ISSUE Project Room and Harvestworks are pleased to present two performances featuring acoustician Paul Geluso’s immersive 3D Sound Object, a speaker system capable of reproducing complex directional sound radiation. As part of a series of commissions and outreach activities that feature the operation of the 3D Sound Object, these performances highlight key techniques and listening strategies in approaching sound within unique acoustic spaces.
Friday, July 14th, composer and synthesis pioneer David Rosenboom and vocalist and sound artist Viv Corringham each premiere pieces focused on their varied approaches to Geluso’s invention. A second performance on Tuesday, July 18th sees Stephan Moore, Scott Smallwood and Suzanne Thorpe each presenting new work in homage to the experimental legacy of Pauline Oliveros, presented as a part of World Listening Day.
Together, these artists “sound out” the sonic qualities of ISSUE’s historic McKim, Mead and White Theater at 22 Boerum Place using Geluso’s invention, giving shape to their amplified sound works as virtual 3D sound sculptures. Developed by Geluso while in residence at Harvestworks, the Object has become a platform for new experimental compositions by contemporary composers, specifically exploring the model radiation of acoustic instruments, the spatialization of existing recorded sound, and the creation of synthesized sound in three dimensions. Described as “painting with sonar,” the Object catalyzes the collaborative construction of a 3D soundscape as well as the scanning and exploring of ISSUE’s unique sonic environment.
The performances are presented alongside associated sound workshops, lectures and other related demonstrations at 22 Boerum and across various locations across New York presented as part of Harvestworks’ 2017 New York Electronic Arts Festival, a festival focusing on art, technology and science.
The July 14th performance features the world premiere of two works commissioned specifically for the 3D Sound Object, Shattered Song, Shadow City by Viv Corringham and Nothingness is Unstable by David Rosenboom.
Corringham’s Shattered Song, Shadow City integrates live voice with recorded narrative and environmental sound, using the words of displaced people to create perceptual dislocation in the audience. The work features phrases and words from different people, sometimes in their own language, and field recordings from various places that move through the 3D sound object.
David Rosenboom’s Nothingness is Unstable interprets his own drawing series “Natural Scores” as well as his harmonic cycle system “Earth Encomium” to explore how “Nothingness usually collapses into something-ness” in live electronic performance. The work features sounds collected in Indonesia and the U.S. articulated by large banks of complex digital resonator circuits, shaped by performing actions with analog acoustic sources. These sounds are diffused into space with the unique Geluso 3D Sound Object to create an immersive musical wrapping. Into this sonic environment, Rosenboom also blends excerpts from his interactive piece The Experiment, which was written for Hopscotch, a mobile opera for 24 cars produced by The Industry in Los Angeles in 2015. In this scene, voices move around in 3D sound space while responding (via brainwaves) to questions posed by an anxious investigator trying to determine if Heaven and Hell are merely features of the mind.
The July 18th performance features a culminating performance of new works by composer and polymath Stephan Moore, musician/composer Suzanne Thorpe, and sound artist Scott Smallwood. The artists each perform listening-based works using objects, hand tools, microphones, and other techniques to navigate the musical and physical space around the generative sonic elements emanating from the 3D Sound Object.
Presented as a part of World Listening Day 2017, the evening pays homage to the memory of Pauline Oliveros and her considerable legacy. Pauline’s storied performance history often intersected with ISSUE, with past performances including two stagings of her 1998 piece Primordial Lift, a surreal work centered around a low frequency oscillator mirroring the resonant frequency of the earth. ISSUE also celebrated her 80th birthday with a program that saw new works and a rare live rendition of Oliveros' seminal early electronic piece I of IV (1966) performed by Suzanne Thorpe and Alex Chechile.
Stephan Moore, Suzanne Thorpe and Scott Smallwood all had close connections to Pauline. She was Moore’s mentor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). Suzanne Thorpe and Pauline worked closely together at Mills College, with Pauline serving as thesis advisor as Suzanne explored materiality and immateriality in the world of telematics. Pauline continued to mentor Suzanne thereafter, and included her in various significant performances, including a rendition of Primordial Lift, the performance of which was recorded live at ISSUE. Smallwood worked with Pauline at RPI and later within the context of the Princeton Laptop Orchestra. All three artists have attended Deep Listening Retreats, with Thorpe receiving a Deep Listening Certificate -- certified to teach and represent Pauline’s techniques.
Pauline was known to encourage musicians to “sound out” the spaces they occupied. To honor this legacy, the performances advocate a rigorous listening practice, one mitigated by, according to Stephan Moore’s professional expertise, “The Geluso 3D Sound Object [being] one of the most effective systems I have encountered for activating a room's acoustics and producing spatial effects.”
THE WORLD LISTENING PROJECT (WLP) is a non-profit organization devoted to understanding the world and its natural environment, societies and cultures through the practices of listening and field recording.
