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Audio Stairwell

Listening, Sound, Agency,
Soundworks and Transcriptions (2021-22)

May 16 – July 15, 2022
Webster Library, Audio Stairwell and display cases on LB-2

Album cover with text listening sound agency and decorative pattern

Image: Riso-printed record cover, Art and Design by Leila Gillespie-Cloutier

The Library is pleased to present unique sound-oriented and creative works that emerged from the international SpokenWeb symposium Listening, Sound, Agency organized and hosted as a virtual conference by the Concordia University SpokenWeb team.

Entering the Webster Library through the Audio Stairwell one will hear selections from the thirteen compositions contributed to the Soundworks project played in their original stereo versions, and in digitized versions of mono lathe cut vinyl records. Also on display in the Library are the full set of Riso-printed record covers, and examples of the limited run vinyl records. The sound project was produced by Angus Tarnawsky (PhD, Communication), Deanna Fong (Postdoctoral Fellow in English and History) and Jason Camlot (Professor, English). Art and Design by Leila Gillespie-Cloutier (SpokenWeb Graphic Designer & Webmaster). The exhibition also includes a selection of pages from Quotes: Transcriptions On Listening, Sound, Agency, an experimental citational book of scholarship that excerpts phrases, sentences, and paragraphs from the entire roster of papers and performances presented at the 2021 online SpokenWeb symposium. The Quotes curators are fourth year PhD candidate Klara du Plessis and recent MA graduate Emma Telaro.

Also on display are selected pages from Quotes: Transcriptions On Listening, Sound, Agency, an experimental citational book of scholarship that excerpts phrases, sentences, and paragraphs from the entire roster of papers and performances presented at the 2021 online SpokenWeb symposium. The fragments compiled and rearranged in this book made from transcriptions are taken out of context, but recontextualized to deliberately foreground dialogue, overlap, shared intellectual and creative concerns, and an overall sense of community and collectivity predicated on innovative modes of listening. Quotes' curators are fourth year PhD candidate Klara du Plessis and recent MA graduate Emma Telaro.

Learn more about & listen to some of the Soundworks.

Curated by Jason Camlot, Klara du Plessis, Deanna Fong, Leila Gillespie, Angus Tarnawsky, and Emma Telaro.

The Audio Stairwell is a place for temporary sound exhibitions in the Library which are offered to enrich student learning and to foster a welcoming environment to Concordia students, faculty, staff and the general public.

Visitors take notice of the innovative sound installation that plays through the built-in speakers as they ascend the principal Webster Library staircase. This acoustic environment features a blend of music and spoken words that facilitates the transition from the busy street level to the Library's study and research environments. A screen located at the top of the staircase displays information on the selected recordings, making the experience a pedagogical one as well.

In February 2017, the Audio Stairwell was inaugurated with the reopening of the Library's newly renovated second floor.

The content originates from the Library's audio collection or from external sources when selected by invited artists and selectors.

Browse past exhibitions by year

Malte Leander

Sides to Tides / Côtées des Marées

February 21 – March 31, 2022
Webster Library, Audio Stairwell

sea foam on wet sand

Sides to Tides / Côtées des Marées is an audiovisual exploration of the tidal cycles in the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, home to the largest tides in the world. Through a variety of different field recording equipment & hydrophone microphones, the artist is offering different sonic perspectives to the big body of water, and its adjacent coastline. The soundscape composition is accompanied by grainy footage from a mini-DV camcorder from the early 2000s, with a timeline that corresponds to the shifting levels of water. The resulting video leaves the viewer in a limbo of dream and reality, somewhere in between the ebb and flow.

Malte Leander is a Swedish-French composer and artist currently residing in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal, Canada, studying in the program of Electroacoustic studies at Concordia University. He is actively engaged in a variety of contexts; from hosting and organizing music events such as live shows, workshops and music camps together with the electronic music collective and label So&Such in Sweden, to being a present figure in the Fine Arts community in Montréal, working in local community radio by facilitating discussions with local artists around the topics of digital practices and new media art and technology. His multilingual skills and electroacoustic compositional endeavors have enabled him to work with text-sound composition and sound poetry, often mixed with his interest for sustainability through acoustic ecology and related topics.

Image: Sides to Tides / Côtées des Marées (2021) Video (6:14 min.)

02/23 - 05/31: A Selection of Works from the Video Series Social Distancing Portraits by Adad Hannah

In the spring of 2020, artist Adad Hannah began his Social Distancing Portraits series in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For this series, the artist took video portraits (from a distance) of strangers, friends, and family members in front of their homes, on the street, at work, or at public gatherings and demonstrations including those linked to the Black Lives Matter movement. Each subject held their pose for about thirty seconds, and was invited to share their thoughts with him at the time. In Hannah’s very first video, Eva confided that “Today I studied at the library, I’m tired. I have a final exam. My uncle is taking care of me. I’m not worried.”1

The Social Distancing Portraits evoke poignant moments of everyday life surrounded by a world in turmoil. Each video is complemented by an original piece of music composed either by Daniel Ingram or Brigitte Dajczer. To date, Hannah has created over two hundred portraits in the series – all of which appear on the artist’s Instagram account.

Adad Hannah (adadhannah.com) holds a MFA, and a PhD from the Humanities Programme, at Concordia University. Daniel Ingram (facebook.com/dannyimusic) is an award-winning composer and songwriter. Brigitte Dajczer (www.brigittedajczer.com) is an award-winning composer and multi-instrumentalist, and has a MFA from Concordia University.

Further reading:
Harrison, Ian. “Artist Adad Hannah Movingly Records Life in the Age of Social Distancing.” Concordia University, April 9, 2020.

1 “Eva.” Instagram, uploaded March 14, 2020, instagram.com/adadhannah/

01/16 - 01/28: Les Ouvrières (2016) and La Reine (2017) by Paule Gilbert

01/29 - 02/28: Waves of Resistance

03/04 - 03/15: Stefan Christoff, Nick Schofield

01 - 03: Wiercinski

03/26 - 04/06: Sounding the City by Reimer and Stein

04 - 09: Wiercinski

10/9 - 10/22: "Walking With" Pohanna Pyne Feinberg

12/03 - 01/07: Clipping the Poetry Series - Selections from the Sir George Williams Poetry Series, 1965-1974

09 - 12: Christoff and Wiercinski

03 - 08: Nardone and Wiercinski



Location and contact information

Main Entrance to Webster Library
Sir George Williams (Downtown) Campus

Contact us

Library Exhibitions Committee

John Latour, Chair
Boi May Ang
Rachel Harris
Sarah Lake
Sandra Margolian
Alexandra Mills
Christine Smith

lib-exhibitions@concordia.ca

Updated: Monday 16 May 2022
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