Valid ForeverrRrrRRrrr… (pt.1)
Trio for two large similar paper things and one 5-pin bowling ball.
A lockdown interpretation of composer Beth Anderson’s score Valid For Life, from the publication Womens Work, a magazine first edited and self-published in 1975 by Alison Knowles and Annea Lockwood.
Comissioned by Issue Project Room for their With Womens Work series.
Online premiere, February 2021.
Gazing over Beth Anderson’s wonderful graphic score of the letter R in various typefaces and sizes had me hearing the sound of rolling r’s in my head. In Anderson’s original score she asks the players to perform rolls (with a velvet beater) on classic instruments – piano/harp and membranophones. I took a different approach, in part out of necessity due to the limitations of my current situation – an extended lock-down in Berlin, with no studio and inhabiting a small 1-room flat that I share with my partner, but more particularly by looking at it from a conceptual angle and applying my usual methods of working with non-typical instruments. I adhered to the score’s call for the piece to be a trio. From there the work was born out of the evocative nature of her playful page of R’s – tongue twirling rrrrrr’s, rolling vibrations, rumbles and quiet purrrrs…
My 2014 piece titled ‘keeping the ball rolling’ is meant to be metaphorically rolling in perpetuity and recently it has felt stiflingly paused with the events of this very challenging past year. While pondering Anderson’s score, an auspicious feeling struck me that set this piece back in motion. The feeling (and sounds) of movement and momentum conjured by this meeting feels somehow reassuring at this moment in time.
image below of Beth Anderson’s original score, Valid For Life
Piling Pelion Upon Ossa
Site-specific sculpture w/ 4-channel sound
Repurposed bricks from GES-2, audio recording and 4 mono speakers.
66 min 26 sec
This piece is a process-based site work utilizing repurposed bricks from the demolition of the interior of the main GES-2 space (previously an immense power station). The sculptural pile is surrounded by a 4-channel sound piece created by recording the process through various points and sources in the space. The final work manifests as two detailed and intrinsically connected representations of the same action.
Further documentation with audio excerpt:
Keeping the ball rolling (Winnipeg)
stereo sound piece
22 min 40 sec (intended for uninterrupted continuous play)
This piece marks the inception of an ongoing work with no intended end. A play on the idiom of keeping something in continuous process, this work represents a self-motivating mantra and a playful take on the literal act of keeping a ball in constant motion.
Each version of this work captures the unique resonance and timbre of the room and materials with which it is recorded, thus creating a unique composition every time. The exhibition playback reacts to the unique acoustic features of the host venue, adding yet another dimension to the way that the piece is heard.
The first version of Keeping the ball rolling (Winnipeg, 2014) utilized a 3.5 lbs 5-pin bowling ball, unique to the artist’s homeland Canada. It was performed in the flux space at ace art inc. in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada on September 21 with Oren Ambarchi (left-channel) and crys cole (right-channel).
Original room dimensions: 4.14m wide x 11.58m long x 4.01m tall
Floor material: hardwood
Premiere presentation at the Bangkok Arts & Culture Centre in Bangkok, Thailand as part of the DRIFT event (Project #1: Duration) curated by Koichi Shimizu & Pichaya Aime Suphavanij – November 7/8, 2014. A reinterpretation site specific version of this piece – Keeping the ball rolling, HKW Berlin – was created and exhibited in Berlin at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt for the Sound of Distance event, curated by Jan St Werner in October 2021.
38,208 km (the distance required to make this work)
5-channel surround sound piece
14 min 22 sec
Created between Brussels (BE) at Q-02, Winnipeg (CA) and Melbourne (AU).
Presented as part of the Lautsprecher sound program, curated by Peter Simon, at the Klangkunst im Museum Ostwall in Dortmund Germany, through March 2014.
filling a space with salt (in two parts)
site-specific sound sculpture
two heating shafts (2ft x 2ft x 3ft), 375 kg of salt, audio recording, mono speaker
Created on site at the South London Gallery for At the Moment of Being Heard, group exhibition curated by Simon Parris (London, UK). Exhibited June 28 – September 8, 2013.
