The Blue Cabin Floating Artists Residency - Recordings

During the period January 22 2021-March 05 2021 I operated a live open mic from the Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency, Vancouver BC, streamed to the world-wide soundmap at This open mic project was in support of Pippa Lattey's residency during the same period. Lattey's project honoured the legacy of artist, musician and writer Al Neil, who occupied the cabin and used it as a studio for over fifty years. Lattey did this by bringing Al's piano back to the Blue Cabin as a kinetic sculpture.

In conjunction with the open mic project I made several field recordings from the cabin, and the surrounding area. I also spent a day recording at the Blue Cabin's original location, near Cates Park (Whey-Ah-Whichen) in North Vancouver BC.The pieces that follow are derived from these recordings.

My artistic interest in field recording and live audio streaming is the exploration of the intersection of place, usage, and acoustic ecology; the daily rhythm of life, the ephemeral nature of live sound, and the passage of time.

In the context of this project, I approach the term soundscape in the classical use of the term as a sonic environment (The Vancouver Soundscape, 1973). My practice owes a lot to the work of the original members of the World Soundscape Project, and artists who have expanded on their work.

Premiere Announcement

Thursday May 06 5:00pm PDT and Saturday May 08 2021 10:30am PDT - premiere of audio recordings from the Blue Cabin - Currents and Waves Radio

Technical Notes:


Burrard Inlet - 2021

  • Duration: 3:17
  • Two channel audio, soundscape
  • Location: Original site of the Blue Cabin, North Vancouver BC
    49.30304190729017, -122.96245122926472
  • Recording Date: Feb 08 2021, morning

I recorded the source material on the beach of the original location of the Blue Cabin, just west of the Cates Park Boat Ramp. I close-miked the gentle lapping water of the inlet and combined it with a copy of itself that is treated with a series of modulating filters. Filters used in this manner, carve pitched material out of a complex sound source like water.


Al Neil's Piano 2 - 2021

  • Duration: 4:12
  • Two channel audio. soundscape, documentation, archival audio
  • Location: Inside the Blue Cabin at False Creek, Vancouver BC
    49.274270229169176, -123.1101939741917
  • Recording Date: February 06 2021

Pippa Lattey's kinetic scupture places Al Neil's piano in a circular metal frame. Comparisons have been made of this sculpture to the Vitruvian Man. This recording documents the sounds of the piano from inside the Blue Cabin as it rotates, which, in this instance, is controlled by historical tide data. One hears the motor that drives the piano, the squeaks and groans of structural stresses on the piano as it rotates, the various modifications Pippa added to the piano, and fragments of Over the Rainbow.

water water

Blue Cabin Dawn Chorus - 2021

  • Duration: 5:54
  • Two channel audio. soundscape, acoustic ecology, documentation, archival audio
  • Location: Recorded from the deck of the Blue Cabin, Vancouver BC.
    49.274270229169176, -123.11019397419174
  • Recording Date: 06:50-07:30am PST, Sunday February 07 2021

The term dawn chorus describes the outdoor sonic experience of a particular location that begins as the sun rises and may last several hours. In a natural environment the dawn chorus is usually associated with the increased activity of birds. In an urban setting we can also hear an increase in human activity.

The residency at the Blue Cabin took place during the winter. Nevertheless, the morning is still sonically very active. This activity fell into a fairly predictable rhythm: as dawn began, gulls arrived, followed later by crows, and sometimes, geese. Occasionally song birds are heard above the din of traffic from the neighbouring parkette. Human activity is marked by the rise in the ever present traffic, the start of construction during the work-week, and the arrival/departure of the first passenger ferry that uses the neighbouring dock. Gulls and geese often competed for space on the roof of the deckhouse. By mid morning the area can be surprisingly quiet.

I made this recording on a Sunday morning in order to minimize the noise of the traffic - heard in the background - and avoid the sounds of the ongoing construction in the area. The original recording is forty minutes long, condensed in this version to approximately six minutes. The ending is marked by the departure of the first ferry of the day from the neighbouring dock.


Sounds from the Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency - 2021

  • Duration: 5:20
  • Two channel audio. soundscape, acoustic ecology, documentation, archival audio
  • Recording Dates: January 22 2021-March 05 2021
    • Recording Locations:
    • The Blue Cabin: piano, ferry, gulls, Thomas and Pippa
    • Plaza of Nations: flagpoles
    • Creekside Community Recreation Centre: musician "Steve"
    • Cambie St. Bridge, Coopers' Park, skateboarder, basketball player and hockey kids
    • Time Top Sculpture: Jerry Pethick, water sounds
    • Concord Community Park: ping-pong players Emily and Josh, skytrain

Since Vancouver has been settled, the False Creek area has been developed and re-developed several times. Currently, False Creek is a busy, densely populated urban environment. This work is essentially a collage made from recordings from the Blue Cabin and immediate area. My intention was to try and incorporate the sounds of Lattey/Neil's piano with both natural and human activity in the area. A simple narrative structure moves from the sounds of the piano from inside the cabin to the outside world, then returns back to the cabin. The work offers a cursory glimpse into the sonic environment of the area; some of the people that enjoy it, and how they interact with one another. A future project might be a more detailed soundmap of the area.

evdokimoff · Sounds from the Blue Cabin