Friday, February 28, 2014

Janet Cardiff (born 1957) and George Bures Miller (born 1960)

This installation, recently up at the Cloisters in NY, emphasizes sound and space as sculptural elements of the subjective experience. The Forty Part Motet consists of forty speakers, each of a single voice, collectively singing a reworking of Spem in alium by Thomas Tallis, 1573. Each audience member's interaction both constructs and contributes to the sculptural whole, demonstrating the variability of experience through elements of space, movement, and sensation.

more about Tallis's Spem in alium

Check out the Cardiff/Miller website for info on some more of their installations and other projects. Many explore the roles of visual and auditory sensation in the creation, suspension, and intermingling of realities, such as this installation, which does so specifically within the spatial context of the cinema. 

Cardiff has also done some interesting "walks"--guided or mediated experiences exploring perception and sensation in relation to memory, space, and time.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Three Essays - Field Recordings, Sound, Music

Three articles on music and sound art made from field recordings. Each article deals with the relationship of composer/creator and recorded environment in different ways, but a number of theoretical questions of interest to us arise across all three writings -- for example, what is the boundary between sound and noise, or music and sound? How does the interchange between real/sensed experience and imagined/created experience unfold across these works? How are these artists transforming perceptual experiences and practices into works of sound and art? Are the transformations conscious (intentional) or merely a by-product of the recording process?

Will Montgomery's analysis of six contemporary artists (Chris Watson, Peter Cusack, Kiyoshi Mizutani, Toshiya Tsunoda, Jacob Kirkegaard, and Stephen Vitiello) offers an excellent survey of some compelling recent works by these artists, framed in a discussion that attempts to locate the practice of field recording in relation to both art and nature.

Montgomery: Beyond Soundscape

Francisco Lopez writes about his own work (La Selva: Sound Environments from a Neotropical Rain Forest), adressing questions of real vs. imagined, authenticity, the notion of the sound object, and his concept of a 'blind' listening.

Lopez: Environmental Sound Matter

In my own essay, on Annea Lockwood and Frances White, I analyze two pieces about rivers. I propose the notion that these works are 'made from listening' and I strive to reveal what takes place in the space between the creators' initial experiences of listening and their finished works.

Nagai: Listen Compose Listen