Date of Submission
Project Advisor 1
The second part of my senior project is a sound installation and performance taking place in the Integrated Arts Room at the Avery Film Building on Wednesday, May 8th 2013. The piece brings together many elements of past performances and my most current work. Essentially, the space will be transformed into a surround-sound, multi-channel installation featuring experimental vocal improvisation, turntable and laptop performance, and live manipulation of samples and recorded audio. The piece explores the concept of perceptual abstraction through periodic sonic repetition—of the experience of the listener becoming less and less familiar with a sound as it repeats. I have been working on reflecting the experience of my own listening through presenting multiple ongoing loops of audio, i.e. drones, in a given space, accompanied by my own vocals and turntable improvisation.
The process of putting together this final project incorporated many steps. I traveled to multiple locations, making field recordings of my own voice and ambient noise in varying acoustic spaces. I searched for samples from numerous vinyl records, and manipulated these sounds through extended turntable techniques and computer processing. I also sampled my own previously composed and recorded musical material, processing these with various effects. I participated in deep listening exercises, or “sonic meditations”, as composer Pauline Oliveros calls them, which helped to establish a greater level of sensitivity to auditory stimulus and the meditative state(s) which they can induce.
This semester, I have been increasingly interested in pushing beyond conventional notions of the boundaries between performer and audience. To go beyond this, I have worked at adjusting the atmosphere of the performance space to contain less of a tendency towards a polarized split between the musicians and the listeners. I would prefer that the environment represent a space in which there is a feeling of active participation in the creative musical act through listening—where the audience helps to create the music. To add to this dimension, I have asked other musicians to collaborate and respond vocally to any of the external sonic stimuli they hear while in the space, making the installation more of a participatory piece.
For me, the installation represents a kind of personal meditative zone; a slowly shifting sonic and mental space that one may enter and leave at will. It brings to the forefront an expression of the condition of the listener in the world today—the condition of being constantly surrounded by countless objects vibrating at varying frequencies. The installation is meant to evoke a contemplative mental state in which both the audience and performer feel like they are able to take part in a collaborative creative process through the act of active and deep listening.
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Garlid, John Kermit, "Approaching The Uncanny: A Study of Abstraction Through Repetition via Sound Installation and Performance" (2013). Senior Projects Spring 2013. 337.