Abstract: ‘Transient Landscapes’ is a live performance adaptation of the installation Sound Mirrors by multi-award winning Australian artist Leah Barclay. Sound Mirrors is an immersive sonic environment that responds to significant rivers across the world. Throughout 2009 – 2011, Leah Barclay travelled through Australia, India, Korea and China capturing the sound of rivers and their surrounding communities. The resulting work is an ephemeral experience that slides through vivid landscapes and rich cultural traditions.
The Noosa River positioned in a UNESCO listed Biosphere of Australia, the historic Han River flowing through the city of Seoul, South Korea and the Pamba River in the evocative backwaters of Kerala, South India form the core of Transient Landscapes. The process has varied from sculpting and layering sounds recorded on location to directly responding to the environment. The source materials range from hydrophone recordings deep in the Noosa River to pilgrims chanting at dusk on the banks of the Pamba in South India.
Transient Landscapes was selected as one of four national projects for the Australia Council’s HELM Award for Environmental Art. HELM is an initiative of the Queensland Conservation Council that recognises innovative work at the intersection of art, science, technology and the environment.
Bio: LEAH BARCLAY is an Australian interdisciplinary artist and curator recognised internationally for her distinctive sonic language. Her work has been commissioned, performed, and exhibited to wide acclaim across Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Europe, India, China, and Korea.
Barclay creates immersive performances and multi-sensory installations at the intersection of art, science, technology, and the environment. Her work spans film, theatre, and dance to hybrid performance, interactive media, data sonification, and site-specific installations. Her adventurous nature has led her to complete projects on the floor of the Australian ocean, desolate lava caves in New Zealand, and the evocative backwaters of South India.
Barclay’s dynamic work has resulted in numerous awards, including the Premier of Queensland’s inaugural National New Media Scholarship, the Asialink Performing Artist Residency for South Korea, and the HELM Award for Environmental Art. She has directed and curated environmental projects across Australia, India, and Korea and serves in an advisory capacity for a range of arts and environmental organisations including Noosa Biosphere (UNESCO) and Ear to the Earth (New York).
Wende Bartley and Jacky Sawatzky
Abstract:“Soundlines”, a one channel video with spatialized sound, is both a requiem to the forest and the creation of a new ecological space . Using footage taken in Vancouver’s Stanley Park after a storm destroyed thousands of tress in Dec. 2006, we visually enter into the lush environment of an old growth rainforest, the camera tracing both the elegant simplicity and tangled chaos of the fallen trunks and limbs. Aurally, we are embraced and surrounded by multiple voices and sonic characters which speak a wordless language. The music is created from vocal improvisations made at the megalithic temple of Mnajdra located in Malta and draws on an understanding of the voice as a potent conveyor of memory and the mythic.
In “Soundlines”, the visual becomes the bowl that holds the sound. The intersection of image and sound create a mode of engagement that goes beyond a complimentary relationship but rather creates a space that enables an entry point for an intimate encounter and experience with the heart of the forest. We mourn the natural cycle of loss, which can occur both suddenly and over time, while simultaneously becoming re-engaged with the vulnerability of a natural space upon which we are dependent for creating and maintaining sustainable life. “Soundlines” is a collaboration between video artist Jacky Sawatzky and composer Wende Bartley and grew from their collective experience amongst the Stanley Park trees in the days following the storm.
Bio: Wende Bartley is a freelance composer and sound artist dedicated to exploring the full range and potential of the human voice on multiple levels of engagement. Much of her creative work combines vocal sources, electroacoustic practices, soundscape and mythology. She has written for the concert stage, video and film soundtracks, music theatre, installations and site specific performances. She is currently launching her 2-disc album “Sound Dreaming: Oracle Songs from Ancient Ritual Spaces” based on her vocal recordings created on-site in Crete and Malta and mixed in 5.1 surround sound.
Jacky Sawatzky is a visual artist working in the medium of video and installation. She sees her work as cartographies that aid in her search for a home. Currently she is researching the potential impact that renewable energy sources will have on our expectation and understanding of landscape. She teaches part time in the Faculty of Art at OCAD in Toronto.
One World 1
Abstract: One World 1 is based on sounds from New York and New Delhi, as if the world were one large crowded city, its space shared through a common human bond.
