Commissioned for Unsound Festival New York and making its worldwide debut at Phill Niblock’s historic downtown loft space Experimental Intermedia is a new exploration of sub bass called Damaged Particulates (undersong edition), created by one the most prolific sound artists and electronic musicians in New York today: Ben Vida. This unique piece makes use of bass frequencies throughout the space and also on the audience's seat-backs through use of SubPac, a high-fidelity tactile audio system that quietly and directly transfers low frequencies to your body.
Speech and music can be thought of as “particulate” systems in which a set of discrete elements of little inherent meaning (such as tones and phonemes) are combined to form structures with a great diversity of meaning (Hockett & Altman, 1968; Merker, 2002). Though what can be communicated through speech and music in terms of cognitive processing is inherently different, the commonality between the two structures is that both utilize a particulate system to communicate a wide range of meaning in an economical way. Through the ordering and combining of particulates one controls the building up, and inversely, breaking down of meaning or sense.
And it’s this tipping point: that space between building up and breaking down meaning, or between musical representation and sonic abstraction, that is the conceptual starting point for Damaged Particulates. A finite number of sonic elements are used to produce a composition that, through the ordering of non-specific sound objects, creates a sonic space where both musical sense and nonsense can exist in parallel. It is ones own personal biological sound system and history of listening that will determine for each individual listener whether this sound work is capable of communicating any musical sense at all. — Ben Vida
Ben Vida is a Brooklyn based artist and composer. He has been an active member of the international experimental music community for the past seventeen years with a long list of collaborations, bands and releases to his credit. In the mid 90’s he co-founded the group Town and Country and has since worked as a solo artist under his own name and as Bird Show with releases on such labels as PAN, Alku, Thrill Jockey and Kranky. He has presented his work in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, South Korea and Japan. Recent activates include performances at the Kitchen, NYC with David Behrman, the debut of the Tyondai Braxton/Ben Vida Duo at the Sacrum Profamun festival in Krakow, solo performances at Electrónica en Abril festival in Madrid and Akousma Festival in Montreal and the publication of his long form sound poem Tztztztzt Î Í Í ... from Shelter Press. Past art exhibitions include Slipping Control at Audio Visual Arts in Manhattan, NY; Bloopers #0 presented by Triple Canopy/Performa, NYC and, in collaboration with artist Jeff Degolier, Metal Fatigue Music (music for Boom Car) at NADA Miami. In 2013 he was Artist-In-Residence at ISSUE Project Room in Brooklyn and at The Clocktower in Manhattan.