The Joggins Fossil Institute selects 2019 ArtScape Artist-in-Residence: Jeffrey Martin of Sackville, NB

by JFI staff

Joggins, NS — The Joggins Fossil Institute is pleased to announce its 2019 ArtScape Artist-In-Residence. Jeffrey Martin, a composer and music educator from Sackville, NB, was chosen by jury selection.

Martin focuses on electro-acoustic works, but also spans a wide range of music, including instrumental and vocal works, film soundtracks, pieces for jazz improvisation, and collaborations with choreographers and visual artists. His compositions have been heard across Canada and in Asia.

He has been involved in music education as both teacher and researcher, and has published numerous articles and book chapters on topics pertaining to creative thinking and student composition. His teaching appointments have included the China Conservatory of Music and Mount Allison University.

Martin’s Sounding Cliffs: A Soundscape Project will explore the Joggins Fossil Cliffs from the perspectives of sound and, in particular, the tradition of soundscape composition. Through a series of soundwalks and field recordings, done at various sites along the cliffs, Martin will enquire into the unique acoustic features of this specific environment, as well as gather material for a sound-based musical composition to be completed during the residency. The soundscape exploration and resultant musical work is intended to offer the public an encounter with the fossil cliffs that enhances and complements the visual experience.

The completed composition will be presented both live and as a web-based listening experience, the latter of which will include samples of the recorded sound sources and their transformations. Also planned are guided soundwalks, artist talks and workshops on soundscape composition for children and adults. Sounding Cliffs is purposed to draw attention to the Joggins Fossil Cliffs as a kind of musical performance rather than as simply a sonic background.

Janet Hammock, Professor Emeritus of Music at Mount Allison University and jury member says, “the work of composer Jeffrey Martin focuses on contemplative experience. Jeffrey’s proposal is unique and exciting, reflecting his attitude of intense curiosity about, and deep respect for the unique properties of the Joggins Fossil Cliffs. His plans to explore the acoustic features of this site from the perspectives of sound, are detailed, poetic and potentially trans-formative.”

“The tradition of soundwalk-generated compositions is of major importance in Canada, especially the sonic soundscapes of west coast composers Barry Truax and Hildegard Westercamp, but this tradition is less well-known in the Atlantic region. The electroacoustic musical piece Jeffrey will complete during his residency at Joggins will continue this tradition, reflecting in sound the diverse properties of this amazing World Heritage site. Live stereo presentations of his composition, preceded by insightful talks, will reveal something new about the cliffs to listeners.”

”Of special interest to the general public will be Jeffrey’s Guided Soundwalks and workshops for adults and children in which he will invite participants to create their own personal Sonic Postcards using sound recorded in the Joggins environment.”

Dale Fawthrop of Amherst, a retired teacher of English and theatre and Laurie Glenn Norris, Education and Outreach Manager at the Joggins Fossil Institute, also sat on the jury committee.

The ArtScape Artist-in-Residence program benefits artists by providing the time, financial support and space to enable them to better focus on their work. In return the local area and Joggins Fossil Centre visitors have the opportunity to engage with the artists through studio visits, workshops and other public programming. The ArtScape Artist-In-Residence Program is contingent upon funding.

For more information contact Laurie Glenn Norris at (902) 251-2727 ext. 224 or

Media contact:
Laurie Glenn Norris M.A.
Education and Outreach Manager
Joggins Fossil Centre
(902) 251-2727 ext. 224