Barry Truax

is a Professor in both the School of Communication and the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University where he teaches courses in acoustic communication and electroacoustic music. He has worked with the World Soundscape Project, editing its Handbook for Acoustic Ecology, and has published a book Acoustic Communication dealing with all aspects of sound and technology. As a composer, Truax is best known for his work with the PODX computer music system which he has used for tape solo works and those which combine tape with live performers or computer graphics. A selection of these pieces may be heard on the Compact Discs Digital Soundscapes, Pacific Rim, Song of Songs, Inside, Twin Souls, Islands, and Spirit Journies all on the Cambridge Street Records label, plus the double CD of the opera Powers of Two. In 1991 his work, ‚Riverrun‘, was awarded the Magisterium at the International Competition of Electroacoustic Music in Bourges, France, a category open only to electroacoustic composers of 20 or more years experience.



The Shaman Ascending (extract)
for 8 digital soundtracks



The Shaman Ascending (2004-2005) evokes the imagery of a traditional shaman figure chanting in the quest for spiritual ecstasy. However, in this case, the listener is placed inside of a circle of loudspeakers with the vocal utterances swirling around at high rates of speed and timbral development. The work proceeds in increasing stages of complexity as the shaman ascends towards a higher spiritual state.


The work and its title are inspired by a pair of Canadian Inuit sculptures by John Terriak with collectively the same name, as well as Inuit throat singing. All of the vocal material heard in the piece is derived from a recording of the Vancouver bass singer Derrick Christian. The work is available on Cambridge Street Records (