Landscapes - Summer 2013 - (Page 17)
LACF | FAPC
FR_POURQUOI DON HILL
TEND-IL AINSI L’OREILLE?
WHEN THE CARILLON BELLS in Edmonton’s Winston Churchill Square ring out, Don Hill is
listening. So is the city – but what precisely do they hear? This is the question Don Hill set out
to study with his 2011 LACF grant. “For several months, at different times of day and weather
and season, I recorded the ever-changing and dynamic flux of the acoustic environment in the
Square,” he explains. “Even when it’s empty of people, Winston Churchill Square is never vacant
of sound. And a lot of that sounds different depending on where you are located. So, if you saw
a guy standing motionless for a long, long time, and thought something out-of-the-ordinary was
going on, well…that was me.”
His research method, in part, involved Edmontonians by inviting them to wear ear buds and
listen to the audio segments on the Web. (You, too, can listen, at www.harmonysquare.
The LACF grant, together with others from the Canada Council and Edmonton Arts Council,
offered a remarkable opportunity to pay particular attention to exploring new design theories
and out of the ordinary speculations which could lead to advances in the art of landscape
architecture. “I have been able to investigate my hunch that the carillon bells can shape and
refashion the audio image of the Square,” Hill said, “and that it is possible to reframe the
problem of unpleasant urban noise by adding sound from the bells to alter the ‘pitch’ of the
Hill explains that the cities of the European Union are now “required to produce strategic noise
maps in their main cities” to formulate policy to remediate neighbourhoods blighted by sound
pollution (typically associated with motorways and nearby industrial activity.) It may not be
long, he thinks, before the LEED* building standard is expanded to include psychoacoustics of
Supporting the fundamental ideals expressed through
the profession of landscape architecture
LISTENING TO STONES The carillons were only an early chapter of Hill’s fascination
with sound. Hill, who is a writer, broadcaster and thought leader at Banff Centre for the
Arts, now bills himself a sound artist and a man about the planet...a sound artist who
listens, attentively, in the most unlikely corners of the planet. At Writing-on-Stone
Provincial Park, he explored the hoodoos where the wind plays on rock formations, with
his friend and mentor, Leroy Little Bear. “These hoodoos, all the different crevices, cracks
and so on...” said Leroy Little Bear, “you definitely begin to experience the different
frequencies. It’s almost as if the wind is making music.” (Read the whole story in LP+.)
This year, LACF awarded Hill another $1,000 in seed money for Sonic Sculpture Research, which
will assist him in investigating ‘sonic crystal’ acoustic sculptures. We’ll keep you posted.
DON HILL EXPLORED WRITING-ON-STONE PROVINCIAL PARK WITH LEROY LITTLE BEAR, RENOWNED
BLACKFOOT ELDER AND EDUCATOR EMERITUS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE.
PHOTOS DON HILL
SUMMER ÉTÉ 2013 17
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Landscapes - Summer 2013
My NEW Favourite Places
Mes NOUVEAUX coups de coeur
From Terrain VAGUE to Terrain VIEW
L'Initiative de charte canadienne du paysage
What is Don Hill Listening to Now?
LACF FAPC: Rewarding Curious Minds / Curiosité primée
The Nature of Design
National Honour Awards
National Merit Awards
National Citation Awards
Meet the Jury
B2B : Thanks for Asking!
The Last Word
Landscapes - Summer 2013
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