Paul Geluso is an engineer, composer, musician, and educator who has been working with sound artists for more than 20 years and has presented his work at local, national and international museums and art spaces. Paul is currently on the faculty at NYU researching 3D audio technology. Paul is a Harvestworks Creativity + Technology = Enterprise fellow, a program funded in part by the Rockefeller Foundation’s New York City Cultural Innovation Fund.
Suzanne Thorpe is a musician/composer who works in a spectrum of modalities, fixed and improvised, installed and recorded. She plays electro-acoustic flute through an ever-evolving array of analog and digital effects, incorporating laptop upon whim. Her way is to listen for just-the-right sounds and timbres, and the right moments to introduce them to each other. Her composed works tend to be site-specific sound pieces that speak of, and with, their environment with an amalgam of sound sources, bringing forth moments of vulnerability, possibility and multiplicity. She has released over 20 recordings on labels such as Sony, V2, Beggars Banquet, Geffen, Specific Recordings, and Tape Drift, and was a founding member of critically acclaimed Mercury Rev, with whom she performed, recorded and toured from 1989 - 2001, earning a gold record for 1998's Deserter's Songs. She is currently a PhD candidate at UC San Diego, where she researches sound in the anthropocene, and Co-Director of TECHNE, an arts education organization that introduces young women to technology via electronic music.
Scott Smallwood is a sound artist, composer, and performer who creates works inspired by discovered textures and forms, through a practice of listening, field recording, and improvisation. He designs experimental electronic instruments and software, as well as sound installations and site-specific performance scenarios. He performs as one-half of the laptop/electronic duo Evidence (with Stephan Moore) and has performed with Seth Cluett, Curtis Bahn, Mark Dresser, Cor Fuhler, John Butcher, Pauline Oliveros, and many others. He has written acoustic and electroacoustic works for a variety of ensembles, most recently for the Continuum Ensemble (Toronto), the New York Virtuoso Singers, the Nash Ensemble of London, and the Princeton Laptop Orchestra. Smallwood currently lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he is associate professor of composition, improvisation, and electroacoustic music at the University of Alberta.
Stephan Moore is a composer, improviser, audio artist, sound designer, teacher, and curator based in Chicago. His creative work currently manifests as electronic studio compositions, solo and group improvisations, sound installation works, scores for collaborative performance pieces, and sound designs for unusual circumstances. Evidence, his long-standing project with Scott Smallwood, has performed widely and released several recordings over the past 15 years. He is the president of the American Society for Acoustic Ecology, and is a member of The Nerve Tank, a canary torsi, Composers Inside Electronics, and the Wingspace Theatrical Collective. He toured for several years as a musician with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, and has worked with artists as diverse as Pauline Oliveros, Anthony McCall, and Animal Collective. He is a lecturer in Sound Art and Sound Design in the Department of Radio, Television and Film at Northwestern University.
David Rosenboom (b. 1947) is a composer, performer, conductor, interdisciplinary artist, author and educator known as a pioneer in American experimental music. Since the 1960s David Rosenboom has explored the spontaneous evolution of musical forms, languages for improvisation, new techniques in scoring for ensembles, multi-disciplinary composition and performance, cross-cultural collaborations, performance art and literature, interactive multi-media and new instrument technologies, generative algorithmic systems, art-science research and philosophy, and extended musical interface with the human nervous system. His work is widely distributed and presented around the world. He holds the Richard Seaver Distinguished Chair in Music at CalArts where he is also Dean of The Herb Alpert School of Music. David Rosenboom is a Yamaha Artist.
Vocalist and sound artist Viv Corringham creates concert music, radio works, soundwalks and installations. She has received two Composer Fellowships from McKnight Foundation, through American Composers Forum, and many grants and awards including Jerome Foundation and Meet the Composer. She has an MA Sonic Art from Middlesex University, London, UK and is certified to teach Deep Listening by the late composer Pauline Oliveros. Her work has received international recognition and been presented in twenty two countries on five continents. Recent work has included festivals in Athens (Borderline), Pellice Valley Italy (La collera delle lumache), Hong Kong (Around Sound), New Zealand (Vitamin S), London (Her Noise at Tate and Soundworks at ICA), Florence Italy (Tempo Reale) and Australia (SoundOut), an artist residency at Emily Harvey Gallery, Venice Italy, and as artist mentor in Manila Philippines and Hong Kong. Her ongoing sound project, "Shadow-walks", has been presented in 23 cities internationally, most recently as multi channel installations at Harvestworks Digital Media Arts, New York and Superbudda, Turin, Italy. Recordings are available on Innova, Deep Listening, Linear Obsessional, Slowfoot, NoMansLand, ARC Music, MASH, Slam, Rhiannon, Jungle Records, Emanem, Move, Artship and Third Force.