EcoMUSICology: Howe SoundZ - A Collaboration with the David Suzuki Foundation + Vancouver Maritime Museum

Posted: Fri, 2015-04-10 14:57

The Howe Sound region of British Columbia is experiencing a remarkable ecological rebirth.  Marine life is returning after decades of low numbers. This recovery is an incredible and all too rare good news story – not just for the residents of the Sound or the urban and tourist centres around it, but also for marine scientists worldwide who want to know more about the dynamics of marine recovery.


Empowering students to become future community leaders in sustainability, the project is taught by Sarah Van Borek, Faculty of Culture + Community, as part of the university’s Social Practice and Community Engagement (SPACE) program. The project’s over-arching goal is to create public-friendly messaging through songs and music videos to promote the ecological importance of the Howe Sound region. Stories of people who live, work and play in the Sound show the connectedness of communities to a shared geographic space. The focus is on sound and the inter-relationships between music and nature sounds in the region.

Working with a sound engineer, students have married clips from their interviews with Howe Sound community members with sound effects, such as underwater recordings. The pieces are then fit with original musical recordings by local Brazilian world music guitarist, percussionist and multi-instrumentalist, Celso Machado. Students then created videos with both filmed and sourced footage to accompany the musical score to create further awareness around habitat protection and conservation.

View the student videos below.

2015 marks the third academic year , and sixth course, in partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation. Previous courses include: Rewilding Vancouver (2013-14) that oversaw the creation of a virtual urban safari as part of an exhibition with the Museum of Vancouver, and Natural Capital (2012-13) - a series of short documentaries and two multimedia exhibitions presented at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery.