CanadaSounds offers a database to inspire musicians

Spend the afternoon clicking around the CBC’s CanadaSound website, and you’re likely to encounter sizzling bacon, the scratch of hockey sock tape, and the hiss of streetcar doors. Why? Because, according to Canadians like yourself, they’re the sounds that best sum up the character of our country.

Starting today, Canucks can upload and post their favourite homegrown noises to the CanadaSound website, and contribute to the page’s rich compendium. With an interactive virtual platform that anyone can access, explore, or add to, the catalogue will celebrate Canada 150+ by offering a store of sounds that express people’s experiences of living in the country.

In partnership with CBC Music, Cleansheet Communications, The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Science (CARAS), the JUNO Awards, SOCAN, and the Department of Canadian Heritage, the database offers professionally curated sounds to all Canadian musicians, including SOCAN’s nearly 150,000 music creators and publishers.

Already slated to create tracks with the samples are Walk Off the Earth, Kevin Hearn of the Barenaked Ladies, and CBC Radio 2 host and renowned beatmaster Rich Terfry, who will all incorporate the submitted sounds into original songs.

“Songwriters and composers are always seeking inspiration for their work,” says Michael McCarty, chief membership and business development officer at SOCAN. “To have the sounds that inspire Canadians be the actual motivation to create new music makes this unique collaboration special.”
The most dynamic tracks received from CanadaSound will be made available as a downloadable digital album, with a portion of the proceeds going to MusiCounts, Canada’s music education charity associated with CARAS.

“The CanadaSound project gives Canadians the opportunity to be a part of Canada 150,” says The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage. “I invite all of you to take part in creating a sound portrait of Canada. Let’s celebrate our cultural diversity with pride.”

According to a number of early submissions sent to the database, cracking lobster, falling logs, and a walk in the woods are some of the most uniquely Canadian noises. We’re more about that snap when you open a fresh packet of hickory sticks—but that probably says more about us than the country.

The CanadaSounds database can be found here. More information from the CBC is available here.

Follow Kate Wilson on Twitter @KateWilsonSays