The Sound Studies Initiative at the University of Alberta, the Research Centre for the Study of Music, Media, and Place at Memorial University of Newfoundland, the Canadian Museum of History, and Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage through its Smithsonian Folkways Recordings are delighted to announce the formation of the Cultures of Sound Network (CSN).

Each of these organizations has an international reputation for research and public engagement work around music and sound. The establishment of this unique, cross-sector and international collaboration will enable these organizations to share resources and develop exciting projects, including audio and video recordings as well as websites of traditional music from North America and around the world, educational and outreach initiatives, public programs, and music repatriation projects. The goal of the CSN is to develop new initiatives for the creation, preservation, and dissemination of knowledge about music and culture.

Mary Ingraham, Director of the Sound Studies Initiative at the University of Alberta, echoes the goals of the CSN: “We are excited to explore new opportunities to collaborate on creative research in the world of sound and to carry on the significant work of Moses Asch, founder of Folkways Records.”

Harris M. Berger, who is Director of the Research Centre for the Study of Music, Media, and Place, says, “The Cultures of Sound Network offers an extraordinary opportunity for our organization to be a partner in developing innovative educational initiatives around music and culture. The Network will enable broader public access to the research and outreach projects begun by each institution.”

Dean Oliver, Director of Research at the Canadian Museum of History, points to the importance of increasing access to sound archives, citing the value of the CSN “to foster cross-sector dialogue and collaboration, to make historical recordings meaningfully accessible to the public, and to facilitate new research in cultural expression and sound.”

Huib Schippers, Director and Curator of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, sees great promise in the partnership: “Cultures of Sound will provide a robust framework to intensify our work with colleagues across Canada, building on 70 years of Folkways’ work to highlight and preserve often underrepresented communities and their richly diverse music practices.”

CSN Press Release (PDF)