Rockglen Arts in the Park Artist Residency

Thanks to the Arts in the Park Committee and the people of Rockglen for their hospitality and interest. Special thanks to Laurel Kirby, Sandra Knoss, Jackie Ryan, Dick Oakes, Richard and Darcy Kimball, and Michelle Marcenko.

For this residency I investigated the acoustic environment in and around Rockglen Saskatchewan. This consisted of leading sound walks and sound workshops as well as making recordings in Rockglen and surrounding areas. A sample of one sound recording:

lake_sound_and_reflections from Terry Billings on Vimeo.

Some of the sound walks were listening walks. I led these at the Effie Mattson Nature Centre and Columbus Hill with three groups of students from the Rockglen school and one adult group. A map with listening activities was developed for the school. Click the link to view the PDF:


Three walks combined listening and composition. A public evening walk toured the Rockglen township including the sloughs, cemetery, surrounding hills and the movie theatre. We wrapped up by “playing” the playground as a group collaborative improvisation.

Two walks were conducted at the John Knoss Farm. These involved improvisational collaborations with Germonde de Boer and Sandra Knoss, “playing” the plough, bale feeder, auger and barn. Excerpts of these compositions:

6_20_plough_02_excerpt from Terry Billings on Vimeo.

06_28_plough_excerpt from Terry Billings on Vimeo.

6_28_bale_feeder_excerpt from Terry Billings on Vimeo.

06_28_auger_excerpt from Terry Billings on Vimeo.

The sound workshops centered on listening to bioacoustic sounds at different speeds to see how their impact changed. For the two workshops at Rockglen School, the students also experimented with pitch-shifting their own voices.

I also made an audio work with an accompanying video for “Arts in the Park”, a day long visual arts festival in June in Rockglen. The audio consists of Rockglen’s dawn chorus slowed and pitch-shifted in stages so that various bird calls would become more or less coherent to a human sensibility. The video shows two owlets filmed in the day, but a video filter gradually changes the image to night. This is an excerpt of the work, Night and Day:

Night_and_Day_excerpt from Terry Billings on Vimeo.