Focus is an installation problematizing the ambiguous materiality of the audible. The installation challenges the way spatial impressions are created through listening, by prompting a constant oscillation between the mimetic recreation of spatial characteristics - registered on recorded excerpts - and the material imprints of the reproduction technology on the physical space of the installation.
In Focus, the visitor is invited to explore how the folded spatial-material nature of sound is modulated by the different loudspeaker types and loudspeaker constellations. In wandering across the room the listener crosses perceptual thresholds: points where the audible transforms from the re-enaction of a fictional space to a seemingly-tactile experience.
Listening is rendered as a constant process of adaptation, constantly attuning to the material conditions inherent in the circuit of audio recording and reproduction.
The Construction of an Imaginary Acoustic Space
The name of this piece is to be understood as the prompt of a question (or several), rather than as a statement. Does music elicit an experience of sound as an imaginary realm? How is this further affected by the use of audio technologies? What is the role of the material and acoustic qualities of sound in the construction of this seemingly fictional circumstance?
In most contexts of music performance, the listener is supposed to attend to the result of the sound-making process rather than to the traces of how it is made – we are supposed to hear the pitch and not the bow of the string instrument. The act of music-making modulates the ways we engage with sound. Audio technologies and the contexts in which they are used also inform the ways in which we listen. A recording might point towards the reality of a sonorous event that has happened, or, among other possibilities, can bear affective memories inherent to the recording technology itself – the qualities of a singer recorded with that particular microphone.
The Construction of an Imaginary Acoustic Space superimposes the sound of a salon string ensemble with diversely mediated versions of the ubiquitous and familiar sound of string ensembles as they saturate a vast range of cultural milieus, from the concert hall to pop music and audiovisual spectacles. The material/spatial imprint of the live ensemble and that of the audio devices is exposed, drawing the attention of the listener to the constant adjustments performed in engaging with a diversity of acoustic traces.
The Construction of an Imaginary Acoustic Space was Commissioned by Commissioned by the Österreichisches ensemble für neue musik. Premiered January 19th 2019, Universität Mozarteum Solitär (Salzburg).
Loudspeakers and recording devices, as instruments of amplification and framing of listening practices inhabit our everyday environment. As such, they inform and modulate the boundaries of what we experience as real or imagined.
Distance / Fiction builds a sounding space where the visitor explores how audio technologies inform what we consider as possible, fictional, or real. The visitor is invited to patiently explore the temporally unfolding space of the installation guided by listening, looking for those points in which the physical interaction between the sound-emitting devices, the location of the listener and the room interfere in the capacity of sound to create fictions which articulate the synchronization of listening and seeing.
Res Extensa is a work based on the superposition and juxtaposition of different layers of sound “registers”. These registers are layers of sound materials diversely related to our everyday sound environment and coming from different origins: marginal sounds from electric devices, analogue sources, field recordings, amplification of microsounds, recordings of machine noises, digital “errors” and “distant” musics.
Within our sound environment a great variety of matters, articulations and nuances, including the aural experience of “recorded sound”, nurture our feeling and understanding of the world, constitute our “perceptive skin”. The sounds that form Res Extensa act like extracts of this vibrational experience, our shared surface of perception, feeling and thought. The basis of the piece is to operate on these matters, unfold, friction and break them up to build a sensitive whole and reach a point in which they are not linked to their habitual schemes but are rather exposed in their affective characters and our connection to them.
Res Extensa was awarded the Gaudeamus composition prize in 2006 and edited on Sedimental Records (USA)