5/1/04, 3:00

Sound Cube, Charles Morrow, The Kitchen.

Short pieces by Olivia Block, Nicola Green, Shelley Hirsch, Martyn Ware/Vincent Clark, Miya Masaoka, Steve McCaffrey, Charles Morrow, Phill Niblock, Michael J. Schumacher, Scanner, Stephen Vitiello, and Pamela Z .

A sound cube is a three-dimensional multi-channel surround sound system, a frame holding eight speakers. There were two separate cubes here, one with enough room for about 15-20 people, another smaller one, with room for 6 or so. With this system, the sounds can be positioned and moved anywhere within the cube, vertically and horizontally. The larger cube made for a more communal listening experience, and the smaller one had sharper sound images, because there was less reflection. The best possible position for clarity of image was for a single listener sitting on the stool in the center of the smaller cube. The tension here between clarity of sound image and space that allowed for social listening was interesting. The social connotations of reverb….

Phil Niblock
Beautiful, thick, undulating drone. Slow microtonal variations in the drone layers. This piece was ending just as I came in, so I didn't get a sense of the how the sound cube and 3-D positioning was interacting with this signature Niblock sound.

Charles Morrow
Not surprisingly, this piece best captured the feeling of object three dimensionality the sound cube is capable of representing. Sawing wood, tapping sounds. Vivid feeling of the substance of wood.

Shelley Hirsch
A kind of sound theater/installation poetry. Back yard sounds, connotations of suburban childhood. Mouth sounds.

Also used backyard sounds. Riffing off remembered suburban sound space. Yard/space art/space. containment. Birds / synth tones.

Stephen Vitiello
Mesmerizingly beautiful organ tones mixed with particle movement sounds. Gravel sliding off a metal surface. Tonality and texture mixed, as with many of these pieces. The sound of tarps being pulled over wood. Digital delay.

Miya Masaoka
Sounds recorded from a three-dimensionally mic'd koto, as though the listener were inside a giant koto. Eight microphones on a single instrument. Texture sounds, scrapes and taps. Small-scale timbre sound events and drone.

Steve McCaffrey
A marvelous digital arrangement by Charles Morrow of McCaffrey's poem Cappuccino, in which words are taken from mathematical language and given Italian suffixes. Here his voice has been multi-tracked, spacialized and looped -- a single voice recording made into a percussion orchestra, Varese-like rhythmic structuring and development.

Nicola Green
Layers of laughter panning around. Most interesting when there was a overlapping of several layers of laughter. The decontextualization of laughter from the source of humor created an odd drama. Are we being laughed at? Is the laughter sincere? What made this person laugh? Who are these people? Henry, Katie's parrot, almost always considers laughter as a musical event worthy of a response, even laughter on the television or radio. He can imitate it quite well.

Had to leave before I got a chance to hear all the pieces. Adeena and I bumped into Charles Morrow on the way out, said hi, and jumped in a cab to go hear Deirdre Kovac and Kamau Brathwaite read at the Bowery Poetry Club.

No comments: