Artistic Intentions : Statement of aspirations and intentions in my practice & deliveries

• As a sonic scenographer, I intend to play with and challenge the listener & spectator association with everyday familiarity and the memory of "right now".  
• I intend to deliver scenarios which are built upon everyday life, with also unexpected sounds: familiar and non-familiar.  

• I pull inspiration for these compositional scenarios directly from my everyday surroundings - in buildings, cities, nature and combinations of all of these.  

• Through building synthetic sounds as well as location-based and material-based sounds (field and foley), I can stylise and critically analyse my work in immediacy, through performativity and engaging with spectator feedback.  

• My compositions are a play between passive and non-passive (active) commentary on the everyday - in taking bravery to face the "now", unexpected instances arise.  It is a witty criticism of the world around us - sonic witticism!

• The accumulated scenographic foley is ever-expanding, as I gain a fluency in the language of expression of and connection with the world around us. Mediums include various forms of audio recording - foley, found, location/field - traditional/conventional musical integration (mostly digital), photo, video, written logs, and drawings.  

• Verbal language - particularly the phonetics of verbal language - play an important part in the performativity and human-integration of my compositions. 

Supporting Research & Influences

Questions Arising 

>> How does sound inform the identity, the atmosphere and the experience of a space?

>> How do the acoustic qualities of a physical, 3D space align with or distract a sonic composition within it?
>> If one considers a space as an instrument, how may it be 'played'?

>> What is the personality of a space - found or created/composed - and what are the necessary qualities to capture/develop, then what mediums, traits and informations are required to fulfill the spaces identity?

>> How do visual attributes contribute and/or distract to the sonic/audio personality/information of a space?

>> What is it that a moment, an atmosphere, a place in/and time that is scenographic?


To answer some of these questions, it is necessary to take an archaeological perspective and approach on scenography and the audible  - to "hack" the medias documented, to get inside of the sonic DNA: to play with audible composition within space, and in turn, to play with spectatorship and experiential substance.  Please see page Performative Sonic Compositions

>> Samson Young - Hong Kong based sound media artist.  View his website 

His sound drawings have inspired me greatly to create visual descriptions of sound in space through gestural drawing, text and perhaps rubbings of space (printmaking) to visually describe the sonic texture


>> Liz Harris - aka: Grouper - solo artist, producer and musician.  View her website 

Liz's releases are rich in simplicity, immersion and a gentle persuasiveness in imperfection and ease of listening


>> Lucrecia Dalt - Geotechnical Engineer come 

Sonic Scenography >>


An investigation of _S P A C E_ through _S O U N D_  

This exposition is the homeplace of ongoing documentation of questions, processes and conclusions (temporary and final) of scenographic investigations through sound.

 

A scenographic investigation is an inquiry into a place/space considering the atmospheric aesthetics - the immaterial elements (light, sound, smell, movement, textures) and the presence and relevance of the material elements (physical objects, parameters, textures) 


Sonic Scenography is an experiential happening that consists primarily of audible elements - field & foley recordings, programmed sound sequences, voice recordings and conventional + non-conventional takes on music theory.  

As a practice, scenographic investigation enables me to inquire the hidden performative dimensions to my everyday surroundings.  I ask questions about spectatorship (what is it to be a spectator in my immediate situation?), accumulate scenographic foley and demonstrate my intents to create space within space by means of visual and sonic compositions, (which are fed and inspired by the accumulated scenographic foley).

I intend to use this exposition as support, documentation and evidence of my practice in asking questions, inviting curiosity to the familiar, and to open opportunities for stories within things, situations and places perhaps otherwise overlooked.  

 

In the act of investigation, with a keen interest in audio composition and performance, I prioritise the audible, the sonic of the everyday, and support the inquiries by visual and written logs.  

Thereafter, a reflection of the material collected takes place, wherein I may (re)approach, and (re)digest the information with an intent of engaging with the emotive story within the documented material.
Furthermore, I conduct spatial experiments and happenings to (re)engage with the material to make it scenographically performative. 

