The Phoneme Project is an extended investigation into polyphonic composition using phonemes as note events and multi-channel spatialized sound in installation and performance. Phonemes (the granular units of spoken language) are extracted from professional recordings of the International Phonetic Alphabet. The series includes sound installation, interactivity and performance.

vbox_hands2 convocare120 soundsnerv125 banfugue_spe1001

My process uses an iterative approach, focusing on composition generation, structure, physical interfaces, technology and/or interaction. The compositions suggest language as it is becoming or deteriorating, teasing with meaning, sense and sensibility. My references include sound, visual, linguistic, psychological and cartographic disciplines: aerial photography, cognitive (dys)functionality, linguistic gestalt and musical instruments.

vBox (2008)



vBox is a linguistic instrument of polyphonic sound. The twenty-foot sound cabinet houses four data banks of phonemes, eight scripts, twelve audio speakers and twenty-four external physical controllers.

Participants manipulate an existing composition in real-time using buttons, knobs sliders and switches as a solo or collaborative actions to alter tempo, rhythm and amplitude as sonic variables. Programming is in Max/MSP. The polyphonic composition is inspired by Dadaist sound poetry as sonic play and linguistic meaning. Presented at The Art of Immersive Soundscapes 2, Regina (2007). National tour: Kenderdine Art Gallery | College Building Gallery (2008), Doris McCarthy Gallery (2009) and Thames Art Gallery (2011). Solo exhibition at Surrey Art Gallery (2011). Catalogue, Essays by Annie Gérin and Marie Lovrod. Collection of Remai Modern, Saskatoon.


<LISTEN> vBox 2’04

<Text>   COMP OSE_Review_MLovrod_FUSE

convocare_consonare: duet for four voices (2007)

collaboration with Dr. David Gerhard, Computer Science, Regina


convocare_consonare uses sound and text-image projection in a poly-vocal composition generated in real time as a co-authored performance. Each participant wears two speaker devices with micro-controllers, buttons, an accelerometer and distance sensors housed in PVC tubes as low-tech speaker cabinets. Each speaker-unit is mapped to a discrete data bank of phonemes, synchronized to glyphs (the integrated sound and text-image unit) and projected. As composed sound, the four voices references choral music (soprano, alto, tenor, base), concrete poetry and synaesthesia. Presented at the International Computer Music Festival, Copenhagen (2007) and The Art of Immersive Soundscapes 2, Regina (2007).

<LISTEN> convocare_consonare 1’21

SoundsNervouse (2005-2006)


SoundsNervouse #2 is a 24-channel sound installation based on the taxonomy of the International Phonetic Alphabet for its compositional structure. Twenty distinct categories of phonemes are output to twenty tracks of sound; four additional channels use single phonemes, manipulated in performance using Max/MSP. Select speakers contain seed and water that is animated as the tempo and volume escalate. Formal linguistic structures are juxtaposed with subjective rhythms and interpretation. Developed and presented in performance during a residency at Western Front, Vancouver (2006).






<LISTEN> SoundsNervouse; 01’51

SoundsNervouse #1 maps 16 channels of discrete sound to colour organs in an audio-light installation. The fusion of colour, rhythm, silence and darkness suggest social anxiety without logical sensibility. Exhibited in North Bay (2005) and Calgary (2006).






banff fugue (2005)


banff fugue is the first version of The Phoneme Project using a MIDI keyboard, sampler software, real-time processing software, Bach’s 5th fugue and phonemes. The 16-channel spatialized vocal composition straddles music, sound poetry and free form experimentation as personal expression and social anxiety. Presented in Sound Madness 1, The Banff Centre for the Arts.