and other programs. She gathers and alters her own sounds, which run the gamut from dust pans, home-made reeds and bullroarers, to hummingbirds, ignited vapors, cicadas and water. Peebles also draws upon the sustained tones of the shoh - a free-reed mouth-organ noted for its unique timbre and tendency to 'throw' sound in unexpected ways.

Uniting her music with diverse arts, she has collaborated with spoken word, dance, video and installation artists, artificial intelligence researchers and other musicians. Additionally, she is a member of Cinnamon Sphere trio (calligraphy performance by Chung Gong Ha, with improvised soundscapes by Peebles and guitarist Nilan Perera), active in performing as well as producing video and audio works.

Peebles' work in new music has included performances in Canada, U.S.A., Australia, Japan, and the U.K. at such venues as The Kitchen, Roulette Intermedium (NYC), Studio Kinshicho (Tokyo), SIGGRAPH Electronic Theater Evening, Adelaide Festival of Arts-The Listening Room (ABC), and production/performance for Sonic Circuits festivals in Toronto and Minneapolis. She is published on a variety of labels, including innova, Barooni (with David Toop), MusicWorks, Hornblower, The Aerial and others. Peebles has also studied and performed traditional and contemporary music in Japan independently and as a Japan Foundation Uchida Fellow.

David Toop

Writer & Sound Artist


Musician, writer and music curator, born in 1949 near London. He lives in London. Recent books include: Ocean of Sound: Aether Talk, Ambient Sound and Imaginary Worlds (Serpent's Tail, 1995), Exotica: Fabricated Soundscapes in a Real World (Serpent's Tail, Autumn/winter 1998) and a short story: Acid Burns - published in Intoxication: An Anthology of Stimulant Based Writing, (Serpent's Tail, 1998). Past work includes: The Rap Attack in 1984 (now in its second edition as Rap Attack 2). He has also written for many publications, including The Wire, GQ, The Face, Arena, The Times, Mojo, Vogue, Dazed and Confused, The Sunday Times, Billboard, Spin and the Cambridge Companion to Singing.

David recently composed the music for the Aqua Matrix outdoor show, closing each day at Lisbon Expo 98 from May until September. Recent solo albums include: Screen Ceremonies (Wire Editions, 1995), Pink Noir (Virgin Records, 1996) and Spirit World (Virgin Records, 1997). Recent compilation albums include: an accompanying double CD Ocean of Sound (Virgin Records), followed by Crooning On Venus, Sugar and Poison, Booming On Pluto and Guitars On Mars. Past albums include: New and Rediscovered Musical Instruments, released on Brian Eno's Obscure label in 1975, and Buried Dreams (with sound sculptor Max Eastley), released on Beyond in 1994. In 1978 he recorded Yanomami shamanistic ceremonies in Amazonas, southern Venezuela. Examples of these recordings have been released on Quartz, Touch and, in 1995, Sub Rosa.

In 1994 he wrote database material on shamanism, trance, etc. for The Shamen's ongoing multimedia project. David has also recorded collaborations with Paul SchÙtze, Jon Hassell, Evan Parker, Talvin Singh, Robert Hampson, Bedouin Ascent, Amelia Cuni, Max Eastley, Kaffe Matthews, Twisted Science, Scanner, Witchman, Prince Far I, John Zorn, Flying Lizards, and many improvising musicians, including Evan Parker, Lol Coxhill, Toshinori Kondo and Hugh Davies. He has collaborated with artists in many other fields, including theatre music for Steven Berkoff, Japanese Butoh with dance innovator Mitsutaka Ishii, plus performance art, sound art, sound poetry and television soundtracks.

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