The Sound Range Pilot Project is a community conversation about the changing acoustic landscape of the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve region. As this unique area becomes increasingly busy, the noise associated with that busyness spills out into the surrounding area. Soundscapes—which researchers have found be markers of community health—affect daily life, artistic inspiration, wilderness experience and wildlife.
This project draws on many branches of our community to reflect changing local soundscapes, create better anticipation, understanding and resolution of issues and draw attention to the loss of traditional acoustic ecologies.
This pilot project is the first step in a platform for community representation through the joining of art, science and Indigenous knowledge—a platform that can continue to be built upon in future years. Currently, the project is limited to two study areas: Lemmens Inlet and Tofino Harbour. As the project expands, more study areas will be added, including the pristine Sydney Valley, where the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust has been monitoring soundscapes for some time.
“We are fortunate to live in a very special place here in Clayoquot Sound, and creating auditory snapshots is an underappreciated and powerful way to demonstrate the value of this place, our unique human connections to place, and how human activity is changing this place.”
Sound Range is a concept of the 2018-2020 Tofino Poet Laureate, Joanna Streetly. This pilot project has been supported by grants from the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust, the District of Tofino and the Tofino Arts Council. Artist Claire Watson created the map, while biologist and sound enthusiast Ian Cruickshank has provided the equipment and skills for the first recordings to take place. Joe Martin, Gisele Martin and Levi Martin of Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, have also provided valuable assistance in establishing the historical soundscape of traditional human language in the study areas. Christine Lowther, Sherry Marr, Jeanette Martinolich, Sarah Platenius and Joanna Streetly are the poets who have represented the two study areas through the power of words, while photographers Wayne Barnes, Ian Cruickshank, Alistair Horne, Christine Lowther, Joanna Streetly and Tim Webb have helped create a rich visual representation.