This piece was created by slowly filling one of the under floor ventilation shafts (no longer in use) with 375 kg of two sizes of rock salt. A large scaffolding was used to slowly filter the grains of salt into the shaft from about 5ft above the floor. The sound of the falling salt was captured by an array of microphones; contact microphones on a metal plate at the base of the shaft (slowly buried under the salt), a boundary microphone on the iron grate covering the shaft, and two shotgun microphones capturing the falling salt from different heights and perspectives. The action took a total of 108 minutes, leaving a beautiful small pyramid of salt emerging from the grate at the far left corner of the gallery.
The audio files were then mixed to create the final sound work, which was presented as a mono piece projected through one speaker placed at the base of the shaft on the far right corner of the gallery. These two parts sat beside each other in the gallery, intrinsically connected and in a sense, reflecting one another.
The audio is extremely tactile and percussive, though ambiguous and subtle in a way that could have the listener interpret it as falling rain or white noise when not focusing directly on it. The sound changes dramatically from beginning to end, reflecting the changing acoustics and space within the cavern of the shaft and the soft sound of salt falling on salt as the shaft is filled.
photo by Andy Keate, courtesy of South London Gallery
Re-imaginations of this piece:
- 18-channel diffusion at Lush Spectra (2017) in Sheffield UK, curated by Mark Fell.
- Solo listener version (mono mix) for The Sound of Distance (2021) at the HKW in Berlin DE, curated by Jan St Werner.
Tracings, Spanien19c, Aarhus, Denmark
site-specific 4-channel sound installation
large sheets of paper, 4 mono speakers, audio piece
30 min, 24 sec
This piece was generated by tracing the raw and empty gallery space of Spanien19c using various sizes and types of paper and my own body / gestures. The action of tracing the perimeter of the space was repeated over and over using different approaches with the materials in order to illuminate the material makeup of the space as well as the acoustic nature of the room in relation to the unique character of the different papers. The piece serves to draw the space acoustically through this process, generating a unique and compelling composition unique to this space.
Created on site at Spanien19c for the SPOR Festival for Contemporary Music & Sound Art in Arhus, Denmark. Exhibited from May 9 – June 2, 2013.
sound piece, created for listening with headphones.
6 min, 25 sec
Created for presentation at Galerie Díra in Prague, April 16 – May 6, 2013.
Presented at CAC
Bukovje in Landskrona, Sweden from December 14, 2013 – January 5, 2014.
slideshow of presentation at Galerie Díra with sound excerpt. Photos by Martin Blazicek.
site-specific 8-channel sound installation
Created and presented at RAW Gallery of Architecture & Design, Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada.Tracings was created to explore the aural landscape of a space, in this case the very unrefined and diverse materiality of the RAW Gallery. Tracing the perimeter of the space repetitively with a small selection of implements (including my hands & body, a sponge, a clothes hanger, cymbal and iron rod) brought out the distinct textures of the gallery walls & floor as well as defined the dimension and character of the space.This action was captured through 8 condenser microphones and mirrored back into the gallery through an 8-channel speaker system. The sounds traced my exact movements, leaving a ghost of my actions and a sonic drawing of the space. Photos in slideshow by Travis Cole, Robert Szkolnicki, Jacqueline Young and crys cole.
audio-video piece (for installation)
sweeper is a meditation on the banal chore of sweeping. the soundtrack, captured by a contact microphone woven into the bristles of the broom, distorts and amplifies the artist’s gestures exagerating and altering our perception of this common and ordinary activity.
• aceartinc. Bringing Home the Bacon group exhibition – Winnipeg, MB, 2009.
• Centre A, Strawberry Jam group exhibition – Vancouver, BC, 2010.
Record Covers: series of 1 – 33.3 (rpm)
2003, Collaboration with Travis Cole (née Obrigavitch)
modified vinyl records & CD jewel cases
Object series produced for ||| cover without a record ||| – squint press (CAN)