Influential Artists + Other Artist's Work

Text-based research: what I'm reading & texts I refer to regularly

(I intend to summarise these texts in my own words)

 

>> Sound As An Object in Space - Tansy Spinks > here


>> Soundscape and Abstraction (language formed by environmental sound) > here


>> Places in Space > here


>> How Music Works, John Powell: The Science and Psychology of Beautiful Sounds, from Beethoven to The Beatles and Beyond > here


>> Performance Projections: Film and the Body in Action, Stephen Barber > here


>> Spaces Speak, Are You Listening?, Barry Blesser & Linda-Ruth Saltzer > here


>> Constructing Atmospheres: Test Sites for an Aesthetics of Joy, Margit Brünner > here


>> Hlysnan: The Notion and Politics of Listening, Berit Fischer > here

>> Acoustic Atmospheres, A Contribution to the Study of Ecological Aesthetics. Bohme

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Video & Audio research: listening + watchable materials 

(I intend to summarise these medias in my own words)

Documentary:  The Early Gurus of Electronic Music :

Providing me a root to how electronics expand and challenge the world and perception of audio

Documentary:  Daphne Oram - Wee Have Also Sound-Houses  

Interview: Cristina Kubisch, pioneer of sound installation and electromagnetic composition, on her process behind her long-standing global project Electrical Walks - "the plan is for me like a composition, there should be interesting sounds to hear, but they should not all be the same" // "it should be interesting to look as well, you are not walking with your eyes closed"

Playlist:  An ongoing playlist of audio research collected on the SoundCloud platform, playlist curated by me, with approach from scenography


Album:  Soul Jazz Records Presents:  Space, Energy and Light - Experimental Electronic and Acoustic Soundscapes 1961 - 88 

Featurette: Therese DePrez (1965 - 2017), production designer, about her process designing for Black Swan.  Beautifully, she speaks insight of her process in turning to nature for inspiration, getting away from her computer to find the "pallette" for the project.

Live set recording:  Olivia Block - Red Bull Studio

"Live performance clip from Olivia Block. Olivia Block is a media artist and composer. Her body of work includes sound recordings, audio-visual installations, performances, sound design for cinema, and scores for orchestra and chamber music concerts. In this experimental performance in celebration of Red Bull Music Festival Chicago, she makes all sound with the following: Organ, microcassette recorder, function generator/oscillator, laptop."

Tutorial:  Cristobal Tapia DeVeer - Jessica Hyde for Dummies  

Tutorial:  Creating Instruments from Found Sounds

Playlist:  An ongoing playlist of artist interviews and other influential media, curated by me

MiniDoc : LeGuess Who, Utrecht 2018 -   Robbie Cornellison (curator) and Lucrecia Dalt on Grasping the Spontaneity of Songwriting for Centraal Museum's "De LineUp"

Quote:
"This sound piece that is going to be present there, is going to be like an extra layer to experience the exhibition. I guess what I’m doing is just to try and grasp the spontaneity of drawing."

Documentary:  The Art of Nonfiction

Documentative Video:  DARKSIDE (Dave Harrington - multi-instrumentalist & Nicolas Jaar - cross-genre electronic music artist) perform with light piece created by Dutch duo Children of the Light.  I was lucky to catch this performance in Dublin.  The spinning circular mirror and varying light-sources & haze created a spectacular immersive experience in the crowd.  The performative elements were also amplified and heightened.  Very inspirational performativity. 

