Last year in mid October, while scrolling down Facebook, I came across a densely expressive and evocatively written post from Montreal singer Sarah Albu, who was “surfacing momentarily,” she wrote, from a recording project “revisiting, revising, and recording” the complete vocal works of Gayle Young from 1976 to today. I was moved and intrigued by the scenes and emotions Sarah described. She was capturing both the details and essence of a moment in her creative life in a way no future interviewer ever could.
“I am learning to identify some of the local mushrooms, and Gayle is telling me all about the trees and the birds and the minerals and the history of this place, and about concepts like geological time,” wrote Sarah, who was staying at Gayle’s home in Ontario’s Niagara Escarpment region at the time. “In the evenings we listen to mysterious insect sounds; sometimes we also hear coyotes. I feel all of this is necessary to really sink into the state required to perform Gayle’s music, and I know I am truly privileged—in many senses of that word—to be able to be doing this right now.”
This was the beginning of a story I wanted to read.  
I wrote to Sarah and proposed she write something about her experience collaborating and communing with Gayle on the recording project. “I really love writing, I actually studied journalism at Ryerson before going full time into music,” Sarah replied, with enthusiasm. (Ha, I knew it!) 
As you will discover in this issue’s cover story, Gayle Young is familiar to and beloved by many in the exploratory music and sound-art community. Kathy Clark Wherry, the co-artistic director of Sound Symposium (a ten-day happening of sound activities presented every two years in St. John’s, Newfoundland), told me that Gayle has been taking part in the Symposium since 1983 and is a valued member of the artistic team. And also a lively one, as evidenced in the photo Kathy sent me of Gayle in action!
When I joined Musicworks in 2013, Gayle was its publisher and then became a member of its board of directors; before that, as some long-time readers know, she was the editor of this magazine and has been a vital force for good in its creative and organizational development. At the same time, she continued to evolve as an artist—creating instruments and sound installations, writing music for herself and others, improvising and listening, inspiring those around her.  
In addition to Sarah’s cover story on Gayle, this issue includes a feature on the recently knighted (!) Dutch exploratory music icon Ig Henneman, written by violist and improviser Jennifer Thiessen, and a story about New York-based, Pulitzer Prize-winning soundworld creator Du Yun, written by saxophonist and composer Olivia Shortt.
The authentic enthusiasm and curiosity of artists writing about artists for whom they feel an affinity propelled Musicworks in its early days. This dynamic is in the magazine’s DNA and continues to inform the storytelling in our pages, as you’ll discover in the Summer 2022 issue.

Photo of Gayle Young at Improv Night, Sound Symposium, St. John's, Newfoundland.
Photo by Greg Locke.