Exhibition: 29 May – 3 June 2015
Symposium: Sound and the Urban Environment, Tuesday 2 June 6 – 8pm
Sonic, Digital, Public Spaces: NetPark
Dr Frauke Behrendt discusses how sound and the digital occupy public spaces, drawing form her work developing the digital sculpture park NetPark, she highlights some of the issues of community and collective experience within a digital age.
Speaker: Dr Frauke Behrendt, University of Brighton
The Nexus of Soundscape, Art, and Social Action
‘We must hear the acoustic environment as a musical composition and own responsibility for its composition.’ (R Murray Schafer, The Soundscape and the Tuning of the World)
Speakers: Lisa Lavia , Managing Director, Noise Abatement Society
Dr Harry Witchel Discipline Leader in Physiology, Brighton and Sussex Medical School
Urban Acoustic Cartography: Sound mapping as a tool for participatory urban analysis and pedagogy.
Mapping Sound Maps
Sound mapping practices and projects have proliferated around the world in recent years. They offer a critical alternative to the emphasis on noise and noise pollution in current policy, scholarship and practice. Their multivalent character suggests new insights across disciplines: the study of urban sound; practices of (collaborative) sound art; sound in architectural and urban design practice; urban pedagogy and urban data and policy work.
Speaker: Conor McCafferty is a researcher based in Belfast. He is currently pursuing a PhD titled The Acoustic Mapping of Cities, with the Recomposing the City research group at Queen’s University Belfast led by Dr. Sarah Lappin and Dr. Gascia Ouzounian. Prior to commencing his PhD, Conor worked for six years with PLACE, a not for-profit architecture centre based in Belfast. https://twitter.com/comccaff
The Socialisation of Sound
Looking to place sound within an urban social context, framing and contextualising it as an important part of research on space, place and spatial practices. The study of audio cultures, noise cultures, and the soundscape are explored in very different fields of research with very little overlap: ethnomusicology, communications, history and the physical sciences. These all explore sound within society but in very different ways. The result is that while there is a large field of research into sound, there is often a separation between sound as a physical and scientific object and the social meaning of sound. This talk examines a project, which mapped the soundscape of The Smithfield area of Dublin city (an urban regenerated space) over four years with 84 teenagers, 5 older adults and through a series of auto-ethnographic walks. It presents some key findings from this study.
Speaker: Dr Linda O Keeffe, Lecturer in Sound Studies, Lancaster Institute of Contemporary Art Lancaster University Editor of the Interference Journal, Vice president of the Irish Sound, Science and Technology Association
Zone of Tranquil Access
Discusses city planning and soundscape that orientates patterns of life, rather than the fabric of buildings. The Zones of Tranquility are discussed in relation to the sonic environment around the river Taff on its journey through Cardiff, where the project is currently being developed. Civic engagement is at three levels: participants, local
inhabitants, and the public. The participants become custodians of stretches of river. Their initial activity is to map the “zone of tranquil access” along the river, to which pedestrian access extends, and within which their minds are able to listen attentively without being crowded out by too much sound. They plot the zone’s properties onto a device called a “listening wheel” and onto a river map. The participants then shift their focus of listening to conversations with locals about the zone, its value to them, the sonic habitats that give rise to it, and their ecological health. The wheel and map, scaled up to fill a hall and mounted on tables, allow participants and locals to share their findings with one another. They become iconic features around which participants can engage the public about ideas for change.
Glenn Davidson, Artstation
Mike Fedeski, Welsh School of Architecture
1200 1500 Melissa Deerson (Australia) Dawn Chorus: Notes from a Stationary Expedition 7’08” Stereo
1207 1507 Eduardo Brantes (Portugal) Two in Transit 7’
1214 1514 Danny Bright (UK) Ghosting Ruin 18’ 6 channel
1233 1533 Kevin Logan (UK) De Zwaan 14’31”
1247 1547 Joseph Young (UK) 6 Families of Noise 18’
1304 1604 bunú (Northern Ireland, Aidan Deery and Matilde Meireles) Correspondence (Transition #2) 13’32”
1317 1617 Gleeson/ Taylor (Ireland/ UK) up flow of air 6 channel 8’00”
1325 1625 Jesse Doyle & Leo Marcus (UK) Sound, or the Lack Thereof
1335 1635 Leona Jones (UK) On Edge 5’04” stereo
1340 1640 Johannah Hallsten (Sweden) The Onlookers Doubt 6 channel audio, 9’08”
1349 1649 Sindhu Thirumalaisamy (India) Composition for Temple Speakers
1404 1704 Christopher DeLaurenti (USA) Mardi Gras 3’00” stereo
1407 1707 Paula Garcia Stone (Spain) Nunhead: From Dusk to Dawn 12’
1419 1719 Laura Cooper (UK) A Hunt 5‘
1424 1724 Linda O’Keefe (Ireland) Mays song 7’00” & Sara’s song 6’30” stereo
1438 1738 Ingrid Plum (Denmark / UK) The Lightship 3’33” stereo
1442 1742 Mari Ohno (Japan) Floating Sounds 9’05”
1452 1752 Mari Ohno (Japan) Speaking Clock 8’20”
A Film by Dan Linn-Pearl, Marianna Roe & Andi Spowart
“Learning to Listen is a documentary film crossing the dividing lines of experimental music and Sound Art. It is a series of accounts from established artists discussing their work in relation to shifting movements in creative thought and process. The sonic sense is explored through performance, improvisation, technology and sound art. Learning to Listen intends to inform a new audience of work beyond the confines of commercial and traditional sound making. Discourse takes place across the cities of London, Berlin and Amsterdam.”
