On May 2nd, 1986, nearly 150 boats of all sizes and shapes gathered in Vancouver Harbour around Canada Place to perform the first-ever Vancouver Harbour Symphony for boathorns.
The piece was composed by Hildegard Westerkamp, on commission from the Canada Pavilion for its Expo 86 opening. It is probably the largest ever environmental music event ever to be mounted in Vancouver.
Side A brings together four different field recordings of the performance, taken from separate locations, and mixed to give a "stereophonic" perspective on what the piece may have sounded like if there were such a thing as a global acoustic perspective.
Side B is a documentation of the performance, recorded from inside the centrally located control boat, where a second-by-second countdown broadcast to all performing boats over marine radio, served as the symphony's "conductor." This piece is conceived as a little Symphony inside the Symphony.