drusnoise comes from my family. When I was in the middle of my PhD, my niece and nephew in Toronto started called me Dr. Uncle Steve. I took the d-r-u-s from that, added some noise, and ended up with drusnoise. I love how the name brings together my connection to family, my research and passion for sustainability. And my performance, music, and sound art directions. My connection to the electronic music scene started with going to raves in 1993 in Vancouver, Canada. I fell in love with the music and the PLUR (Peace, Love, Understanding, and Respect) raver philosophy and I have never left the dance floor.
After a long career in the tech industry, I moved into Corporate Social Responsibility and got more and more interested in how systems change. And how we might nudge them to change in a more sustainable direction. And what do we mean by sustainability anyway? In 2014 I went back to school and started a PhD program at the University of British Columbia. My focus was to better understand how systems change and how we can measure the impact of projects that are trying to make that change happen.
During my PhD, I followed the Energy Futures Lab in Alberta, Canada as they tried to shift the Province's energy system to be more sustainable. I ended up writing about that and published my dissertation in 2019. In collaboration with colleagues in Canada, Germany, and Sweden, I now also write about justice in transitions, Indigeneity, evaluating transitions, and art and sustainability.
As a present to myself for submitting my dissertation, in Summer 2019 I bought my first semi-modular synth and sampler and starting messing around with making music. Taking the grooves that are deeply embedded in me already and making them come alive. And discovering what emerged - seemingly like magic - from my modular machines. And then combining all that into produced tracks and live techno sets.
When I finished my PhD, I had the chance to move to Berlin and work as a researcher at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam and Chalmers University in Gothenburg, Sweden. My work here focuses on the social, political, and cultural dimensions of transformation to a more sustainable society. And of course, Berlin is also the world capital of techno.
Now I am working hard to bring these two worlds together. Writing about sustainability in the many dimensions of the electronic music scene. Bringing these themes into my music. Working with colleagues engage the public in conversations about the future through music. Moderating panel sessions on sustainability at music industry conferences. And, most recently, developing performances and installations that bring sustainability data, ideas, and concepts alive through sound art.