AUDITORIUM was an extended evening of site-specific electronic and electroacoustic performances organized by artists/curators Lea Bertucci and Tristan Shepherd. The focal point for this event was a custom 10-channel sound system installed throughout the 50,000 square feet of Knockdown Center. This system acted as the point of departure for multichannel works by innovative sound-based artists Nate Wooley, Sabisha Friedberg, Marina Rosenfeld, Woody Sullender, and Phil Niblock. Bertucci and Shepherd commissioned new works from the seven composers, instrumentalists and audio artists to develop works uniquely suited to the site. The project culminated in a day-long event in which the selected artists presented their projects on site in a roving auditory experience.
The double LP The Hant Variance was recorded at EMPAC with Peter Edwards in a custom-tuned environment using advanced multi-channel recording techniques to capture a configuration of spatialized sound sources. Combining granular synthesis, analogue synthesizers, tone oscillators and field recordings, the composition is comprised of three movements. The low-end bass, which was recorded live with a subwoofer configuration that allowed for rapid directional shifts, serves as a sonic armature for the piece. Sustained pure tones shift minimally and the allocation of sound engenders a sense of aural disorientation. This landscape, with the premise of summoning a new phantom or haunted sonic space, exists in an interstitial, albeit present zone.
A live mix of the third and final movement of The Hant Variance was performed as a quadraphonic experiential piece. This finale, the most symphonic in it construction and melancholic in its tonality, is the resolution to the first two movements, released by ISSUE Project Room as a double LP, The Hant Variance, in February 2015.
In (the limbs) of letters, not the bellows, was commissioned as part of ISSUE’s Artist-In-Residence program. A series of texts written by artist served as the sonic foundation of this live solo multi-channel voice, electronic and acoustic instrumental piece. A narrative of fragments, with phrases as utterances, comprised the displaced speech which was reduced to le grain in an evolving audial series that became more reductive as the days progressed. These sonic lines circulated and reflected within the space as the artist executed a progressive excising of the material, a cutting away at the heard contents' contextual constructs. These absences left other possibilities for associations with what is now audible and what is absent.
Composed during Friedberg's residency at the Clocktower Gallery, The Starry Garter: A Certain Point Within a Sphere is a sonic poem for radio that combines elements of sound art, radio theater, film, and music to examine themes of transmutation and redemption.
Friedberg’s work is based on Etidorhpa, or, the end of the earth: the strange history of a mysterious being and the account of a remarkable journey, the tale of an unknown man’s quest into the center of the earth, which divulges arcane secrets in a process of initiation, and reveals a journey to an ethereal plane of non-material existence. Following Etidorhpa’s narrative arc, Starry Garter updates traditional radio theater by emphasizing the text’s sonic elements with atomized dialog, an electro-acoustic process, and interludes of acoustic cello, piano, and chorus.
The live performance of The Starry Garter transforms this 19th Century hermetic tale into an aural soundscape further textured by effects generated by vintage foley work (old-fashioned, handmade radio sound effects).