The number PI is very seductive. The idea of a number that continues forever is very appealing. It makes me think about my breath. It is taken for granted but I will breathe everyday for the rest of my life. A breath every few seconds or so. What a great way to acknowledge the beauty of PI. Using my own breath with a Bass Clarinet and Clarinet to play a piece that lasts forever. A few minutes of PI presents itself as a hodgepodge of notes that over time this quickly turns into a wash of soothing sounds to dip into.
Each Swing has it’s own portion of the composition that plays when activated. As soon as the swinging stops the composition pauses and resumes when the swinging begins again. If all three swings were to play for 24/7 the composition would last 55 days. With the coming and going of Swing opertors the possibilities are endless.
I think it sounds best with all three swings going. But I’ll let you decide.
The Sounds were made with an electric guitar. Bowed and plucked.
On August 21st 2017, there will be a total eclipse of the sun. This eclipse can be seen throughout the United States. The last time this happened was 1918. The next time will be 2024. A total eclipse is the result of the intersection of the Sun’s cycle and the Moon’s cycle; in the spirit of such an intersection, we’ve decided to create a piece that combines Sun Boxes and Moon Phases. It will begin at Dawn on August 21st and end at Dusk on August 21.
Sun Boxes is an environment to enter and exit at will. It’s comprised of twenty speakers operating independently, each powered by the sun via solar panels. There is a different loop set to play a guitar note in each box continuously. These guitar notes collectively make a Bb chord. Because the loops are different in length, once the piece begins they continually overlap and the piece slowly evolves over time.
The sounds of Sun Boxes have been described as both soothing and energizing. A unique combination of adjectives often used to describe yoga, or meditation. When experiencing the piece, Sun Boxes allows the participant to slow down, and notice the subtleties of the composition unfold. With the abundance of technology and hustle of this culture it is a much needed concept to not only be allowed, but also encouraged to slow down.
Moon Phases is a concept that plays music based on the fullness of the moon. Pre-Recorded guitar chord is programmed to grow more dense as the moon gets more full; creating a unique experience over time.
The music is a minimal guitar piece that drones in cycles, as constant and as hauntingly as the moon itself. The piece will begin in silence with the New Moon and slowly get more dense adding notes until it’s at its fullest with the Full Moon. Together, the music and the movement will create an ever changing experience encouraging participants to return and witness the progress of the piece.
We’re heading back to the Commonwealth. Sun Boxes will be at Mass Moca May 27th-28th as part of Earworks II. The Sunnies will then spend some time at Mass Moca for the month of June.
June 9: Colegrove Park (24 Church Street, North Adams)
June 16: Colegrove Park
June 23: Solid Sound, MASS MoCA’s Courtyard A
Honored to be part of this book with an essay on Sun Boxes.
Edited by Frederick Bianchi and V. J. Manzo and to be published by Oxford University Press on August 25 (July 12 on Amazon), Environmental Sound Artists is a new book exploring traditional and novel issues around the art of environmental sound:
‘Environmental Sound Artists: In Their Own Words’ is an incisive and imaginative look at the international environmental sound art movement, which emerged in the late 1960s. The term environmental sound art is generally applied to the work of sound artists who incorporate processes in which the artist actively engages with the environment. While the field of environmental sound art is diverse and includes a variety of approaches, the art form diverges from traditional contemporary music by the conscious and strategic integration of environmental impulses and natural processes.
This book presents a current perspective on the environmental sound art movement through a collection of personal writings by important environmental sound artists. Dismayed by the limitations and gradual breakdown of contemporary compositional strategies, environmental sound artists have sought alternate venues, genres, technologies, and delivery methods for their creative expression.
Environmental sound art is especially relevant because it addresses political, social, economic, scientific, and aesthetic issues. As a result, it has attracted the participation of artists internationally. Awareness and concern for the environment has connected and unified artists across the globe and has achieved a solidarity and clarity of purpose that is singularly unique and optimistic. The environmental sound art movement is borderless and thriving.