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Posts Tagged ‘Sound Studies’

The February edition of The Wire magazine (issue 432) features the chart Waterfall as Metronome, composed of works inspired by the sight and sound of waterfalls including field recordings, on-site improvisation, sound installations, white noise, ethnographic work, and new-age interpretations of water, flow and the effects of negative ions. While putting together this list, I imagined a speculative history of music where compositions were not driven by metronome’s mechanical account of time, but by the continuous atemporal flow of a waterfall.

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Sarah HenniesGather (Category of manifestation)

Daniel Menche – Raw Fall (The Tapeworm)

Hafdis Bjarnadottir – North (Gruenrekorder)

Bill Fontana – Vertical Water (Whitney Museum)  

Peter Ablinger – Weiss / Weisslich 7b (Peter Ablinger)

Olivia Wyatt – The Pierced Heart and The Machete (Sublime Frequencies) 

Carlos Niño – Delightfulllll / Waterfall (feat. Iasos) (Leaving Records)

Francisco López – Tawhirimatea (No label)  

John Butcher- Close by, a waterfall (Confront)  

Annea LockwoodEnglewood Brook Falls, Palisades (Lovely)

Herman de Vries – Thema 1: bach (Artists Press Bern)

Micheal Pisaro – Still Life with Cicadas, Waterfall and Radu (Gravity Wave)

Ulahi and Eyo:bo – Sing At A Waterfall (Folkways) 

Paul Lloyd WarnerKipahulu Falls (MPI)

Steven FeldFlow like a Waterfall: The Metaphors of Kaluli Musical Theory (Yearbook for Traditional Music)

Voices of the Rainforest: A day in the life of Bosavi (2019), directed and produced by Steven Feld
Peter Ablinger at the Waterfalls of Krimml, Austria, recording Weiss/Weisslich 33, 1999

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Last April 2019, Sounding Out! published the two-part article, “On the poetics of balloon music,” exploring sound, listening, and the atmosphere through the object of the balloon. The first part focuses on late 18th-century balloon travels and the descriptions of silence in the upper air that constituted a staple of Victorian balloon memoirs and literature of the time. Ascending above the noise of the industrialized city, the first balloonists were constructing a sonic identity rooted in the privilege of buoyancy and constructs of the sublime, harmony, and silence that excluded other ways of sounding.

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The sight of boundless space and the quietude of the higher regions of the atmosphere inspired colonial narratives of territorial expansion. Sounds produced outside this imperialist worldview were perceived as invasion, contamination, and noise. By establishing an early connection between the exploration of the atmosphere and a listening ear based on elitism, race, and class the article goes on to analyze some contemporary sound-art practices that use balloons to explore the atmosphere and that take on the challenge of creating a more inclusive relationship with the medium of air.

 

https://soundstudiesblog.com/2019/04/15/on-the-poetics-of-balloon-music-sounding-air-body-and-latex/

Against Levity: Experimental Music and the Latex Balloon

Part 2 of this article features an interview with composer and sound artist Judy Dunaway, who has been developing sculptural sonic performances with balloons for over 25 years. Dunaway’s work with the balloon as a sound producer has been the exclusive focus of several records (e.g., Balloon Music,  Mother of Balloon Music), scores, sound sculptures, solo performances, ensembles, and installations. In this interview, Judy Dunaway talks about how her balloon compositions are in active dialogue with questions relating to feminism, body/mind, ecology, civil rights, memory, and the overall creation of musical expression and lexicon that lives outside a classical heritage.

E2DA1972-C469-4AFA-B824-400EDF5E95DDAs Dunaway points out, the balloon as a musical instrument bypasses dominant hierarchies of music production, leveling the access to experimentation and sonic textures that are restricted by expensive electronic technology. Besides democratizing sound, the latex balloon functions as a resonant chamber, offering an embodied and inclusive mode of listening through the vibration of its membranes. This object duality of sounding and sensing opens up room for what the scholar Steph Ceraso calls a multi-modal listening that plays with the body, affect, behavior, design, space, and aesthetics.

“From my earliest work with balloons as musical instruments, I instinctively knew that I must limit myself to the balloon and my body.  This required that the balloon function not only as a musical appendage by which I may transmit sound, but also one that transmitted vibrations back to me through its sensitive body. (…)” Judy Dunaway, The Balloon Music Manifesto

Sounding Out! articles:

On the poetics of balloon music: Sounding Air, Body and Latex (Part 1)

On the poetics of balloon music: Sound Artist Judy Dunaway (Part 2)

*Brief review of these articles on the polish magazine Glissando: http://glissando.pl/aktualnosci/prasowka-29-04/

Carlo Patrão

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Harvard University Ex-centric Music Studies Conference

Next February 2nd, I’ll be doing a presentation entitled “Botanical Rhythms: A field guide to plant music” at the conference Ex-centric Music Studies at Harvard University. This presentation is included in the panel “Relocating research: the core of practice” chaired by Vijay Iyer. The conference will explore subjects, methods, and modes of presentation that have been deemed ‘peripheral’ to music studies, and aims to offer participants an opportunity to present projects that might exceed the bounds of academic convention.

