Ear to the Earth
in collaboration with
MA.P.S at White Box
In the context of environmental art, we might define art as making the ordinary extraordinary. These are extraordinary sounds.
"Confluence is the final composition on the album Transient Landscapes. After exploring processed field recordings from rivers across the world this work returns to Australia venturing deep into the ocean near the Colored Sands on the Cooloola Coast of Australia. The work revolves around Wolf Rock, one of Australia’s most distinctive and diverse aquatic landscapes and home to a large population of endangered Grey Nurse sharks. This draws on the concept of all rivers ultimately leading to the same body of water. Featuring Richard Haynes on Bass Clarinet with processing site-specific hydrophone recordings."
Underwater at Wolf Rock
Arsenije Jovanovic writes from Rovinj, Istria, Serbia: "My idea was primarily to discover the invisible content of thrown-away objects that were never intended to be used musically. I wanted to draw attention to the many things and gadgets around us that have hidden values other than those for which they were originally designed, and I wanted to show that they may be used also as musical instruments. There were dozens of metal objects, mainly high quality steel, with different shapes and sizes, pipes of different sizes, for example, and steel rods and parts of various machines. There were bottles of various sizes used as wind instruments as well as glass and metal plates of different thicknesses, glass marbles and glass balloons. Metal objects were hung on elastic rubber ropes, fixed between the cave stalactites, hanging freely in the space to produce a clear resonance. A few of the microphones wre hanging freely inside of barrels. And then there was a bird, a pigeon, trapped in the cave."
"Psarocolius Montezuma is a part of MICROCERCULUS, a musical composition in three movements, dedicated to the struggles for the conservation of the natural environment. Everyone of the three sections of MICROCERCULUS is dedicated to one the cultures that shares the natural enviroment of the ecological reserve: Cerro San Gil in the caribean region of Izabal in the north of Guatemala, is in this primary forest that where made all the registration of the birds chants and the sounds that are the foundation of the work ..."
"Dusk (2012) is dedicated to Elizabeth Wood. The sounds include William Winant, percussion, recorded by Tom Hamilton. Warm thanks to Dr. Timothy Crone, at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, for the use of his
hydrothermal vent recordings, made on the mid-ocean Juan de Fuca Ridge 200 miles off the coast of Washington State and discussed in his paper ‘The Sounds Generated by
Hydrothermal Vents’. And thanks to Avisoft Biaoacoustics, Berlin, for transposed bat recordings."
Rodolphe Alexis writes: "Dry, Wet, Evergreen is a contemplative immersion in the jungles of Central America from the cloud forest to coastal rainforest, through dry tropical forest and mangrove. Located on the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor, Costa Rica is a biodiversity hotspot, a territorial refuge for many neotropical species in danger of extinction. In just 40 years, the country has evolved from a critical state of deforestation to a radical awareness of environmental issues. The animal sounds in this recording include the Howler Monkey, Spider Monkey, Swainson's Toucan, Yellow naped amazon, Orange-fronted parakeet, Chesnut-backed Antbird, Neotropic Cormorant and various species of tree frogs. This is a special quadaphonic edit specially made for Ear to the Earth and accompanied by images from the differents places I recorded."
Costa Rican rainforest
Kay Larson talks about John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and reads from her book Where the Heart Beats: John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists (Penguin Press, 2012)
Kay Larson at White Box
Special session of music from David Monacchi's recent trips to Africa and Borneo and Dusk by Annea Lockwood.
Garth Paine writes: "The idea for this music arises from a number of visits to Bundanon in Australia, where I undertook explorations in engaging in conversations with the landscape. These conversations took several forms: ambisonic recordings of the natural environment; piano wire fixed between trees to record the sounds generated by the movement of the tree trunks in the wind (tightening and loosening the tension of the wires) and through bowing and striking the wires; and vocalisations recorded as improvised conversations with the land and the birds. These materials come together here as a prelude to an ongoing inquiry into the ways in which we converse with nature on a daily basis. And I'm playing a flute as one example of my part of the conversation."
Shoalhaven River, Bundanun, New South Wales, Australia
Guy Barash writes: "To create the prerecorded material for 'Cartoon Suite', I designed a system that follows my speech prosody to trigger samples from cartoon soundtracks and to shape their envelope. Very similar to John Cage's 'Williams Mix', they are organized in six categories: human noises, toys, alarms and buzzers, mechanical and industrial sounds, blasts, and sci-fi sound effects. Following a predefined set of rules, the system selects sounds from each category and constructs nine 10-second sound bites. During the performance these sound bites are sliced into much smaller fragments and reorganized to create a continuum that I can manipulate in performance."
Guy Barash at White Box
Manhattan Sounds transforms the ambient noise of Manhattan's streets and alleys into a magically lyrical sound. Lainhart took sounds of traffic, subways, department stores, people on the street, Morningside Park in a light rain, in short a variety of city sounds. As he explains the process, "I then played my guitar and then, using the kyma digital audio processing system, convoluted all of the the recorded ambient sounds with my guitar playing. The result is that the sounds are imposed on one another. You hear none of the sounds directly. What you hear is the interaction between me and my environment."
Richard Lainhart at Greenwich House Music School in October 2011
Concept and art direction Joel Chadabe
Technical director Tom Beyer
Technical co-director Daniel Neumann
Technical assistants Don Bosley and Drake Anderson
This event was made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency. This program was supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.