Glenn Gould’s Approach to an Old Problem – Gould Scriabin Remix

Posted by on Oct 29, 2012 in Audio, Music | 3 Comments

Paul Theberge with Lorne Tulk
Tuesday, 30 October 2012
7:00 PM
Ryerson University
RCC 361, Rogers Communications Building
80 Gould Street, Toronto, ON
Corner of Gould and Church, east of Yonge St (Dundas Subway)
For parking info and map, goto
Pre-Meeting “Dutch Treat” dinner 5:00 pm at the Pickle Barrel (corner of Edward and Yonge, just north of Dundas, in the Atrium)
This month’s meeting will be available live on-line, courtesy of Ryerson University at

The problem of how to capture and reproduce the acoustics of performance spaces is almost as old as the problem of capturing musical sounds themselves. Indeed, the relationship between these two forms of capture are deeply intertwined: the acoustics of physical spaces influence the timbre and temporal characteristics of musical sounds which occur within them and the balance between sound source and surrounding acoustics requires delicate adjustment and a finely tuned ear on the part of audio engineers.
In this presentation, Paul Theberge will briefly explore some of the ways in which we typically think about and mobilize acoustic information (real and artificial) in relation to various kinds of music (classical and popular). This exploration will serve as the context for a discussion of Glenn Gould’s experimental approach to the use of acoustic space in a series of 8-track solo piano recordings made during the 1970s.
Gould’s multi-track recordings are striking in their essential break with the static model of sound/space relations usually employed in music recording and his development of a more dynamic, cinematic approach. This part of the discussion will highlight Paul’s work in restoring and mixing Gould’s recording of the formidable Scriabin Sonata No. 5 for a recent release on Sony Classical.
Lorne Tulk will join Paul for the second half for a discussion, question and answer session.

Paul Théberge is a Professor at Carleton University, in Ottawa. He is cross appointed to the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art and Culture (where he was formerly Canada Research Chair and Director) and to the School for Studies in Art and Culture (Music). He led a career as a composer and occasional sound recordist on music and sound projects designed for live performance, radio and film before taking up graduate work in media studies.

He is the author of the award-winning book, Any Sound You Can Imagine: Making Music / Consuming Technology, and has published widely on issues concerning media, technology and music.

His most recent research project included the editing and mixing of an experimental recording made by Glenn Gould in 1970 but never released during his lifetime. The fully restored and completed recording is featured on a disc entitled Glenn Gould: The Acoustic Orchestrations (Sony Classical, 2012).

Lorne Tulk is an audio technician who began working at a very young age in his father’s recording studio. Since then he has been involved with entertainment for five decades, working in theatre, film, and television, but mostly in radio-broadcasting. Thirty-eight of those years were spent at the technical department of CBC radio in Toronto. His career has taken him from cheap rooming houses, to encounters with royalty, from the hallowed halls of academia to the highly charged world of news and current affairs and into the world of drama, from the excitement of sports, to the depths of the ocean (he once had an assignment on a British nuclear submarine). He has worked with some of the most outstanding people of this (and the last) century, brushing shoulders with composers, poets, scientists and politicians.

A large percentage of his time was spent mixing documentaries for The CBC’s radio program, “Ideas”. It was here that he re-established his relationship with Glenn Gould. They had actually met in 1950. Tulk collaborated on many of Glenn’s radio documentaries, films and participated in most of Glenn’s international recordings, for the ‘Masterworks’ division of Columbia Record’s (now Sony). They developed a very strong and deep personal relationship as well, which lasted until the pianist’s death in 1982. Tulk has also served in a supervisory capacity, with CBC’s ‘Operations Department’. After retiring he became interested in ‘digital’ audio, and spends a much of his time with that.

Lorne and his wife Melva live in Toronto. They have two children, a daughter Lynn, a son Dana, along with three grandchildren.


  1. Song Kim
    October 31, 2012

    I would like to invite you to Song Audio Ltd., show room in North York, Toronto: 45 Centre Ave, Toronto, Ont. 416-737-1965. Our Audio System was reviewed by the Toronto Star Concert critic John Terauds The article was published on Thrusday, Dec 20, 2007 on Toronto Star. You may find more in detail about me about Song Audio.

    • Song Kim
      November 1, 2012

      Please confirm the receipt of this message.

  2. admin
    November 1, 2012

    Thank you for the invite. Your audio store looks interesting. I will try to find some time to visit and listen to your setup. Thanks again for your message.