Charlie Fox 

Since 1975, Charlie Fox has been involved in the growth of the media arts in Canada, having produced a large body of video, sound, film and visual art. He has been involved in the founding of media arts centres in Guelph (Ed Video Media Arts) and Calgary (EM/ Media). Fox has been on the board of directors of these centres and Visual Arts Ontario. He has taught courses in video, sound, experimental film and image theory as a sessional instructor at Ryerson Polytechnic University and the Fine Arts Department of the University of Guelph. Fox currently resides in Regina where he is an Assistant Professor of Film and Video at the University of Regina.


Performance "Cycles", The Banff Centre for the Arts, June 2005 | Photo: Juan Ho


 "Four Wild Places"



Four Wild Places features soundscapes recorded in the Canadian wilderness: the open prairie in Grasslands National Park, Saskatchewan; the wetlands of Nicole Flats, Buffalo Pound Provincial Park, Saskatchewan; the rainforest valley of Carmanah Provincial Park, Vancouver Island, British Columbia; and the foothills/mountain transition zone of Mount Yamnaska, Alberta. The sequence of soundscapes follows the succession of photographs found in the book Autumn Leaves from pages 45 to 48.

The recordings have been mixed down to two channel stereo from multichannel surround sound source material that used experimental microphone techniques. The resulting soundscapes contain a multitude of insect sounds, mammal and – especially – bird vocalisations. Each section contains a realtime soundscape that forms an audio portrait of that moment-in-time. The only added sounds are those created through the use of pitch-shifting portions of the original soundfiles. This is utilised in Four Wild Places to open a window that allows us a deeper auditory perception of these environments. The metabolic rates of the insects and animals influence the pace of sonification each creature employs to communicate, to the point that the insect "noise" in the Grasslands, when pitched down -48 semitones, becomes a series of distinct rhythms and individuated sound objects. The very present, active bird vocalisation in the Carmanah Rainforest section becomes a set of varied, detailed trills and sustained bursts of long, pure notes that fill the rainforest valley. Pitching down the Yamnaska recording expands the complexity and frequency range of the many bird vocalisations. Only the Nicole Flats recording remains untreated: the powerful bass notes generated by the flock of geese taking flight need no further "explanation".

Length: 10:00 – stereo