"Documentary is the only art where every aesthetic element almost always has ethical aspects and every ethical aspect can be used aesthetically" Viktor Kossakovsky

    "When a sight, sound, movement or place attracts your attention during your daily life, consider that moment an 'art experience'.  Find a way to record an impression of this momentary 'art experience' using any appropriate means or media.  Share these experiences with each other and make them available to others" - Pauline Oliveros (1932 - 2016): Open Field, 1980

• Scenography - Accumulative Foley •


A collection of places, atmospheres and details of my everyday life - things that spark my curiosity, have inanimate conversation with me and that act as documentation of my intuitive infatuation with things happening around me.  I extract the data of these moments to later serve as scenographic foley - to create new worlds from the one I engage in, by accumulating their information, collaging the media and creating new stories out of things typically overlooked.  The aim is to invite the imagination into our immediacy and to consider the every-day as an art experience.  
I compose audio compositions with the recorded audio of these moments, to create listening experience in which external time & space is invited into the current time & space, and the listener (spectator) imagination is invited to be curious, explorative and open.  These audio compositions also include vocals & synthetic sound.  I use music theory to "hack" the spaces : to turn them into "instruments", something I can engage with and transform.  
Transformation is one of the arising themes in my collection.  I like places and moments where something is happening - the space between old and new.  Arising in this, inanimacy comes to life - spaces take on rhythms and meaning arises where perhaps before there was none.

The collection for me is about taking another look at things that I would have been ignorant to if I did not lend myself to become occupied with it: it is about experiencing the every-day in with whole-ness and curiosity.

Scenographically, it opens up opportunity for creation and transformation, without directly referring to a text (such as a play) and allows the world around me to become foley.  With this in mind, the logs of the collection include as much extractable information as possible, including location and data.  The collection is accumulating to become it's own world.



Please click here to view the collection 

 

 

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"Nonfiction performance is the layering of real and imagined selves"  Robert Greene: The Art of Nonfiction Documentary -  To the “magical imitation of reality”: a love letter

 

My SoundCloud:

"The profound advantage offered by an Aesthetics of Atmospheres is that it can draw on a large reservoir of daily life experiences...  If atmospheres are moods, which one feels in the air, then we are describing a phenomenon which is familiar to everyone"  G. Bohme: Acoustic Atmospheres, A Contribution to        the Study of Ecological Aesthetics

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The Art/Act of Presence and Listening in Scenography

To affiliate clearly and fruitfully with my everyday surroundings to obtain scenographic foley of sound, visuals and atmospheric information, I must offer myself openly - through my presence, breath, eyes and ears.  There are various exercises and approaches to listening which I have adopted in my practice.

Breathing:  to assess if I am ready to listen, there are breathing exercises which oxidise the body, optimise presence in the "now" and bring my awareness to anything which needs to be cleared before I can proceed.  One of these exercises is to undertake 18 repeated rounds of breathing in, holding, breathing out, holding - all of equal measures to a count of 20.  The speed of count is not so important, once the measures are equal.  If I cannot complete, my mind is not ready, or I have alerts somewhere in my consciousness that need to be addressed.  It is best approached gently!

Non-expectant presence: This is to be open to the now without any judgement, expectations or requirements.  Simply being present (and armed to record) is necessary.  Recordings in this way are to be considered as Field Recordings. 

Obtrusive presence: in a shade of contrast to non-expectant presence, obtrusive presence requires making something happen in a space and time, such as making a noise, placing myself in direct line of something external to me, or interacting with the space for a known or unknown result.  Recordings made in this way can be considered Foley Recordings. 

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>> A Practice: Scenographic Listening. . . . . . . . 

About my Scenographic Practice - with a priority on the audible:
5 points for consideration:  

• 1) Scenography is all around: inspirations and informations can come from anything that presents itself - and also even in the space between things presenting themselves.

•2) I use field, foley and voice recording in my work with sound:  the methods and approaches of these artforms are translated and adapted into accumulating my scenographic foley 

• 3) I use music theory as a tool of hacking the DNA of the audio I record, to use for scenographic sonic compositions.  

• 4) I also use digital mediums as tools to play with the information and to create identities of space through the sonic composition.  eg; using DAWs, microphones, speakers, visual editing softwares etc

• 5) I reflect upon my investigations to uncover hidden meanings and thereafter I engage in vocality and storytelling to amplify, distract or abstract my findings and to invite my voice into the scenographic compositions with purpose.