An Interview With Barry Truax: By Norma Beecroft

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Barry Truax
b. 1947 Chatham, Ontario

Interviewed by Norma Beecroft as part of her ebook, Conversations With Post World War II Pioneers of Electronic Music.

Recorded on audio cassette.
Digital transfer and editing: William Van Ree

Following his education in mathematics and physics at Queen’s University, Barry Truax pursued his primary interest in music at the University of British Columbia. Between 1971-73, he studied at the Institute of Sonology in Utrecht, Holland, where he began to develop his PODX computer music system based on the principles of frequency modulation. His work in FM eventually progressed to realizing a computer composition called Riverrun (1986), the first composer to use granular synthesis in real time.

Returning to Canada in 1973 to teach in the Communications Department at Simon Fraser University in B.C., he became a research assistant with the World Soundscape Project initiated by Murray Schafer. In 1975, he became Research Director of the World Soundscape Project, and has edited its Handbook for Acoustic Technology, and written a book dealing with all aspects of sound and technology titled Acoustic Communication.

Barry Truax is a founding member of the Canadian Electroacoustic Community and the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology. He has been recognized by Simon Fraser U. as a recipient of the 1999 Awards for Teaching Excellence, among others. His background in music, technology and the acoustic environment places him in a quite unique position in the annals of Canadian contemporary music.

You can read the transcript of the interview, along with interviews of 22 other electroacoustic composers, by purchasing the ebook here.