Claude Schryer’s electroacoustic and environmental compositions focus on spiritual, artistic, and social aspects of acoustic ecology. His work is influenced by the work of Canadian composer R Murray Schafer’s and his idea of soundscapes are ongoing musical compositions.
He was raised in and around the city of North Bay (Ontario) where he was active as a pianist, clarinettist, composer, hunter and fisherman with his parents Maurice and Jeannine, and his brothers Luc, Guy, Marc, and Richard.
He studied composition with Owen Underhill at Wilfrid Laurier University (BA Mus, 1977-81), interdisciplinary arts and new music at The Banff Centre for the Arts (1981, 85, 93) and composition with alcides lanza at McGill University (Master Mus, 1982-89). He also studied with Denis Smalley and Luc Ferrari (1986-87).
His professional activities are principally in the fields of electroacoustics, interdisciplinary production, acoustic ecology and the media arts, notably: artistic director of the Inter-Arts program at The Banff Centre for the Arts (1988-90); co-founder of the production group Diffusion i média (1989-92); artistic director of the 7e Printemps électroacoustique festival of ACREQ (Association pour la création et la recherche électroacoustiques du Québec, 1990-92); special collaborator with the Radio-Canada’s FM Cultural Network and Musicworks magazine (1990-98); member of the organizing committee of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (1993-98); director of the CEC (Canadian Electroacoustic Community, 1993-94); assistant program director of ISEA95 Montréal (1995); sound editor for the documentary film Chronique d’un génocide annoncé (Chronicle of a Genocide Foretold) (Alter-ciné, 1996); collaborator in the production of R Murray Schafer’s Winter Diary (WDR, 1997); co-founder and president of the Canadian Association for Sound Ecology (CASE, 1997-98).
He has received commissions from the North Bay Symphony Orchestra (Ontario), la Muse en circuit (Paris), the Music Gallery (Toronto), Société Radio-Canada (Montréal), Shauna Rolston (Banff) and Trevor Tureski (Toronto) and has been artist in residence at Brahmshaus (Baden-Baden), Grame (Lyon), Groupe de musique expérimentale de Marseille, Muse en circuit (Paris) and Simon Fraser University (SFU, Vancouver).
As a composer he was awarded 2nd prize (ex æquo) in the performer and tape category at the 14th Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Competition for a kindred spirit (1986); 1st Prize (documentary section) at the 6th Phonurgia Nova International Radio Art Competition (France, 1996) for Marche sonore I (Le matin du monde)(1992), and shared with Hélène Prévost the Prix de la création radiophonique of Radio-Canada 1996 for Autour d’une Musique portuaire.
In 1997, Claude Schryer presented the paper À la recherche de l’effet Sharawadji during the Tribune des compositeurs of the Société québécoise de recherche en musique (SQRM) on the sharawadji effect which French sound theorists Jean-Francois Augoyard and Henry Torgue describe as the sensation of plenitude that is created by the contemplation of complex soundscapes whose beauty is unexplainable and that can carry the listener elsewhere when the spirit combines availability, attention and perspicacity. In 1998, he wrote the article Electroacoustic Soundscape Composition, published in Musicworks, on the same subject.
He took a pause from professional artistic work in 1998 to raise a family (Riel and Clara) with filmmaker Sabrina Mathews and joined the management team at Canada Council for the Arts in 1999 as an interdisciplinary arts expert and senior strategic advisor. In 2019-20, he advanced the Council’s corporate policies on arts and sustainability.
In 2016-19, Claude Schryer came back to his creative roots with simplesoundscapes.ca exploring mindfulness listening with 175 3-minute video and audio episodes. He also realized 3 57-minute soundscape compositions for the Afield Series of the online Framework Radio. In January 2020, he launched the blog and podcast conscient.ca, in English and French, which objective is to explore how the arts and culture contribute to environmental awareness.