At the same time, it seems clear at this moment in history that the idea of sharing one world through a common human bond is a utopian goal rather than a current reality. It is one of the major problems of our age that inundated with information, much of it disturbing, we view the world today as a complex, turbulent and chaotic system of different nationalities, religions, cultures, and politics, as if the world were one large crowded city overwhelmed by urban noise and discord. We all face the same dilemma. How do we interact with this world? How do we extract humanity from the chaos to focus on individual lives?
The field recordings from New York were done by Benjamin Chadabe. The field recordings from New Delhi were done by Shankar Barua. One World 1 was composed with support from the New York State Council on the Arts.
Bio: Composer Joel Chadabe is a pioneer in interactive music systems. His music has been performed at Human Voice in a New World (New York City), Xenakis and a Changing Climate (La Tourette, France), Electronic Music New York (Brooklyn College), Suono Aperto (Conservatorio G Rossini, Pesaro, Italy), ElectroWorks Festival (Athens), Ear to the Earth (New York City), Tevereterno (Rome), HörZeit-SpielRaum 2005 (Berlin), NYU Interactive (NYC), New Mix (Palais de Tokyo, Paris), and other venues worldwide. His music is recorded on EMF Media, Deep Listening, Lovely Music, and other labels. He is the author of Electric Sound, a comprehensive history of electronic music and his articles have been published in Organized Sound, Leonardo, Contemporary Music Review, Computer Music Journal, and other leading journals and magazines, and anthologized in books by MIT Press, Routledge, and other publishers. He co-authored the first digital sequencer. As president of Intelligent Music, he pioneered interactive music software. He has received grants from NEA, NYSCA, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and Fulbright Commission, and he is the recipient of the SEAMUS 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award. Mr. Chadabe is Professor Emeritus at State University of New York, visiting faculty at NYU, and president of Electronic Music Foundation.
Between my sky and your water (Entre mi cielo y tu agua)
Ricardo Dal Farra
Abstract: Surrounded by water or asking for it, with clear and bright skies or cloudy days and long nights, maybe different languages but perhaps common hopes. Who knows? Bridges are all around, both real and virtual. Impossible connections, feelings, thoughts and sensations flow between and across my sky and through your water. Between my sky and your water (Entre mi cielo y tu agua) is a picture in sound of the geography and culture of some Latin American regions, and their relationships with the geography and culture of the Nordic European region. This piece was composed in 2007 using sounds recorded by colleagues in their native lands, in the north of Europe, with plenty of water around; and by colleagues living and visiting the Cusco region, ancient heart of the Inca’s empire in the higher mountains of Peru, closer to the sun but far from the ocean. Between my sky and your water is part of the North-South project. An initiative by Nordic and Latin American composers to share experiences and to know more about each other’s culture and environment exchanging ideas and sounds, and composing a series of electroacoustic works. All pieces are based in a common pool of sounds, created by the contribution of each composer in the group. Between my sky and your water was realized at the Electroacoustic Music Studio, Argentina.
Bio: Dr. Ricardo Dal Farra has been conducting activities in the merging fields of arts, sciences and new technologies as a composer and multimedia artist, researcher, educator, performer and curator focusing mainly on new media arts and electroacoustic music for more than 30 years. He is an Associate Professor at the Music Department of Concordia University (music.concordia.ca/people/faculty/full-time/ricardo-dal-farra.php), Founding Director of the Electronic Arts Experimenting and Research Centre (CEIArtE) at National University of Tres de Febrero, Argentina and Associated Researcher at the Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre, De Montfort Univerisity, in the United Kingdom. Dal Farra has been national Coordinator of the Multimedia Communication program at the National Ministry of Education in Argentina during seven years; Research/Creation Coordinator of the (original) Hexagram interuniversity consortium in Canada; Senior Consultant for the Amauta – Andean Media Arts Centre in Cusco, Peru; Coordinator of the Documentation and Conservation of the Media Arts Heritage (DOCAM) international research alliance in Canada; and national Education Manager at NCS Pearson, Argentina. He has also been consultant for organizations such as: The MIT Press in the US, the interuniversity project No2s in Chile; and consultant and researcher at The Daniel Langlois Foundation in Canada and UNESCO (Digi-Arts), France. Dr. Dal Farra’s work has been distinguished with prizes, grants and commissions by the International Computer Music Association, the International Arts Biennial of San Pablo, Brazil, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Rostrum of Composers from Argentina, the Concours International de Musique Electroacoustique de Bourges, France, and the Centro di Sonologia Computazionale from the University of Padua in Italy, among others. With over 20 international editions including recordings of his electroacoustic music, Dr. Dal Farra’s works have been performed/presented in over 40 countries.