Featured in the film: Ed Baxter, Clive Bell, Kevin Chan, Viv Corringham, Peter Cusack, Paul Freeman, Sylvia Hallett, Ig Henneman, Derek Holzer, Christina Kubisch, Willem de Ridder, Carsten Seiffarth, Jasper Stadhouders, J Milo Taylor, David Toop.
Taylor, J. Milo., Rivas, Francisco & Mesa, Miguel
Affiliation: Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln (KHM) / Fonoteca Nacional Mexico / Independent.
Research Focus: Listening Cultures, Media Archaeology, Sonic Anthropology: Methodologies of Sound in the Humanities
La Cantada: The Songs for the Dead in Naolinco town.
When Spanish conquerors arrived on the Mexican Caribbean coast they encountered a town called Naolinco. To this day, an ancient annual tradition still occurs there: “El Día de todos los Santos” (The Day of Every Saint) – the so-called “day of the dead”. It is a time to remember the deceased and to renovate communication with them. In family homes, altars are made and at dusk, families walk to the cemetery to sing to their deceased. These special songs (cantada) are both ancient and syncretic, mixing indigenous traditions with the Catholic iconography of the invaders. Following their dedication, people move from house to house, visiting altars in the homes of others, singing the cantada. “Fiestas”, as noted by many anthropologists, configure the ritual and social calendar, articulating the sacred and profane, which, in this kind of community, become blurred. In this context sound becomes a “bridge” between two worlds consolidating the identity network of the inhabitants of Naolinco. We witnessed an auditory culture activating the “world of the dead” through ritualised and collectivised soundings. In this study we discuss our participation in the custom and we explore the function of this music in this specific context.
Audiorama del Bosque de Chapultepac.
November 4th 2012
The opportunity to present a sound performance in this unique location intersects with a growing area of interest for the artist – namely that of archaeoacoustics – the positioning and understanding of sound in ancient societies. This area of research is emerging and much work remains speculative, however there is a growing discourse around the the sonic properties of ritual spaces and the importance of site-bound performativities. Specific issues relevant to sonic meditation may be outlined as follows.
There is the recognition that sound often takes a central role in human ritual – this appears to approach a universality, yet also displays great variation across spatio-temporal cultures. Researchers in the field propose that ritual sound provides the historical antecedent of music, with such speculations also argued by such theorists as French economist Jacques Attali – to whom we will shortly return. The diversity of ritual sound practice, its role in the performance of community and its close connection to place can only be hinted at here. We may wish to consider for example the depictions of auditory phenomena in the “sound scrolls” in the Codex Borbonicus, where Xochipilli, the Aztec god of music, is marked with a jewelled flower indicating the poetic importance of song and sound to this pre-Hispanic culture. Mayan “speech scrolls”, common in the classical period, as well as examples found in Zapotec culture further underline the significance of sound in pre-Cortesian Iberoamerican societies. Such a sonic sensitivity is not limited to these pre-Christian examples, we can also extend this analysis using Zeilinski’s notion of a “deep time of sound media” pausing our playback to consider the impressive acoustics of Christian churches and cathedrals, then fast forwarding in time to the more contemporary experiences of the “electric church” of the rock concert and the powerful sound systems of today’s bass cultures (techno, reggae, dub, jungle, hip-hop, dubstep and so on).
Such temporary acoustic communities are both centripetal and and centrifugal – on the one hand attractive and bounding to believers, and on the other hand repulsive, disturbing and excluding non-initiates, evil spirits and the damned. While many ritual musics refer towards transcendence and the evocation of entities exterior to human consciousness (gods, spirits etc.), the piece to be presented here explores a different plane – that of immanence (the “who-here” and “who-now”).
Archaeoacoustic studies, and sound studies more generally, draw attention to the continuum existing between internal experience and external phenomena, and indeed challenges a (Western) ocularcentric paradigm which operates to enforce such problematic distinctions. When we speak, for example, we sound. This sonic entity, betraying intimate secrets of ourselves (Barthes “grain of the voice”) exists both “over-here” inside our bodies, and simultaneously (in fact with a degree of delay) “over-there” inside the bodies of those able to hear us. Sounds exterior to us touch us with vibration – we have no distance from sound – it passes through us, and something of it may continue to metaphorically resonate within us, once the actual sound itself has dissipated.
