Networked_Music_Review

Newsletter – October 2007

banner2.jpgWelcome to the sixth issue of Networked Music Review Newsletter, a monthly review of some of the many events archived on Networked_Music_Review [to receive this via email, subscribe here].

I’ve talked about the number of NMR blogs that deal with sound art works, the wide range of practices – sound sculptures, sound installations, performances, environments, to mention four – and the increasing use of non-musical sounds.

You can observe the same phenomena in October’s blog. There you will find a description of the upcoming exhibition in Lille, France of American composer Don Ritter’s interactive sound installations, Intersection and O Telephone. In Intersection, viewers walk through complete darkness while the sounds of car traffic screech, stop and crash in response to their presence. O Telephone is made up of six modified 1960’s telephones which respond with “om” when answered by viewers. The phones will eventually begin a spontaneous composition if they are not answered by viewers.

And you can read a review by Turbulence’s Jo-Anne Green of Core Sample, Teri Rueb’s recent installation on Spectacle Island in Boston Harbor. An audio walk – with a GPS enabled PDA and headphones that successfully combines the real live sounds of the Island – the lapping of the waves, the overflight of planes from Logan airport, with those Rueb has recorded, creating, “a magical blend” of live and pre-recorded, real and virtual that is sometimes confusing – where is the sound coming from? – and sometimes more musical, like a duet.

The Great Fences of Australia tells about Australian violinist and radio artist Jon Rose and violinist Hollis Taylor, who traveled 25,000 kilometers to play and record the unique sounds of hundreds of fences in every state and territory in Australia. You can hear an excerpt here.

While David McCallum – a Toronto musician and media artist, whose work I have loved since I first discovered You Say Potatoe, I Say Potato (1) – plays audio feedback through the microphone at the top of his MacBook’s screen in his recent performance, I Swallow. Using his mouth, McCallum coaxes the feedback into different frequencies, playing it like an instrument. You can listen here.

And Alberto Gaitán, in a work called dump created for the Found Sound project in Washington, D.C., forages among a growing Internet field of sound files – which his computer chews, ruminates and digests in real-time to bring forth the audio atmosphere inside a re-purposed portable latrine. (A reference, perhaps to Duchamp?)

The human imagination seems never to tire. And let loose in sonic art, it comes up with hundreds and hundreds of new sounds and as many new ways of presenting them.

Sonic art is considered a “new” art form and an unusual one in that it has traditionally been regarded (and with many music people, is still regarded) as “inferior and subservient to other creative forms.” (Gibbs). If you’re interested in learning something more about this, you can check out Tony Gibbs’ recently published The Fundamentals of Sonic Art and Sound Design.

You should also check out Peter Traub’s just launched interview with Bill Fontana, who has been creating musical networks and making “sound sculptures” since the early 1970s. Fontana’s works are usually large in scale and often involve the transmission of sounds from one ‘listening’ location with a network of microphones and/or sensors to another location where the sounds are overlayed onto the local sonic environment. You can read the interview and listen to some of Fontana’s work here.

(1) In You Say Potatoe, I Say Potato two research labs compete in the battle of the century to answer perhaps the most important question in the field of Genetic Engineering: GM Potatoes – they may be safe to put in your stomach, but are they safe to put in your ears?


Nov 5, 2007
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What is this?

Networked_Music_Review (NMR) is a research blog that focuses on emerging networked musical explorations.

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NMR Commissions

NMR commissioned the following artists to create new sound art works. More...
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F.Y.I.

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Massachusetts Cultural Council
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New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc.
New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency
New York State Music Fund
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