Don Bergland is primarily known as an internationally recognized visual artist with an expansive record of exhibitions, visual performances, and lecture/workshops in the area of aesthetic style and studio techniques. He is currently on faculty as a professor of visual and performing arts at the University of Victoria in Canada. But in addition to his work in visual expression and studio practice, he also works extensively in a variety of creative media which includes music, radio, motion imagery (film and video), interactive production, and experimental sound and audio.

He has worked continuously in the area of sound, music, and audio arts for the last 50 years. In the early 1960s, he became involved in music performance, primarily as a player of woodwind and brass instruments. He focused on low brass and specialized as a BBb tuba player in school, community, and military bands. He was a member of the Vancouver Junior Band (Beefeater Band) and played for many halftime BC Lion's football games. He competed nationally for places in Canadian military bands, and spent time playing in the HMCS Quadra naval station band in BC.

His interest in instrumental music was paralleled by his interest in the human voice, not in song, but in the cadences of human speech. In 1965, he started learning how to use his voice in specific radio broadcast formats. He completed diploma training in radio and television announcing, given at radio station CKWX in Vancouver, and administered by the National Institute of Broadcasting. He began working as a news announcer for the CBC, and then worked his way through the free-lance broadcasting circuit, learning to use his performance voice in combination with a variety of other media.

In 1968, he returned to his studies in the formal aspects of music and music theory. He enrolled in the Faculty of Music at the University of BC, where he majored in instrumental performance, studying bassoon with Roland Small (principal bassoonist of the VSO), and playing tuba in the university concert band and orchestra. It was here that he first came in contact with experimental and electronic music in the then innovative electronic audio arts studio in the faculty. This was his first introduction to music and sound innovation and it led to a variety of interesting performance works, starting with his role in The Grey Frog in the Well (an electronic music production), and then as a key Megaphone performer in John Tavener's The Whale, performed with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

He put his growing instrumental talent to work as Music Director for School District 49, where he administered the instrumental music program, teaching and conducting all the musical ensembles in the District. During this period of time, he continued working in his own studio, constructing a variety of explorative audio works.

In 1992, he began work as Director of Audio Arts for Electronic Arts, the world's largest video gaming company. Here, he directed a team of over 30 composers, performers, and audio technicians in a state-of-the-art studio comprising both traditional and digital instrumentation. Under his direction, the music team completed many original compositions for PC, SNES, CDO, and other gaming platforms.

Since then, he has put his audio talents to work in a variety of ways in industry settings. He spent time as creative and artistic director for a number of high profile media projects with Entertainment Technologies Inc. (ETI), NASA, Motion Works, and many government projects. In 2011, a project he creatively directed won a prestigious Bronze Medal at the International Serious Play Awards Festival. During this period, he began to create an innovative comedy style in audio voicing. He worked on various interactive radio and audio projects for Microsoft (Redmond Radio Revival), television (Savoy City), the CBC (Definitely Not The Opera), CFUV-FM (Asylum Radio), and a number of innovative audio CD productions. Influenced by the innovative techniques of Firesign Theatre, his radio broadcasting always included an element of innovative sound usage. While developing his own off-beat radio show at CFUV-FM, he met the notorious Jim Andrews (Fine Lines), and was introduced to the components and complexities of audio and sonic arts.

In 1985, he returned to the University of BC, to pursue an MA and Ph.D in Visual & Performing Arts. While in his graduate studies, he returned to experimental digital audio exploration, working with noted musical innovator, Theo Goldberg in the highly controversial digital studios at the university.

Don now works as professor of Visual & Performing Arts at the University of Victoria, where he specializes in creative studio techniques and practice in both visual and audio environments. In his own studio work, he has recently begun a serious revival of projects in Experimental Music and Sound, translating his love of visual theatrics to the sonic stage.



“As beautiful as the chance encounter of a sewing machine and an umbrella on an operating table.”
― Comte de Lautréamont