Presented by Lea Bertucci, Clocktower Productions, and Pioneer Works.
Since the 1970s, quadraphonic sound has been discarded by the commercial audio world, only to be adopted by experimental composers and sound artists. Almost fifty years later, as we find ourselves in a state of technological saturation, what does it mean to continue the use of quad? Presented in collaboration with Lea Bertucci at Pioneer Works, sound artists explore four varying approaches to quadraphonic sound and its mesmeric effects in performance and 4-channel video work, centered around a specially designed quadraphonic cello.
Lea Bertucci’s quadraphonic cello is an instrument outfitted with a customized pickup designed specially for 4-channel sound. Noise rather than pitch dominates the aesthetic approach, with texture and timbre in the foreground. Interdisciplinary artist and avant-garde cellist MV Carbon performs a captivating composition by Bertucci, with programming by Tommy Martinez. Working just outside the experimental scene, Ben Greenberg’s solo guitar project, Hubble, uses virtuosic finger-tapping and minimal pedals to create a shimmering scope of sound. Recognized as one of the foremost improvisers and pioneers of extended technique on voice and violin, C. Spencer Yeh, brings a similarly unorthodox activity to his set. MSHR’s arresting sound and light performances will be quadrupled in intensity with the immersive combination of fog, strobe and synthetic sound. As an ongoing visual element, Victoria Keddie contributes a 4-channel video work, live mixed and on display throughout the evening.
An instrument, multichannel installation, and platform for audio-visual composition, the Quadraphonic Cello re-imagines a classical cello as a vehicle for surround sound. A customized pickup had been devised using piezo-electric wire directly on each of the four strings. When the cellist bows, plucks or taps this wire, four discrete signals are produced and routed to a quadraphonic array of speakers. Developed through theHarvestworksNew Works Fellowship, this instrument is a three dimensional musical apparatus tailored to multi-channel composition and the sculpting of sonorous space.
Lea Bertucci is an American sound artist, composer and performer whose work describes relationships between acoustic phenomena and biological resonance. Her work often incorporates multi-channel speaker arrays, electroacoustic feedback, extended instrumental/vocal technique, and tape collage. As an instrumentalist, she uses an idiosyncratic approach to the amplification of woodwind instruments, creating organic yet electrified sonic interventions. Her debut solo LP,Resonance Shapes, was released in 2013 on the Obsolete Units label and has been praised by A Closer Listen as “A grand exploration of the possibilities inherent in sound”. Lea is the 2016 MacDowell Fellow in composition and will premiere a new work for children’s choir and multichannel electronics at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. She is a 2015 ISSUE Project Room Artist-in-Residence and is a Harvestworks New Works Fellow. Her discography includes a number of solo and collaborative releases on various underground independent labels in the US and Europe.
MV Carbon is a New York City based, interdisciplinary artist and composer. Her work is comprised of sound, installation, projection, and performance. Embracing a non-traditional approach to music, she plays cello, amplified objects, and crafted instruments through circuits and electronics. Layered rhythms are formed with analog synthesizers and oscillators. These sounds are combined with vocals that are recorded and played back with reel-to-reel tape machines. She aims to deviate and transform space with the use of sonics and projection. Her intention is to provoke an extrasensory awareness through disorienting “reality.” She endorses a fluid exchange between the spectator and the art form and often calls for participation from the viewer. She works to transcend the limitations of categorization and to contrive an ongoing sense of attainability.
Ben Greenberg (Hubble)
Ben Greenberg’s Hubble project feels like the jeweled shrine of a road-worn head. Meditative, acute, and unrelenting, his gift to the listener is the expansion of the medium itself. Having cut his teeth in numerous bands such as Pygmy Shrews, Zs, and most recently with The Men, Greenberg has been fostering and cultivating his own unique reexamination of the the guitar as an instrument, resulting in a minimalist and truly psychedelic whirlwind of notes. A collaboration with likeminded locals Amen Dunes (Sacred Bones Records) and the recent addition of Greenberg’s own vocals have demonstrated the flexibility of the Hubble concept, not just a sonic end but a modular approach that is able to inhabit and transcend genre and expectation.
Victoria Keddie is an artist working in sound, video, and transmission. Her focus involves analog signal generation and manipulation, the performing body, and relationships of space. For five years, she has been Co-Director of E.S.P. TV, a nomadic TV studio that hybridizes technologies to realize synthetic environments and deconstruct the televisual for live performance. In Winter 2016, Keddie launched a mobile transmission based residency operated within and involving an ENG news van. Site specific field work involves concentrated energy fields, fluctuating electronic activity, geographical discontinuity, and time sensitivity. She has performed and exhibited internationally at venues and festivals such as, The Kitchen, Museum of Moving Image, Queens Museum of Art, and Anthology Film Archives (NYC), Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh), Human Resources (Los Angeles), Lightcone, (Paris), Studio XX (Montreal), LOOP Festival (Barcelona), Pallas Projects (Dublin), Reykjavik Arts Festival (Reykjavik), General Public (Berlin), Axis Art Centre (Crew) and The 14th Independent Film Festival (Naples). With her project, E.S.P. TV, she has been artist-in-residence at Storefront for Art and Architecture and the Museum of Arts and Design. Video works are distributed through Lightcone, (Paris). Sound works to be released in 2016 with Spectral Evidence, (Cambridge, MA).
Tommy Martinez is a New York City based guitarist, artist, and programmer. His projects includes multi-channel sound, video, improvisations with guitar and custom software. Performances and exhibitions at Whitney Museum of American Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Shanghai Biennial 2012, Pioneer Works, Harvestworks, Microscope Gallery, and Planthouse Gallery.
C. Spencer Yeh
C. Spencer Yeh is recognized for his interdisciplinary activities and collaborations as an artist and composer, as well as his music project Burning Star Core. Presentations of work include The Companion at the Liverpool Biennial, Modern Mondays at MoMA, In Tones From Light to Dark at Performa 13, Synth Nights at The Kitchen, Excursus IV at the ICA Philadelphia, Great Tricks From Your Future at D-CAF in Cairo Egypt, Borderline Festival in Athens Greece, Kinomuzeum at Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw Poland, LAMPO at the Renaissance Society Chicago IL, the Pérez Art Museum in Miami FL, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston TX, and a Jerome Foundation Commission from Roulette Intermedium. Yeh also collaborated with Triple Canopy for their contribution to the Whitney Biennial in 2014. He was a 2015 Artist-in-Residence at ISSUE Project Room.
MSHR is a collaborative project by Birch Cooper and Brenna Murphy. The duo builds and explores systems as a way of manifesting ecstatic sensory zones. They work at the intersection of digital sculpture, analog hardware and ceremonial performance. Their current performance series revolves around a unique system of light-audio feedback that employs their hand made synthesizers. The duo insert themselves into the system, shifting sculptural sensors to steer the feedback patterns as they explore the hyperscapes of a transhumanist ceremony. MSHR emerged from the 5 person art collective Oregon Painting Society in 2011.