Sounds We Return Are New Again

Sounds We Return Are New Again was presented as an evening-length interactive sound installation as part of the House Life Project’s PEOPLE+PROPERTY series on October 17, 2017. This involved a large music box loop whose structure or tone is naturally altered by time and performative gesture in some way.

Throughout the evening event, these sounds built a continually shifting sonic landscape. The music box paper begins blank and its content is 100% community-driven, with new notes being manually added through a whole punch in the music box’s paper loop during the event.

Photos courtesy of Jenn Kriscunas.

Water Mining

Water Mining is a collaboration with musician Michael Drews and visual artist Brian McCutcheon. The work involves an interactive sculpture built to collect and amplify underwater sounds. Additionally, a live multimedia performance response to the sculpture broadcasts using amplified water and electronic sounds as its source.

The project was originally commissioned by the Indianapolis Museum of Art as part of the Autumn Equinox celebration event in 2014. It has also been presented as part of the 2016 Indianapolis Light Festival IN Light IN

A Room With No Window

A Room With No Window is a multimedia installation and performance combining interactive lighting and video projection reacting in real time to live music. The work features a 12’x6’x8′ light box wherein the action of the musical performance and interactive multimedia occur. From the audience’s perspective, this display will be a harmony of choreographed human shadow, bursts of color and shape, and layers of sonic texture.

This piece was originally presented during Art In Odd Places Indianapolis 2014 with support from Classical Music Indy and Indianapolis Fabrications.

Anew – Live @ The IMA

Anew is a work about letting go. The piece was co-written by composer and vocalist Hanna Benn (Son Lux, BOOTS) and premiered at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (now Newfields) on April 7, 2016. Anew features vocalists Benn and Abby Miller.

Until My Last

Excerpts from the 25-minute performance piece Until My Last. Presented as part of Synth Nights at The Kitchen, curated by Nico Muhly, on April 4-5, 2014. Live footage courtesy of The Kitchen Archives.

Until My Last explores memories of early love and the helplessness of drowning. Merging interactive light, video, and electronic sound with piano and music box, the performance is a constantly evolving multimedia landscape.

What is Lost is You

What is Lost is You explores the notion of being as more than a collection of cells.  The work is presented as a live multimedia and percussion performance, as well as a collection of digital images.

Those That I Fight I Do Not Hate

Hinging structurally upon the unique tones and timbres present in the instrument, Those That I Fight I Do Not Hate is a solo composition for bodhran and electronics, originally with live video.  Immediately concerned with honoring the historical roots of the instrument, the work finds inspiration in the William Butler Yeats poem “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death”, from which the piece derives its title.  Honoring the Irish origins of the instrument, while simultaneously pushing the sonic circumference of the bodhran in decidedly non-traditional ways, the global characteristics of Those That I Fight I Do Not Hate are far-reaching.  The work is not composed within the traditional boundaries of western harmonic practice, but rather, with a global harmony in mind, drawing upon the diverse timbres of our world, removing the bodhran from its traditional function and exploring the instruments unique sounds.  Anchored amongst these varied timbres, this musical language dissects the sounds of various cultures and subsequently attempts to forge, in the realm of a single composition, a global music.

Commission, program notes, and premiere performance by Ryan Nestor.

How Long is the Coast of France?

How Long is the Coast of France? is a work about architecture, both in nature and man-made. I have an intense fascination with non-hierarchical structures, the geometric shape of fractals, and the contrast between the two concepts. As we continue to divide the sub-atomic particles, we see that these particles exist more and more independently of one another. Dividing a fractal reveals a smaller copy of the whole. In a sense, higher resolution in the natural world can lead to both infinite order and total independence. The following work is an attempt to emulate this dichotomy.
Sonically, … Coast of France? consists of a polyphony of voices (acoustic and electronic) that are particles of a whole. As each voice develops and oscillates independent of one another, they generate constantly shifting polyrhythms. In the brilliant overtones of metallic timbres we can hear even greater rhythmic complexity and independence. This set of overtones is intrinsically connected to the order of the primary sonic landscape, just as structural elements in nature exist independently and as part of an organized system.
Visually, the work posits that these concepts are relative to man-made architecture. Through digital manipulation, organized structures are skewed, distorted and blended until they are re-assembled without center. The resulting non-hierarchical images pulsate against a sonic palate, allowing the mind to make arbitrary connections between the senses.

Premiere performance by Brian Archinal, Scott Deal, and Morris Palter.

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Unified Fields

Unified Fields is an interactive multimedia installation. The work’s premiere exhibition involved students and faculty from the Department of Music and Arts Technology at IUPUI in Indianapolis, IN. The installation took place over one evening and was hosted by the Indianapolis-based art collective, Big Car. Unified Fields was a highlighted exhibit during an Indianapolis First Friday gallery opening.
Unified Fields Theory, or The Theory of Everything, was first proposed as an elemental field of existence. At this base level, all things become equal. The work displayed was a collaborative project combining the music and art of Michael Drews and Jordan Munson. Themes and gestures from both artists’ works interact with sonic and video material emanating from several interactive stations positioned in the room. The idea is to illustrate this common thread through the cohesion of aural and visual stimulus.
Included in the premiere event was a series of live performance by Mana2, a computer duo comprised of Munson and Drews. Students from the IUPUI laptop ensemble CEnsR (Computer Ensemble for Research) assisted in the installation. Student assistance included Nick Hartgrove, Robert Lyon, and Tyler Jackson.

Photos by Robert Lyon

Circle of Wills

Circle of Wills focuses on memory. Specifically, the tenuous link our brain produces between the actual events of our lives and our recollections. On another level Circle of Wills comments on the ability to manipulate memories to alter perception. In our minds we can change the way things look and sound or we can erase them altogether.
This work offers a colorfully surrealist take on the topic. It is an attempt to illustrate this phenomenon by pushing a singular aural and visual event to its limit. The result is a wholly new experience.

Commissioned by James B. Campbell and the University of Kentucky Percussion Ensemble.

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