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SOUNDplay Series

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New Adventures in Sound Art’s (NAISA) is proud to present the 22nd edition of its SOUNDplay Festival. SOUNDplay is an annual fall festival that encourages new avenues of exploration between sound and new media. This year’s edition features works by Don Ritter, Jessica Thompson and Kelly Ruth that use both old and new technologies to explore the theme Remote Connections. A new addition to the Festival will be the 48-Hour Sound Art Challenge – a weekend intensive that invites sound and media artists to create a sound art miniature in the rural environs of Warbler’s Roost.

“The telephone made it possible to connect people in real time across long distances. As telecommunications and entertainment media continue to expand and diversify in the 21st Century, technological elements find a place in many aspects of the human experience. SOUNDplay’s focus this year will be on media art works that mix old tools and technologies with virtual digital applications that deepen our sense of place and being in the world.” — Darren Copeland, Artistic Director, New Adventures in Sound Art

Borderline (Almaguin Highlands): Collective counter mapping through sonic geographies
By Jessica Thompson
Open after September 14, 2023. Open 10 am to 4 pm Thursday to Monday.
NAISA North Media Arts Centre, 313 Highway 124, South River, Ontario
Pay by Donation
Borderline is a critical mapmaking project that uses sound to illuminate social and economic differences in local geographies. Visitors to the NAISA North Media Arts Centre are invited to contribute to a large-scale soundmap of the Almaguin Highlands by borrowing a toolkit to map sounds in one of the villages of their choice, or by using the Borderline mobile app. The sounds collected will be added to the map on an ongoing basis.

The Borderline iOS app enables users to automatically map sounds in their environment, put them in dialogue with other forms of data, and generate interactive soundscapes by playing sounds back into the environment. Click here to download


Jessica Thompson is a media artist working in sound, performance and mobile technologies. Her interactive artworks have shown at venues such as the International Symposium of Electronic Art (San Jose, Dubai, Vancouver), the Conflux Festival (New York), Thinking Metropolis (Copenhagen), Beyond/In Western New York (Buffalo), NIME (Oslo), Artists’ Walks (New York), Locus Sonus (Aix-en-Provence), the AGW Triennial (Windsor), InterACTION (Kitchener), HASTAC (Vancouver), Re:Sound (Aalborg), and Entorno Encuentro Exploración (Pamplona), The Politics of Sound (Lethbridge) and CAFKA (Kitchener). She has received grants from the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and the Government of Ontario.
The Sensation of Distribution
By Mitchell Akiyama and Brady Peters
Open 24/7 year round.
NAISA North Media Arts Centre, 313 Highway 124, South River, Ontario

The Sensation of Distribution is a reprise of Mitchell Akiyama and Brady Peters’s 2019 work, The Distribution of Sensation, which they created while artists in residence at The Bentway, a large, urban public space situated under an elevated highway in downtown Toronto. The Distribution of Sensation was a sound sculpture composed of PVC pipes installed around The Bentway that invited visitors to listen through the natural resonance of the cylinders, creating a series of musical experiences across the site. Mimic the plumbing infrastructure of the site, the installation was meant to create aesthetic slippages that might potentially lead to confusion as to what exactly functioned or counted as art.

The re-installation of this work at NAISA blends the pipe sculptures into a more domestic vernacular. Mounted on NAISA’s exterior walls to impersonate furnace vents and erupting from the ground to suggest rogue plumbing gone awry, The Sensation of Distribution re-invites visitors to explore the unnoticed or imminent sonic and aesthetic potential of our built environment.
Mitchell Akiyama is a Toronto-based scholar, composer, and artist. His eclectic body of work includes writings about plants, animals, cities, and sound art; scores for film and dance; and objects and installations that trouble received ideas about history, perception, and sensory experience. Akiyama’s output has appeared in commensurately miscellaneous sources such as Leonardo Music Journal, ISEA, Sonar Music Festival (Barcelona), Raster-Noton Records (Berlin), Gendai Gallery (Toronto), and in many other exhibitions, publications, and festivals. He holds a PhD in communications from McGill University, an MFA from Concordia University, and is currently an Assistant Professor of Visual Studies at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto.
Brady Peters is a Canadian designer and researcher who successfully bridges technology and design. He has significant expertise in the use and development of design technology, in integrative construction, and in digital fabrication. With many years of experience in practice, Peters has successfully collaborated with experts in architecture, engineering, and computer science. He specializes in architectural acoustics, environmental simulation, computational design, and digital fabrication. He uses computer programming, parametric modelling, and simulation to design performance-driven forms, and is skilled in the communication and fabrication of buildings with complex geometry. He received his PhD in Architecture from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, Denmark, a Professional Master of Architecture from Dalhousie University, a Bachelor of Environmental Design (Distinction) from Dalhousie University, and, Bachelor of Science in Geography (Distinction) from the University of Victoria.
48 Hour Sound Art Challenge
October 18 to 20, 4 pm to 4 pm
Warbler’s Roost, 3785D Eagle Lake Road, South River, Ontario
General $283, includes 2 nights accommodation with breakfast.
Advance Registration Required

This weekend intensive invites artists to create a sound art miniature in a 48-hour period.  The 48-hour Sound Art Challenge will take place at Warbler’s Roost, a 14-acre rural, forested and lake-side property in the Almaguin Highlands.  The Sound Art miniature should be an audio or audio-visual work less than 5 minutes in duration that speaks about the 'here and now' to someone real or imagined, familiar or unfamiliar. 

NAISA will provide assistance with access to its supply of equipment. Participating artists should bring their own portable recording devices and computers and other tools necessary for their creation.  Peer learning and sharing will be encouraged throughout the process and NAISA Artistic Director Darren Copeland will facilitate and assist participants.

Results of the Challenge will be aired on NAISA Radio and NAISA’s social media channels after completion.

Photo by Anton Pickard