arghanum V [1990-1] ∏, for piano and electroacoustic sounds
Abstract: The piece, arghanum V, was written as a reaction, as a statement against the destruction of nature by man. When accordionist Joseph Petric commissioned the original version of the work, it was to be premiered at the “Sound Symposium”, in Newfoundland in 1990. At the time, the deforestation in that area of Canada was considerable. Large industrial conglomerates destroyed complete forests having no plans for re-forestation of the area. The first indication in the score “agitated and wild, with repressed anger” is a commentary “sobre la belleza de lo salvaje” [on the beauty of the wild] and the exploitation and destruction of the wild by mankind.
Bio: Canadian-Argentinian composer, conductor and pianist born in Rosario, Argentina, in 1929. He moved to New York in 1965, having received a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship and lived there from 1965 until 1971 where he worked at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center. In 1971 he was appointed professor of composition at the Faculty of Music, McGill University in Montreal. Since 1974 he has been the director of the Electronic Music Studio at McGill. lanza is now the EMS Director Emeritus. alcides lanza continues to have a very active international career as a pianist and conductor specializing in the avant garde repertoire. His programs reflect his particular interest in the music of the three Americas. lanza has performed Piano Marathons at Pollack Hall in Montreal, in 1987 and 1992. This last featured lanza performing for five hours – non-stop – and included 48 different pieces for piano, electronics and film. alcides lanza has done innumerable radio and television concerts, several LP recordings and compact discs, and has organized contemporary music forums and events.
Stati d’Acqua (2006)
Abstract: Stati d’Acqua (States of Water) was inspired by water’s constant physical transformations. These field recordings explore motion, stagnation, evaporation, condensation and falling. Water produces an infinite variety of sounds throughout the entire range of audible frequencies, sometimes creating the perfect white noise (i.e., the equal overlapping of all audio frequencies), and sometimes creating pitched tones. The field recordings for this composition were done along the entire course of the Tiber River, from its source at Mount Fumaiolo to its outlet in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Many techniques were employed, including special microphones and recording while in motion along springs, streams, waterfalls, caves, and waves, as well as the sea. The recordings also include the sound scan of a six-month old fetus – the fluid resonance within the human body. The work is a tribute to water, as a symbol and metaphor for the various states of mind and emotion. Carefully observing and analyzing the microcosm of tones in the recordings of streams inspired me to organize the water’s sounds complexity into a tuning system that uses the whole ratios of Zarlino’s XVI Century system. 120 filters were used to create discrete resonant filters carefully tuned on the partials of different harmonic series, ordering the chaotic energy of water along natural intervals. Stati d’Acqua premiered on June 21, 2006 as a 30-minute, multichannel sound installation with 18 points of sound diffusion on an 80×500 meter site in the heart of Rome. The work was created for Tevereterno, a site-specific, multidisciplinary project conceived by artist Kristin Jones to celebrate the Tiber River. The version presented at Balance-Unbalance 2011 is a 17-minute reduction to 6 channels and was first performed at the Festival Ear to the Earth 2006 in New York City.
Bio: Composer, performer and sound-artist, his work documents natural sonic environments and untouched ecosystems throughout the world with cutting-edge field recording techniques. Combining detailed lab analysis and eco-acoustic composition, he creates original music for sound installations, museums, films, contemporary art and new music concerts. Over the past two decades, he has conducted recordings throughout Europe, Africa, North and South America. During recent travels to the Brazilian Amazon in collaboration with Greenpeace (2002) and the African equatorial area of Dzanga-Sangha (2008), he began collecting high definition ‘sound portraits’ of primary equatorial rainforest ecosystems for his major international project “Fragments of Extinction”. His research and music have been published by international labels. Publications (2004-2009) include: CD Canto Sospeso (Domani Musica – Rome, Italy), CD Paesaggi di Libero Ascolto (ANTS Records – Rome, Italy), CD Prima Amazonia (Wild Sanctuary – San Francisco, CA), CD After the Untuned Sky (Coclearia – Urbino, Italy), CD Eco-Acoustic Compositions (EMF Media – New York, NY). Since year 2000, Monacchi taught Multimedia Acoustics at the University of Macerata, and is now Professor of Electroacoustic Music Composition at the Conservatory of Music of Pesaro – Italy. He is based in Italy and travels widely for field research, media and film music composition, and gives lectures and concerts throughout the world .