Darren Copeland

Sound Artist

The Toronto Sound Mosaic

Radio Production: Darren Copeland

Conceptual Direction: Richard Windeyer

Research & Administration: Clarissa DeYoung

Date: 2000. Length: 30:36

Produced in 2000 by the Canadian Association for Sound Ecology with funding from the Canada Council Millennium Arts Fund, The Toronto Sound Mosaic portrays 200 years of Toronto’s history through its everyday sounds. The soundscape documentary is divided into 10 movements:

1. Early Settlement 3:11
2. Muddy York 1:47
3. Industrial Roots 4:31
4. Turn of the Century 3:15
5. Markets & Stores 1:10
6. On The Lake 2:02
7. Nostalgia 3:45
8. Corridors of Noise 3:19
9. Different Thresholds 4:09
10. The Price of Quiet 3:23
As it enters the 21st Century, Toronto is being heralded as an exciting world class city, complete with all of the usual trappings of big city life. It is often quite noisy, so much so that if you were to close your eyes for a moment and listen, you might believe the sounds of Toronto’s past have disappeared forever.

With this in mind, The Toronto Sound Mosaic portrays the history of Toronto through its everyday sounds. Drawing upon historical radio archives, recreated environments and the first-hand accounts of local residents, the half hour soundscape documentary traces the sonic metamorphosis of the city, from Muddy York to the Megacity. It is, in a sense, a kind of sonic archeology.

In listening to this work, please remember that the quality of Toronto’s sonic environment ultimately depends on the inspired ears and voices of all its inhabitants – local residents, urban planners, historians, educators, artists and politicians alike. To that end, The Toronto Sound Mosaic plays a visionary role by challenging common perceptions of sound, silence, noise, and quiet in the urban environment. Moreover, it encourages the development of a Toronto which is as fascinating to hear as it is to see, taste, and feel.

Special Thanks: Rollo Myers, Mary Hay, Derek Sawyer, CBC Archives, World Soundscape Project, Black Creek Pioneer Village, Syme Senior Centre Timely Topics Group, CNIB Spadina Avenue Support Group, Ursula Franklin, Rod Smith (Old City Hall), Jimmy Jones, Enid Cridland and the Island Pioneers, Chris Malcolm, Peggy Martin, Pat Findley, Helan Armstrong, Ontario Electric Railway Association, Pier Museum, Lost & Found Sounds (NPS), Angela Bischoff & Tooker Gomberg, Ed Bil, Bert Ashley, Long Branch Historical Society, Lawrence Hynes, Windsor Arms, Le Select Bistro, The Limelight Dance Club, The Rivoli, The Rex Hotel, the CN Tower and folks at the Music Gallery.

Super Special Thanks to Gayle Young and Marisa Iacobucci at Musicworks Magazine for their wonderful hospitality and companionship.