Concordia University

Andra McCartney, PhD

Associate professor, Communication Studies

Soundwalk artist and researcher. Sonic experience in everyday life; production, reception and reflexivity; gender and sound technologies; electroacoustics.

Since the mid 1990s, I have been developing an approach to the creation of electroacoustic soundwalk art which integrates audience responses into the creative development of walks and installations. Through my background in ethnomusicology, communication, and cultural studies, I think and write about electroacoustic, sound art and sound recording fields as cultures, considering what kinds of interpretive routines are acceptable within these disciplines, and how aesthetic and professional discourses are established. I transform soundwalk recordings into interactive installations, produced collaboratively in recent years with Don Sinclair, interactive artist and professor at York University in Toronto. I am especially interested in questions of gender in relation to sound technologies. I have written most extensively about Vancouver soundscape composer, Hildegard Westerkamp. The In and Out of the Sound Studio research project investigates the working practices of soundmakers from a range of different professions, focusing particularly on the work of prominent women soundmakers. My present project, Soundwalking Interactions, focuses on the experiences of audiences with different kinds of soundwalk activities.


BA, Cultural Studies, Trent University

MA, Adult Education, St. Francis Xavier University

PhD, Music, York University


COMS 493 – Advanced work in sound

Recently completed graduate supervisions

Owen Chapman, PhD. September 2007. Cultural, philosophical and creative implications of digital sound technology.
Charlene Vacon, PhD. March 2007. Eating Acadian: culture and tourism in Nova Scotia’s Acadian restaurants.

Caitlin Loney. MA. March 2012. Psychedelic music.
Sam Thulin. MA. September 2009. There to Hear: Placing Mobile Music.
Andrea Jane Cornell. MA. April 2009. In Search of the Sharawadji Effect: Study of a Train Corridor.
Mark Harris, MA. August 2008. Sexuality and gender in vocal music.
Bernadette Houde, MA. May 2008. Re-constituting Lesbian Concentrate.
Lisa Gasior. MA. August 2007. Sounding Griffintown: A Listening Guide of a Montreal Neighbourhood.
Yassin Alsalman, MA. September 2007. Fear of an Arab planet: The diatribe of a dying tribe.
Charles Brooks, MA. September 2007. Baggage of Allusion: A Methodological Inquiry into Documenting Malagasy Oral Tradition.


Guest curator for May 2013.

Ecotonality and listening praxis in sound ecology, ambiences and popular music in the Wi Mobilities Journal, March 2013.

Andra McCartney and Marta McCarthy. “Choral, private and public listener responses to Hildegard Westerkamp’s Ecole Polytechnique.” Music and Arts in Action. Spring 2012 4 (1) 56-72.

Paquette, David and Andra McCartney. “Soundwalking and the bodily exploration of places.” Canadian Journal of Communication, 37 (1), 2012: 135-145.

Sept. 29, 2012: Audioparc, at metro de la Concorde, Laval.

Stockholm soundwalk, June 2012.

Soundwalk at Balance-Unbalance conference in Montreal, November 5, 2011

Soundwalking Interactions research project

Research archives for In and Out of the Sound Studio and previous soundwalking projects

Online videos of soundscape works

Artist in residence, New Adventures in Sound Art, Deep Wireless. May 2009. Also commissioned to create a sound art piece for CBC Outfront, called ‘Eavesdropping on the Waterfront,’ based on elements of the soundtrack from Liz Miller’s documentary.

McCartney, Andra. “Reception and Reflexivity in Electroacoustic Creation.”. Musique concrete, 60 ans plus tard. Proceedings of the Electroacoustic Music Studies network EMS 08 conference, Paris, June 2008. Edited by Olivier Baudoin. 2009.

Commission from Artengine, Ottawa, for their show Superfan. Toronto-Norwood-Toronto, an interactive artwork by Andra McCartney and Don Sinclair, based on music by Rainer Wiens. March 2008.

McCartney, Andra. Canal de Lachine. espaceSONO::audio.lab. Societe des Arts Technologiques. Montreal, September-October 2007.

McCartney, Andra. “Gender, genre, and electroacoustic soundmaking practices.” Intersections Canadian Journal of Music 26 (2). Toronto: Canadian University Music Society, 2006: 20-48.
McCartney, Andra, and Ellen Waterman. “In and Out of the Sound Studio.” Editorial. Intersections Canadian Journal of Music 26 (2). Toronto: Canadian University Music Society, 2006: 3-19.

McCartney, Andra. “Performing soundwalks for Journees Sonores, canal de Lachine.” Performing nature: Explorations in Ecology and the Arts. Edited by Gabriella Giannachi and Nigel Stewart. Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang. 2005: 217-234.

McCartney, Andra. “Soundscape works, listening and the touch of sound.” Aural Cultures. Edited by Jim Drobnick. Toronto, ON: YYZ: 2004: 179-185. Elephant Skin Plant 1:28 video of recording discussed in this article.

McCartney, Andra. “Municipal pier Lachine 2001.” Deep Wireless CD. Toronto: New Adventures in Sound Art, 2004.

McCartney, Andra. Journees Sonores, canal de Lachine.
Musee de Lachine, QC. Sept 13 – Dec. 14, 2003. Interactive installation with Don Sinclair, public soundwalks, and micro-radio broadcast with Anna Friz.
Drake hotel, Deep Wireless Festival, Toronto, ON. May 1-31, 2006. Interactive installation with Don Sinclair, public soundwalks and listening workshops.

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