It is with great sadness that I write to inform you that Nigel Frayne passed away on Friday, January 6, 2018. His death comes after many years of battling cancer. Until his final days, Nigel was actively helping the leadership of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE), as Treasurer, and its Australian affiliate, the Australian Forum of Acoustic Ecology (AFAE).
Nigel joined the WFAE in 1996, a few years after its founding, when he met Hildegard Westerkamp. She wrote an eloquent piece about this experience, titled "Thanking Nigel" on pages 5-6 of the 2010 edition of Soundscape: The Journal of Acoustic Ecology, Volume 10. Hildegard describes the essential role Nigel subsequently played in the WFAE's future. Not only defining the organizational structure of the WFAE, but for over 20 years, Nigel served as a steadfast friend and supporter of the new leadership of which I am honored to be a part. This, with my mentors and a new younger generation of forward-thinking scholars, artists, researchers, and designers, is Nigel's gift.
Of Nigel's role, AFAE President and WFAE Vice President, Dr. Leah Barclay wrote:
Nigel Frayne had an incredible impact on the field of acoustic ecology. As a founding member of the AFAE, he spearheaded many activities over the years, including the 2003 WFAE conference in Melbourne; a pivotal event for many people on a national and international scale.
As the first and longest-standing chair of the WFAE, his commitment, passion, persistence and dedication transformed the organisation into a truly global network. Nigel’s vision to make the WFAE a more manageable organisation resulted in a restructure into clusters of groups with geographical administration and governance. This was the beginning of WFAE affiliates, which is how we continue to operate internationally today.
Nigel is survived by his wife, Helen Dilkes, his daughter, Ella and son, Viv. I hope you will share your reflections and stay tuned for tributes to our friend Nigel on our news blog, our Facebook Page, and the next edition of Soundscape: The Journal of Acoustic Ecology.
As we reflect Nigel's past accomplishments and contributions, let's honor Nigel by reflecting on what he devoted his passion and energies to—with a background in music—of getting his "hands on sound," learning about his practice as a professional soundscape designer, an avid bicyclist, and head of the WFAE.
Nigel and I shared a belief in the importance of handing over basic tools for anyone to organize openly, to deploy and make their own way into the rich world of listening and acoustic ecology. Indeed, let us reflect on how Nigel would have us realize the mission of the WFAE as a way to listen and re-make our world.
Sincerely, Eric Leonardson President, World Forum of Acoustic Ecology