Uncovering the Beauty and Diversity of an Environmental Soundscape

Have you ever wondered about the sounds that surround us in nature? The chirping of birds, the croaking of frogs, the rustling of leaves? The Wetland Project team has spent years studying the sounds of one special place, the TEKTEKSEN marsh in WSÁNEC territory (Saturna Island, British Columbia) and they want to share their findings with you! This book is an interactive guide that will take you on a journey of discovery through the sounds of the marsh.

Artists Brady Marks and Mark Timmings, and musicologist Stephen Morris, have used an original algorithm to transform the sound frequencies of the marsh into beautiful, colorful images that change with the passing of time. Each page of the book represents a different hour of the day and is printed in the color generated by the algorithm at that time. Flip through the pages and you’ll see the marsh come to life in a whole new way!

QR codes on each page allow you to listen to the wetland field recording and a musical performance inspired by the marsh, created by vocal ensemble musica intima. As you listen, you’ll learn about the different animals and birds that call the marsh home and their unique sounds. You’ll discover how the marsh changes throughout the day and how the sounds of the marsh are connected to the world around us.

Since 2017, the annual Wetland Project slow radio broadcast on Earth Day has attracted a worldwide audience and fostered a global conversation on the project’s social media platforms. A selection of received from listeners is included throughout the pages of this book, so you can see how people all around the world are inspired by the sounds of the marsh.

This book is not just about the marsh, it’s about the power of the natural world and how it can be appreciated through sound and color. So join the team on their journey and discover the magic of the marsh for yourself!

About the Authors

Brady Marks is a digital media artist working primarily in audiovisual practices, new media and kinetic art. She has collaborated with Geoffrey Farmer on seven works, including “And Finally The Street Becomes The Main Character (Clock)” (2005–2008), a sculptural installation with computer-generated sound presented and acquired by the Art Gallery of Ontario; and “Let’s Make the Water Turn Black” (2013–15), a 24-hour computer-generated installation composed of 50 light fixtures, 26 audio speakers and 18 synchronized, animatronic sculptures presented at REDCAT (Los Angeles), Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst (Zurich), Nottingham Contemporary (UK), Kunstverein (Hamburg), Pérez Art Museum (Miami) and the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Mark Timmings is a multidisciplinary artist and acclaimed graphic designer. In 2015, an audio installation of Narvaez Bay, including Timmings’s monumental illuminated score and a recording of the Vancouver performance, was exhibited in Montreal at Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain. He has received over 100 awards for his publication designs and has collaborated on artist book projects with Roy Arden, Christi Belcourt, Cedric Bomford, Shary Boyle, Hank Bull, Geoffrey Farmer, Robert Houle, Eleanor King and Etienne Zack. He lives and works on Saturna Island, British Columbia.

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