The Process

The inau­gur­al cohort of the FSP. Pic­tured L to R: Aah­Sum, Guil­laume, Sasha, Kate Sun­flower, A.G.E.



The Found Sound Project (FSP) is an all-day music sum­mer camp for youth aged 9 and up. Over five days, learn­ers are intro­duced to the fun­da­men­tals of field record­ing and dig­i­tal music pro­duc­tion. Learn­ers explore the neigh­bour­hood of Oak Bay while using hand­held field recorders to cap­ture sound from the envi­ron­ment. These cap­tured sam­ples pro­vide source mate­r­i­al for com­pos­ing music using a vari­ety of dig­i­tal tools. Each com­pos­er pro­duces a unique piece of sound art dri­ven by their curi­ousi­ties, musi­cian­ship and per­son­al aes­thet­ic. Through­out the process, the com­posers receive instruc­tion in key skills includ­ing deep lis­ten­ing, dig­i­tal music pro­duc­tion, field record­ing and com­po­si­tion. At the end of the week, their works are pre­sent­ed in a final show­case where the com­posers pub­licly demon­strate their inspi­ra­tion and learning.

Field Recording:

One com­pos­er cap­tures sound in Bea­con Hill Park.

In an effort to broad­en the young com­poser’s con­cept of what con­sti­tutes art­ful sound, the FSP encour­ages learn­ers to seek music in the envi­ron­ment around them. Morn­ings are ded­i­cat­ed to activ­i­ties that involve explor­ing local envi­ron­ments, con­duct­ing active lis­ten­ing exer­cis­es and hunt­ing for nov­el and intrigu­ing sounds. Each com­pos­er uses a hand­held Zoom recorder to cap­ture nat­u­ral­ly-occur­ring sam­ples and to ‘play the envi­ron­ment’ by inter­act­ing with objects and manip­u­lat­ing the world around them. This process pro­vides a cat­a­logue of sound sam­ples to be used in com­po­si­tions, either in their orig­i­nal or manip­u­lat­ed form.

One artists plays the envi­ron­ment as a per­cus­sion instrument.
A patient recordist awaits a field sam­ple from a peacock
One learn­er leads anoth­er through a blind­fold­ed part­ner walk.










Digital Music Production:

Sasha explains a con­cept in Able­ton Live 10 as com­posers prac­tice the technique.

The oth­er major com­po­nent of the FSP involves learn­ing to use dig­i­tal music tech­nol­o­gy. Each learn­er receives instruc­tion in the music pro­duc­tion soft­ware Able­ton Live 10. Able­ton is a mod­ern edit­ing suite which enables sound design­ers to arrange their record­ings and manip­u­late them in many ways. Over the course of the week, learn­ers gain flu­en­cy with arrang­ing mul­ti­ple tracks, cre­at­ing dynam­ic stereo sound envi­ron­ments, manip­u­lat­ing sam­ples and apply­ing audio effects. Learn­ers also gain expe­ri­ence with periph­er­al tech­nolo­gies includ­ing micro­phones, effects ped­als, sequencers, audio inter­faces and MIDI con­trollers. Ear­ly expo­sure to dig­i­tal audio work­sta­tions (DAWs) like Able­ton is a pow­er­ful learn­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty. DAWs are more than soft­ware; they are sophis­ti­cat­ed musi­cal instru­ments. The cre­ators of the FSP acknowl­edge the incred­i­ble val­ue of learn­ing to use these tech­nolo­gies ear­ly in a musi­cian’s devel­op­ment. Work­ing with DAWs scaf­folds impor­tant high­er-order con­cepts includ­ing arrange­ment, orches­tra­tion, audio manip­u­la­tion, impro­vi­sa­tion and audio engineering.

A learn­er com­pos­ing their music in Able­ton Live 10.
Campers learn about effects ped­als from our teacher Guillaume.
A dig­i­tal syn­the­siz­er with which stu­dents can build unique sounds.










Learner-Centered Approach:

A young com­pos­er who goes by A.G.E. arranges a com­po­si­tion in Able­ton Live.

The FSP is ground­ed in a per­son­al­ized learn­ing mod­el. All camp par­tic­i­pants pur­sue a cur­ricu­lum designed to intro­duce them to the fun­da­men­tal skills required for dig­i­tal music com­po­si­tion. How­ev­er, with­in this process, each com­pos­er is encour­aged to pur­sue their own path of inquiry. The camp is struc­tured so that con­trol of learn­ing steadi­ly migrates from the teacher to the learn­er as the camp pro­gress­es. Ear­ly activ­i­ties are lead by teach­ers and func­tion to pro­vide key tech­ni­cal skills and intro­duce the young com­posers to ways of think­ing that under­lie exper­i­men­tal music com­po­si­tion. By mid-week, the fun­da­men­tals have been con­veyed and con­trol shifts. Now, the young com­posers become the pri­ma­ry dri­vers of learn­ing while the teach­ers assume the role of facil­i­ta­tor, coach and guide. By week’s end, each par­tic­i­pant is pro­vid­ed an oppor­tu­ni­ty to pub­licly reflect on their process and prod­uct in the pub­lic show­case where they demon­strate their learn­ing to others.

As the camp pro­gress­es, learn­ers become the pri­ma­ry dri­vers of the process. They pro­pose, design and com­pose their final project with men­tors to facilitate.



MiMi_85 and Sasha smile at an unex­pect­ed­ly fun­ny appli­ca­tion of pitch-shift­ing on a vocal line.

Professional Speakers & Transferable Skills:

Music tech­nol­o­gy lies at the inter­sec­tion between shrewd sci­ence and expres­sive art. In a domain as broad as dig­i­tal sound pro­duc­tion there are many appli­ca­tions such as music production/recording, broad­cast­ing, film sound, video game devel­op­ment and acoustic engi­neer­ing. In order to intro­duce learn­ers to these pos­si­bil­i­ties, the FSP wel­comes local speak­ers to share their exper­tise with the com­posers through work­shops. Speak­ers have included:

David Parfit, a sound design­er and sound­scape artist (Per­son­al Site, Sound­cloud, Insta­gram)

Local sound design­er David Parfit shares his process for using envi­ron­men­tal sound to pro­duce music com­po­si­tions and soundscapes.


Sandy Rossig­nol, a local film­mak­er (Stu­dio 549, Insta­gram)

Local film­mak­er Sandy Rossig­nol explains how he inte­grates audio into his film projects through cre­ative micro­phone use and foley.














Though the camp is framed through the lens of music, it is our hope that learn­ers take the skills they have acquired and apply them in whichev­er domains inspire them most. The Found Sound Project pro­vides a suite of trans­fer­able skills that will ben­e­fit any cre­ative. In terms of tech­ni­cal skills, learn­ers gain expe­ri­ence with dig­i­tal audio work­sta­tions, audio hard­ware, file man­age­ment and trou­bleshoot­ing. In terms of com­po­si­tion­al skills, par­tic­i­pants com­plete a self-direct­ed project which requires them to brain­storm, ask ques­tions, col­lab­o­rate, plan a project, self-assess, revise and pub­licly share an orig­i­nal work.