Aeolian Voices

Barry Truax

Programme notes

In many cultures, wind is regarded as the “breath of nature”, and frequently described in terms of human vocal expression such as sighing, moaning, howling and so on. As an invisible force of moving air, wind is largely experienced through its interaction with ourselves and the objects it encounters, becoming audible by moving through and activating these materials. Also, wind can be stirred up by moving objects and can scatter the sounds that it carries, hence its elusive character, at times playful, at other times relentless.

This soundscape composition takes the listener on an imaginary journey, starting in a windy wheatfield with a windmill, where a passing car kicks up some stones and wind gusts, and the wind scatters the sound of distant bells and geese. We then move into a shed where wind whistles through the cracks and crevices, banging anything loose enough to move, creating its own resonances and percussion. Finally we encounter a heavy windstorm where our imagination may be tricked into hearing more frightful sounds hidden in the wind. All of these effects are the voices of the elusive wind.



  • April 27, 2013, Sonorities 2013: SL9, Sonic Lab — Sonic Arts Research Centre — Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast (Northern Ireland, UK)

About this recording

Stereophonic 24-bit version realized in December 2014 for electrothèque.

  • Composer(s): Barry Truax
  • Year of composition: 2013
  • Instrumentation: 8-channel fixed medium
  • ISWC: T9150824230
  • Publisher(s): Cambridge Street Publishing
  • Duration: 12:18