Friday, February 2 at 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM EST
Holden Chapel, Harvard Yard, Cambridge (MA)

 

Botanical Rhythms: A field guide to plant music

ABSTRACT – Plants are the most abundant life form visible to us. Despite their ubiquitous presence, most of the time, we still fail to notice them. The botanists Wandersee and Schussler call it plant blindness, an extremely prevalent condition characterized by the inability to see or notice the plants in one’s own environment. Molly Roth And JimOur bias towards animals, or zoochauvinism, has been shown to have negative implications on funding towards plant conservation. Authors argue that artistic practices that engage plants in a sensorial and meaningful way can potentially generate emotional responses and concern towards plant life. This presentation reviews musical and sound art practices that incorporate plants and discusses the ethics of plant life as a performative participant. Starting in the early 70s, Music to Grow Plants By became a small footnote in the history of recorded music. However, it showed how the veiled nature of plants became attached to personal narratives, tastes and social values. In parallel, avant-garde movements interested in amplifying the noises of everyday life started to appropriate the sounding materiality of plants through contact microphones. John Cage’s amplified cactus became an icon of indeterminacy music. Plant-based generative music attempts to take a step forward into the inner life of plants by translating their biological activity.

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Creative chains linking plants, technology, music and touch can be found in site-specific installations and performances by artists like Mileece, Miya Masaoka, Michael Prime, Leslie Garcia and the collective Data Garden.

The recent blooming of plant bioacoustics studies and acoustic ecology have inspired artists to sonically explore plant matter combining artistic and scientific points of view. In the midst of a strong movement to revitalize the role of plants in the field of humanities, concerns related to plants ethics and performance with plants are being debated. The sonification and acoustic amplification of plant life evoke both a sense of connection and the realization of an ontological fracture. However, the act of listening to plant life can be an act of acknowledgment, a possibility for emotional identification and empathy, rendering plant life visible.

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Harvard Graduate Music Conference
Conference Page
Facebook Event

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Radio Fluxos on Antena 2, RTP
will broadcast Sunday 5, 12, 19, 26 June 2016, 2pm
More info: http://goo.gl/A9VmWG

Radio Fluxos is a series of 4 documentaries about sound and listening produced for the portuguese national radio station Antena 2, RTP. The series is divided into four chapters: Ether, Earth, Man, and Cosmos. Each show features personal testimonials from scientists, philosophers, historians, authors and sound artists. You will hear antarctic glaciers, waves bouncing off stars, sounds of insects and bats, the sounds of extinction and the darker tones of sound used during modern warfare.

Radio Fluxos invites you to join a community of seekers whose research in the world of sound reveals codes, messages, stories, and discoveries. There is a whole world waiting for us. All we have to do is listen.

Ep. 1 – Sounds of Ether – Listen here
Featuring voices of Luís Loureiro, João Baltasar, Vitor Cardoso, José Tito Mendonça, Pedro Machado, Rui Moreira, Filomena Oliveira.

Ep. 2 – Sounds of the Earth – Listen here
Featuring voices of Janet Sternberg, Carlos Augusto, Ana Salomé David, Jorge Palmeirim, Jorge Paiva and Peter Cusack.

Ep. 3 – Sounds of Men – Listen here
Featuring voices of João Lourenço, Arnaldo Mesquita, Juliane Braeur, Suzanne Cusick, Alfredo Caldeiras, Anabela Duarte and Domingos Abrantes.
Original music by Dana Boulé.

Ep. 4 – Sounds of the Cosmos – Listen here
Featuring voices of Fernando Coimbra, Vitor Cardoso, Mário Monteiro, Pedro Machado, Rui Agostinho, Carla Sofia Carvalho and Nicolas Becker.

Credits:
Produced by Carlo Patrão
Presented by Diamantino Guedes
Voiceover by Eduarda Maio
Production support by João Piedade
Logo by Patrícia Rodrigues
Special thanks to everyone at Academia RTP, Rita Leonor Barqueiro, Ricardo Mariano, Erica Buettner, Dana Boulé and Dennis Shafer.

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