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El medio ambiente acústico de México

Claude Schryer

Programme notes
To Sabrina

“When we walk, as time passes, we enter into an interior rhythm and pass into another state which is much more receptive and pensive.”

Knud Viktor, sound artist

In Marche sonore I (Le matin du monde) I questioned the nature of listening and the multiple definitions of acoustic ecology by means of recordings of testimonies of friends, colleagues and family about the soundscape. Five years later, having found answers to these questions, I composed this second radiophonic soundwalk, El medio ambiente acústico de México (The Soundscapes of Mexico), which calls upon the musicality and poetry of the soundscapes I recorded in the fall of 1995 in Mexico City and the state of Oaxaca.

I worked like a photographer who studies and chooses his subject carefully, tries to document the magic of the moment, processes his captured images in studio and composes them into a collection of memories and sensations.

El medio ambiente acústico de México was drawn from Marche sonore II, a 50-minute radio work produced for Radio-Canada.


El medio ambiente acústico de México was realized in my home studio in March, 1996 (radiophonic version) and revised in March, 1997 (disc version). The radiophonic version of the piece premiered on Saturday, March 16, 1996 at 11 pm on Le navire «night» radio program of the FM cultural network of Radio-Canada (Hélène Prévost, producer). I thank all of the participants in this composition, many who have been recorded without their knowledge. I hope I have presented their soundscapes with dignity. A special thanks to Hélène Prévost for her support and encouragement. Thanks to Studio XX, Aline Barnoti, Gilles Gobeil, Jean-François Denis, Katharine Asals, Kathy Kennedy, Laurie Radford, Ned Bouhalassa, Oboro Gallery and Oscar Hernandez. Special thanks to Sabrina Mathews, to whom this piece is dedicated, who recorded some of the sounds in this composition and helped me bring the piece, and its process, to life.


  • March 16, 1996, Le navire «night», Chaîne culturelle de Radio-Canada, Canada
  • Composer(s): Claude Schryer
  • Year of composition: 1995-96, 97
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • ISWC: T0703318540
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média



(Mosaic) Introduction to the soundwalk

Fragments from the radiophonic version of the piece.


  • Instrumentation: fixed medium
  • ISWC: T0704985294
  • Duration: 1:04


(Ocean) Meditation on water and earth

The Pacific ocean at Puerto Angel (Oaxaca), dry corn field in Tenochtitlan del Valle (Oaxaca) and a shepherd with a flock of sheep in Tenochtitlan del Valle (Oaxaca).


  • Instrumentation: fixed medium
  • ISWC: T0703318493
  • Duration: 2:32
  • ISRC: CAD509712850


(Transportation) Choking mobility

A man selling chiclets gum in the subway of Mexico City (DF), a train in Chapultepec park in Mexico City (DF), an old truck coming down a mountain trail in Angangueo (Michoacan), traffic in Oaxaca City (Oaxaca), a firecracker explosion in Xochimilco (DF) and the breath of two climbers on Mount Popocatepetl (Mexico).


  • Instrumentation: fixed medium
  • ISWC: T0703318506
  • Duration: 2:49
  • ISRC: CAD509712860


(Music) Crossing “à la Charles Ives,” of the sacred, the profane and the military

Woman’s choir singing the Mexican Virgin Mary chant La Guadalupana in Puerto Angel (Oaxaca), parade band with firecrackers in Xochimilco (DF) and a military band at the Zocalo, Mexico City (DF).


  • Instrumentation: fixed medium
  • ISWC: T0703318517
  • Duration: 2:35
  • ISRC: CAD509712870


(Nature) The melodies of nature

Seaside nocturnal insects in Puerto Angel (Oaxaca), wild pigs in a nature reserve (Oaxaca), Monarch butterflies in Angangueo (Michoacan) and rain in Coyoacan (DF).


  • Instrumentation: fixed medium
  • ISWC: T0703318528
  • Duration: 2:47
  • ISRC: CAD509712880


(Bells) Conclusion of the soundwalk

Slow walk towards a church tower at noon with firecrackers in Tenochtitlan del valle (Oaxaca), ocean in Puerto Angel (Oaxaca) and an industrial siren in Oaxaca City (Oaxaca).


  • Instrumentation: fixed medium
  • ISWC: T0703318539
  • Duration: 4:17
  • ISRC: CAD509712890