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Tiess McKenzie


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Home: About

about me

My palms are usually sweaty because I drink too much caffeine.

I was born in Sherwood Park, Alberta, and grew up in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. I followed my mother's and sister's footsteps and got a BMus in Music Education from the U of S. I learned a lot about playing the trombone and a little bit about writing music. Then I realized that school band teachers are superheroes and I am not one of them. 

So I headed west (for West is where we all plan to go some day),  and got an MMus in Music Composition from UVic.  I learned a lot about writing music and a little bit about computers. Now I'm back on the Great Plains. I like things that are unusual. I like things that are ordinary.

I like sounds. I like listening.

I'm good at making soup. I'm bad at skateboarding.

I am a (com)Poser.


     Robert Penn Warren, All the King's Men, p. 371.


Tiess McKenzie

   I try to post recent projects on the YouTube:

Home: Video
Go out and listen. Interactive Soundwalk Composition.

Go out and listen. Interactive Soundwalk Composition.

This is the listening prompt given to participants on their map: "This piece is about using listening (and walking) to create and interrogate our relationship with a place. The use of technology serves as a method to expand our listening and, therefore our relationship. The establishment of a relationship with a place, and the memories we form there, is the creation of our own personal map, laid at a 1:1 scale over the real, physical world. This map that you are holding is just an ordinary map which tells you where to go, how to get there, and what you can expect to hear along the way. While you walk, feel free to take your headphones in and out as you please, and to adjust the volumes of the Real World and the Tuned World however you like. Along the way, work to expand your listening beyond what is real and possible: imagine how this walk would sound if you were as small as an ant, or if you were one of the many birds you will hear in the trees. How loud must the buzzing bees sound from the perspective of the flowers? What does it sound like on top of the nearby mountains that you can see from the path? Or on the tops of the trees? Or at the bottoms of their roots? These imaginary listenings are another layer of your map, of your listening relationship with the place that we are all in today. Go out and listen…is it possible?" The title comes from Hildegard Westerkamp's article soundwalking: Songs for Tree by Kristy Farkas Songs for Tree is a collection of scores, photographs and prints dedicated to the last standing old growth forests on Vancouver Island. The scores suggest ways in which we might find, rediscover, or deepen our connectedness with the natural world through deep listening, play, imagination, and reflection. More info: Selections from Songs for Tree was be performed by: Eva Bradávková, flute Melissa Goodchild, clarinet Erik Abbink, saxophone Alex Klassen, cello Daniel Brandes, melodica, voice Kristy Farkas, melodica, percussion Mobile app: Built in Pure Data, run on Daniel Iglesia's MobMuPlat platform: Pure Data zip file: iOS app: Android app: After installing the MobMuPlat app, you can download the zip file and follow prompts to open it in the app. Hopefully it works for you! At the actually symposium I ended up having to airdrop it to most iOS participants. Thanks to the Sound Genres Symposium organizers Anthony Tan, Joe Salem, and Taylor Brooks. Thanks to everyone who came out and listened!
Home: Music

I've also got some things on SoundCloud:

   I'm sporadically on instagram:

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Interested in collaborating? Just want to say hi?

Thanks for getting in touch!

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