Let us now return Attali. Writing in 1977 he outlines the positioning of auditory culture relative to society’s modes of production and the associated power relations. He proposes four major periods of sound-making in deep historical time – ritual, representation, repetition and composing. He argues that the primary function of sound, as introduced above, was the reinforcement of community through ritual practice. Once its power to do this is recognised by early centralising states (e.g. Mayan), it becomes co-opted by the elite classes, and it is used to represent the interests of these groups to the rest of society. As society evolves, sound-making becomes detached from this explicitly representative function, and sound-makers, though still bound to dominant modes of production enter a period of repetition. This is articulated by Walter Benjamin in his 1936 text The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, where the repetitive reproducibility of the modernist art object (prints, books, LP’s, CD’s) involves a loss of aura. His historical positioning, on the cusp of such significant sonic mutations as punk rock and disco (the latter innovating the development of the dance music sound systems mentioned above), suggested the fourth period – that of composition. Though not fully explained, he proposed that sound makers would seek to reclaim their role as auratic community formers, composing novel forms of future-facing micro-societies, where the exchange between sound-maker and audience/congregation would no longer be over-determined by a financial transaction (a cost of entry/purchase), but be based upon a participatory post-humanistic encounter. It is with such thoughts in mind that I accepted the invitation to present a piece in the Meditatio Sonus series.
The piece, performed in real-time with open-source/FLOSS technologies, intends to fold together these historic, social, aesthetic technical considerations. The sounds to be used are exclusively sine tones – “pure”, characterless, non-representational and total sonic abstractions derived from the mathematics of the ancient Greeks. Such tones will be used to explore the resonances of the site. At the same time, difference tones (“beatings”) between the resonant frequencies of the Audiorama will be used to activate psychotropic frequencies in the consciousnesses of the congregation. The intention is to guide the brain state rhythms of the gathered listeners from the usual frequency of waking consciousness (the so-called “beta rhythm” 13 – 30 Hz) though the base frequency (“alpha rhythm” 18 – 13Hz) down to the hypnogogic meditative state (“theta rhythm” 4 -7 Hz). This gradual journey inwards and outwards will resolve with a return to the beta rhythm.
It is with the greatest pleasure that I embark on the composition and performance of this work. It is my hope that the openness with which I was invited to participate is echoed and returned in my conception. It is my belief that a sonic meditation, shared between friends, family and strangers is a wonderful opportunity to experience ourselves as a collective body composed of humans, non-humans and sonic entities alike.
Self-built photo-sensitive digital synthesiser
October 3rd 2012: Klangkunst Mutiny I @ Ms Stubnitz
November 21st 2012: Klangkunst Mutiny II @ Ms Stubnitz
27th August. 2012: Piksel , Bergen, Norway
Below is a try at a score I wrote for them while visiting Apo33 for the Opensound Book Sprint in September 2012. Also in France were Audiolab – always a privilege to spend time with all these people – Romain, Julien P, Julien O, Jenny P et famile.
This piece, which I hope will be performed again, is dedicated to these people and in transcendence, my fellow traveller through France, space, life and sound, Michal Hochman.
Detailed text score to follow. Available to any group of musicians. No fee. No interference. No problem. Free Music. Free Minds. Free Sound.
AVAGRDE har gleden av å åpne sin trettende sesong, høsten 2012, med festivalen:
Pannekaker: Konserttur gjennom syv byrom
1. september 10:00-23:00
Kl 10:00 Bergen Offentlige Bibliotek
Kl 12:00 Konsertpaleet KP 9
Kl 14:00 Bredsgården, Bryggen
Kl 16:00 Studentsenteret
Kl 18:00 Musikkpaviljongen
Kl 20:00 Bergen Kjøtt
Kl 22:00 Kosmo klubben
Medvirkende: Jazkamer, Bergen Impro Storband, Ny Musikk Bergen og Avgarde
Festivalen foregår på syv forskjellige steder i Bergen, i løpet av en dag! Turen begynner på Bergen Offentlige Bibliotek kl 10:00. En lang dag, med mye fantastisk musikk tar publikum fra sted til sted, scene til scene, og de akkustiske rom fylles med fine klanger, spilt av Jazkamer og Bergen Impro Storband. Konsertdagen avsluttes i Kosmo klubben kl 22:00.
Det er gratis adgang til alle konsertene. Kom og bli med på tur!
SZKIZ is a European exchange project for musicians and artists working at the intersection of experimental electronic music, improvisation, acoustic instrumentation and visual art. The project is based on three fundamentals: the exchange of and cooperation between musicians and artists beyond national borders, the transfer of knowledge through the development of a common practice and the social discourse on music and visual art in Europe.
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